A.P. Lit/Critical Lens Essay
Who’s Got The Power?
Throughout all of human existence, the desire for power has overruled everything. We are constantly trying to be better than the ones around us, and are jealous of those who are on top. In many situations, it seems that no matter how hard we try, we can never get to that point of control that we so badly strive for. In Shakespeare’s tragically deceptive play, “Othello”, the symbolism and conflict throughout the play continually demonstrates Iago’s struggle to gain power. Through Iago’s miserable fail to obtain the power he so badly aspires, Shakespeare proves that the human race can never be happy with what they have, and that they are always trying to be better than everyone else.
Iago uses the power over emotion to control Roderigo. Roderigo wants to prove his love to Desdemona, and Iago jumps at the chance to use this situation to his advantage. This is proven when he takes Roderigo’s gold and jewels to give to Desdemona, but keeps them for himself saying: “The jewels you have had from me to deliver to Desdemona would half have corrupted a votarist: you have told me she hath received them and returned me expectations and comforts of sudden respect and acquaintance, but I find none.” Once Iago was aware of Roderigo’s love for Desdemona, he became jealous of that relationship. He wanted power over Roderigo, and if Roderigo was thinking about something else, it meant he wasn’t helping Iago.
Iago effectively continued to gain and control his power. He was a very intelligent intellectual, which strongly benefited his ability to manipulate everyone he knew. After he manipulated Roderigo, he took over Cassio’s life. He was upset that Othello trusted Cassio with everything rather than himself. He became so jealous that he did everything he could to ruin the lives of everyone around him, while climbing to the top. Iago unveils his jealousy, saying “One Michael Cassio, a Florentine, A fellow almost...
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