Othello – Essay Assignment
Result of Revenge
A desire for revenge can overcome a person and have great detrimental effects. This is especially true in the play Othello by William Shakespeare. The play takes place in a time of war between Italy and Turkey. The play begins in Venice, Italy but then shifts to the island of Cyprus for the remainder of the play. In the play, the main antagonist Iago was not chosen for a position of lieutenancy by his general, Othello. Othello had chosen a man named Cassio over Iago. Iago, being very envious of Othello and Cassio, plots a plan for revenge.
Early on in the play, we find that Othello has complications in his marriage to Desdemona. Othello and Desdemona are seen as opposites in which Desdemona is an innocent, sweet, high class white woman, while Othello is a tough, ugly, and black war general. Iago, using this knowledge, begins to plot his revenge. Iago says, “I hate the Moor, and it is thought abroad that ‘twixt my sheets ‘has done my office. I know not if’t be true, but I, for mere suspicion in that kind, will do as if for surety” (Act 1, iii, 429-433). Iago, in this quote, suggests that a rumor about Othello sleeping with his wife may not be true, but he will pretend it is in order to better his plot for revenge. Iago’s first step in the plan was to endanger Othello’s relationship by telling Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, about their marriage. Othello claims he will not hide because he has nothing to be afraid of and ask Iago if he agrees. Iago says, “By Janus, I think no” (Act 1, ii, 38). Iago alludes to the Greek god Janus that supposedly had two faces. This is an example of dramatic-irony because the audience knows that Iago himself is two-faced since he pretends to be nice but in actuality is trying to get revenge; Othello is also unaware of Iago’s other motives.
Iago, in his plot for revenge, often uses psychological means to manipulate people. When Brabantio is talking to Othello, he...