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Othello Essay

By Ki_chan Dec 01, 2013 762 Words
 Iago’s Manipulation In Othello we see what jealousy and pride can do to a man and to what extent they will go to satisfy their inner demons. Many a man has fallen prey to the lies of a quick tongue, as well as the humiliation that comes with their confidence and pride. It is hard to say exactly what drives any one man to his dire actions, but one can assume that his temper, pride or honor was the starting spark that led to a fire. Tell me, what drives a man to use others to achieve his goals? In Othello many things were seen and one of the most intricate things was Iago’s manipulation. Iago was able to manipulate others by misusing their unadulterated trust in him as an honest, caring man. Iago picks fools who would suffer him not only gladly, but unknowingly because it serves his purpose easily. He doesn’t have to work hard to gain their trust and his lies are more like hidden truths that his victims want to hear. Iago is excellent at telling others what they want to hear and in this way he can go on without feeling guilty. He also knows how to gain the trust of others by attacking the credibility of some of the characters. This is seen when he gains Roderigo’s trust and his help, which happened only through the hate that Roderigo feels toward Othello. This hatred stems from the fact that Othello married Desdemona, whom Roderigo was in love with. Then not only does he prevent any form of a relationship between Othello and Roderigo, he ruins any chance of one between Cassio and Roderigo as well by announcing Cassio as competition to win over Desdemona. Lastly he takes the strong love between Othello and Cassio by first getting the young lieutenant drunk, which caused him to lose his job and then something more sinister; he made a mere mention of a relationship between the sweet Desdemona and Cassio to Othello, reducing Othello’s relationship with Cassio and his wife to dust. These actions allow Iago to gain the trust of each of these individuals even as he feeds lies to them and turns them against one another. Iago’s lies are very realistic and cause every character to believe any words that come from his mouth. To top that is his penchant for acting, for it is nearly flawless as it is superb, at least to the emotionally distraught person; he knows how to gauge people’s expectations and reactions. He uses this to his advantage and receives the best results almost every time. His quick thinking allows him to fix any problems he encounters in his plans. Iago uses these skills when he’s explaining how Cassio, in sleep, had admitted to having a secret relationship with Desdemona. . It had all come out sounding very real though as if it had actually happened…at least in the anger shrouded eyes of Othello. He added in many details and acted as appalled as anyone would’ve if they’d found such a secret, but he was really relying on the fact that Othello trusted him and was easily riled up. If Iago hadn’t had those traits to fall back on then Othello would’ve found little weird details and probably would’ve asked questions, but he didn’t question it. He didn’t ask what Iago was doing lying with Cassio; he didn’t ask why he hadn’t awoken the man and demanded the truth. No, all he heard was Cassio’s confession of a secret love with Desdemona and that was all he needed to hear. He also shows off his skills when he kills Roderigo and then pretends to be hurting over the loss when really he was glad to be rid of the other young man. Iago managed to ruin Othello’s life with his lies and in the end his vengeance was satiated at only one unwanted price; his life. He had done everything in his power to use people to his advantage just to get what he wanted. He was able to claim the lives of those who he had felt caused him the most strife, his only failure being Cassio, who still lived. Iago’s lack of guilt or remorse made it easy for him to manipulate everyone without a second thought, but this led to him being overconfident and in the end he lost the things he’d been reaching for; power and freedom.

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