Contemptuous Notions at Work
In William Shakespeares “Othello, The Moor of Venice” play, there are several motifs of power, jealousy, contempt, and even well-disguised hatred. There are also underlying innuendoes in the story that suggest or prompt the reader to feel the same as the character that they are reading about and who they are speaking of. Upon reading the opening act, as Iago speaks with Roderigo, there are hints of Iago’s jealousy toward Cassio for being appointed as Officer, and a slight contempt for Othello as well. Even though Iago’s statement of being “Christened and heathen, must be beleed and calmed by debitor and creditor.” (1.1.31) To be read as Christian and heathen, the reader is not aware at this point of just how devious and manipulative Iago will become and he will eventually be the downfall of Othello, along with others that seem to be pawns in his malicious game. Othello does obviously hold a certain type of power with his position, but it is that position that allows him to meet Desdemona through her father. Desdemona is mesmerized by the stories that Othello shared while on these visits to her father’s home as Othello testified to the Council, “She loved me for the dangers I had passed, And I loved her that she did pity them.” (1.3.170). Othello was bid by the council because they trusted him to handle the state of affairs
with the Turkish. Now enter Cassio who was appointed as Othello’s officer, a reader would assume that he also held a certain amount of power if even just by the position that others would look up to him. When Iago finds out that Othello has married Desdemona he finds this as an opportunity to set his revenge and despicable scheme in place that has originated from his jealousy of Cassio and his contempt for Othello. Throughout the entire play Iago seems intent on destroying Othello and has no compassion for the people that get hurt along the way. It was through Iago’s jealousy that he plants doubts about...
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