Shakespeare's "Othello" exhibits the demise of man via jealousy and rumor. The work showcases perhaps the gravest villain in literary times, Iago, whose evil cunning and masterful manipulation steamrolls the demise of honorable reputations; the destruction of intimate relationships, both brotherly and romantic; and finally, breaks down the sanity and conviction of stable men due to excessive need to protect ego and preserve personal pride.
Iago's control of people's attitudes ultimately led to the downfall of honorable reputations. In the beginning, Iago states that he hates Othello because of his recent promotion of Michael Cassio to the post of lieutenant. In response, Iago plans to ruin Cassio's reputation during one night at Cyprus:
"If I can fasten but one cup upon him,
With that which he hath drunk to-night already,
He'll be as full of quarrel and offence
As my young mistress' dog" (Act 2 Scene 3 49-52).
Iago wanted Cassio to drink more wine because he wanted Cassio to be drunk and argumentative when later that night. Iago told Montano, the mayor of Cyprus, that Cassio was drunk every night casting doubt on Othello's judgment for appointing Cassio, by implying that Cassio may be drunk during battle. This led to Othello to believe that Cassio is irresponsible and dishonorable, and as a result stripped Cassio of his position. Later on, when Othello is convinced that Desdemona is having an affair, he acts irrationally and violently towards Desdemona in front of Lodovico, a Venetian noble, who questions if the person he just saw is the honorable and respectful Othello he has come to know.
"Is this the noble Moor, whom our full senate
call all in all sufficient? Is this the nature
Whom passion could not shake, whose solid virtue
The shot of accident nor dart of chance
Could neither graze nor pierce?" (Act 4 Scene 1 297-301)
Lodovico is surprised to see Othello act so emotional, because he had the impression that...
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