Discuss Possible Interpretations Of Iago's Behaviour.Refer To Iago's Manipulation Of The Various Power Structures Within The Play.

1254 words - 5 pages

Throughout the play 'Othello' the main aim of Iago's behaviour is to bring about the downfall of Othello, due to the fact that Othello gave away the position of Lieutenant to Cassio when it was he who wanted to gain this position. Iago's behaviour is driven by his motives of revenge, vanity and envy towards Othello In order to ruin Othello Iago manipulates such power structure as the military, race and gender to undermine Othello and bring about his ultimate downfall.One of Iago's main motives throughout the play is jealousy. He is racked with jealousy due to the fact that Othello, the general, gave away the position of lieutenant to Cassio. Iago feels that this position is rightfully his. "I know my price, I am worth no worse a place", Iago states that he feels he is worth no less a place within the military than Lieutenant. Due to his envy of Cassio and hatred towards Othello, Iago manipulates the military power structure to ruin Othello. As Othello has the highest position of general and so is well respected and thought of by other characters. Due to this it is felt by all that Othello's decision to make Cassio general is right. Iago uses this fact to make a fool of Othello. He gets Cassio drunk whilst he is meant to be on duty; therefore Othello is made to look a fool by employing someone who is not capable of the job. This makes doubts arise in Othello's mind as to whether he made the right decision.The power structure of race is also used throughout the play to ruin Othello. Elizabethan society, at the time that the play was written was racist. This is shown by the reaction of society to Othello, even though he is the general and well respected professionally he is still referred to throughout the play as "the moor", a derogatory term for a black person. This is also seen through Brabantio's reaction to Desdemona marrying Othello. "Oh thou foul thief, Where hast thou stow'd my daughter?" His reaction is so as mixed race marriage was extremely frowned upon. Brabantio cannot believe these are Desdemona's true feelings. "Thou hast enchanted her" He even suggests that Othello was used black magic in order to marry Desdemona. Iago first places this doubt in Brabantio's mind in act one scene one. He tries to stop their marriage by telling Brabantio this. Iago does not want Othello's marriage to take place as he doe not want to see the general's life run smoothly due to his bitterness at not receiving his desired job. The full extent of this racial prejudice is seen as Brabantio would rather see Desdemona marry the white character Rodrigo who is portrayed as a fool; who is also easily manipulated by Iago by Shakespeare than a black man.These doubts as to if Desdemona truly wanted to marry Othello are used by Iago further in the gender power structure to manipulate his perspective towards others. The attitudes towards women at the time the play was written was that all Venetian women were of a certain stereotype and that they may be easily...

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