Discuss how Iago exploits others to achieve his goal
Othello is about a man named Iago who seeks revenge of Othello, a noble and heroic General who denied him Lieutenant. Bout on revenge Iago uses the elopement of Othello and and Desdemona to put his plans to action. Exploiting the characters through their weaknesses whether it be Desdemona's innocence or Othello's age and race Iago goes to great lengths to exploit the characters in order to achieve his goal of revenge. A revenge in which Othello would suffer physically and mentally. How Iago goes about Exploiting these characters is conveyed through the various Shakespearean techniques of a Soliloquy, stage directions (aside) and language of persuasion in order to convey how Iago initially achieved his goal of revenge.
Like any character, there has to be a motive to their actions, some incident or feeling to trigger their hatred in order to take revenge. For Iago it was his hatred for the Moore and his outrage at being denied Lieutenant. An opportunity arises for Iago to have his chance for revenge when he discovers the elopement of Othello and Desdemona. Using Roderigo (the secret admirer of Desdemona) as his puppet Iago awakens Brabantio the father and hides from view.“You'll have your daughter covered by a Barbary horse...your daughter and the moor are now making the beast with two backs.” The effect of the sexual innuendo's not only cause anger and strife in the protective father, to encourage Brabantio to take action against Othello but it also reveals a cunning and manipulative side to Iago. He proves that he can exploit others, in this case the protective father in Brabantio and the infatuation of Desdemona in Roderigo to take his revenge.
Iago is clever, deceptive, patient, scheming and determined. These elements are conveyed through his character in the first act. This enables Iago to possess the necessary skills to exploit/use others without revealing his plan. In exploiting them he is able to easily go about his revenge of Othello. “I am not what I am,” is an example of appearance v.s reality the greatest tool Iago is equipped with to put his future plans to action. He is able to use his manipulation skills to undermine, lie, and plant poisonous seeds in the minds of the other characters in order for a conspiracy to begin to weave its web. Thus Iago is able to catch each character off guard and succeed in his goal of revenge.
To be successful in his plan Iago looks for the other characters' key weaknesses. Othello is the main example. At the beginning Othello, a moor and military man is a very noble and eloquent speaker. He is tactful, wise polite courteous and proud. In the council chambers scene he is commented on by Brabantio “ thou hast enchanted her,” by an officer “most worthy signor,” by Desdemona “ and to his honours and valiant parts,” by the Duke “your son-in-law is far more fair than black,” and by Iago “I hate the moor.” The effect of this is conveying Othello as a horrid yet kind man. But his speech conveys his gallant and noble nature “Most potent...reverend signore's...rude am I in my speech...I won his daughter.” Honest and overwhelming, Othello is the hero. But when Iago uses Othello's insecurity of age, race and relation in venetian society to cause jealousy to poison his mind, Othello's heroic and noble nature becomes dark and a reflection of Iago's hatred. Iago is then able to use this jealousy to humiliate Othello's status, and lose those close to him. Thus succeeding in Iago's plan to see Othello suffer.
Iago uses the the trust bond of friendship between him and Othello to plant his seeds of jealousy. Their friendship goes back to the days of war and this is conveyed when stated “My ancient: a man of honesty and trust. To his conveyance I assign my wife.” The effect of this statement by Othello allows the audience to know that there's a strong trust Othello has for Iago and is further conveyed when Othello assigns his wife...
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