To what extent is manipulation central to the play as a whole?
William Shakespeare’s eponymously titled play ‘Othello’, manifests greed, ambition, jealousy, revenge and most of all, manipulation. Iago’s skillful manipulation of protagonist, Othello, eventually leads Othello to self destruct. The once “noble and valiant moor” is transformed into the “blacker devil” as he kills his beloved Desdemona due to her supposed infidelity with lieutenant Cassio. This is an illusion that Iago had created by insinuating that “the fair and gentle Desdemona” had turned her husband Othello into a cuckold. This manipulation is central to the play because it leads to the death of many main characters such as Desdemona, Rodrigo and Emilia. It is also the reason for the ultimate downfall of Othello.
At the commencement of the play, Othello is poetic in his use of language, “she loved me for the dangers I had past, and I love her for she did pity them.” The citizens of Venice clearly respect Othello due to his exceptional talent as a general in the Venetian Army. He also has a proud nature which is evident very early on in the play as he states “my parts, my title and my perfect soul, shall manifest me rightly”, clearly suggesting that these are the most important aspects of his life. Once swayed by the evil, manipulative Iago, Othello loses all eloquence. His inability to seek ocular proof due to his trusting nature, quite quickly leads him to believe that Desdemona is a “filthy strumpet”. Iago knew that Othello’s pride would quickly turn into aggravated folly. The accusations of Desdemona’s supposed cuckolding causes Othello to transform his life into turmoil as he refuses to temper his pride and in turn, loses all self-confidence and composure. The successfulness of Iago’s manipulation could be due to Othello’s inflammable nature, which one may argue as being innate to some extent in all humans. Iago had never given Othello any reason to deem him untrustworthy before “ as...
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