Injustice in the Tragedy of Othello
In the Tragedy of Othello, by William Shakespeare, an injustice is done to the main character, Othello the Moor. He is manipulated by the archetypal villain Iago to satiate Iago’s need for control and his desire to revenge himself upon Othello. Othello the General has promoted another, Cassio, to hold the position that Iago feels he deserves. For the injustice that Iago feels has been committed against him, he brings about the destruction of Othello and his wife, Desdemona, using Cassio as his tool for doing so.
Iago is the master villain in Othello, and is indeed a prototypal villain; that is, he is the mold for many other villains in many other works. He is cunning, decisive, and able to take advantage of any set of circumstances. He molds the people around him and his surroundings to suit his own “peculiar” ends. And best of all, Iago appears to be a good and honest person to all involved parties until just before the close of the play. Everyone is his willing dupe. Every master villain attempts his level of excellency.
Iago, to achieve his revenge, makes Othello wrongfully suspect his wife of infidelity, and makes him insane with jealousy, enough to kill her in his rage. Othello is the general of the city of Venice, and a foreigner, a dark-skinned Moor. He has eloped with a senator’s daughter, Desdemona, and they love each other dearly. Othello is a level-headed practitioner of war, and is not ruffled by hints and allegations; that is, until his mind is poisoned by the machinations of Iago. Iago plants ideas in Othello’s head, uses the innocent actions of others as his proof; and Othello, who is not practiced in worldly matters, believes his ‘honest Iago”, and eventually is consumed by the lie.
Shakespeare sets up the character of Othello as a man who is calm and steadfast, as shown by reactions of Othello in Act I, scenes ii-iii, when Senator Brabantio accuses Othello of...
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