A Discussion of the Presentation of Manipulation in Shakespeare’s Othello and Christopher Marlow’s Doctor Faustus

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The theme on manipulation and deception is central to both the characters and plots of Shakespeare’s Othello and Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. Though story line and context of the two plays is very different, similarities can be found through the theme of manipulation and deception. Both of these plays contain events of manipulation sometimes manipulating other people and themselves. Shakespeare’s Othello shows us that the character Iago is very manipulating and its no secret he shares his evils plans with the audience at some points even manipulating them into feeling sympathetic towards him. The character of Faustus can be compared to the character of Iago in Othello. Faustus dissatisfaction with life can also be related to Iago's unhappiness with his status and personal life. Both these characters deceive themselves, deceiving themselves or the characters around them there becomes an absolute play on words and actions, wherein the identity and outcome is strengthened or lost. Iago wishes to be Othello and this becomes apparent in his discussion regarding Cassio promotion, his social status, and his own identity. Iago seems to deceive himself, by wishing he were Othello and by doing so he almost believes he is Othello. Shakespeare states: “Were I the Moor I would not be Iago,” begins Iago abolishing his own identify to fulfill his desires to be another person (line 58). Despite the way iago manipulates and deceives these people he is still treated with the utmost respect. Referred to as “Honest Iago” by Othello who is of the highest rank.
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