Iago: Hero Or Villain In About Othello By William Shakespeare

690 words - 3 pages

Othello as a text transcends the constraints of time creating a piece of intrinsic and everlasting value. Shakespeare masterfully manipulates the English language to give his characters an enduring power, the concepts that they represent holding significance throughout all societies. The driving force behind the tragedy and characters in Othello is the character of Iago. Like the domineering marionette, Iago manipulates the 'strings' of the characters to incite his desired response. He utilises a combination of deception and the exploitation of the faults of the other characters to achieve his goals. It is through his manipulation that the major component themes come to the fore, that being deception, jealousy and revenge. There is an evident connection between these themes and the nature of the characters, the themes being embodied by them. The embodiment is achieved through the techniques employed by the characters namely allusion and contrast.Iago manipulates his 'puppets' through a series of deceit and lies which course through the veins of the play. "I hate the moor," a line which Iago affirms throughout the play to his confidents. This reveals the core of his deception, that being his façade of loyalty to Othello. This unbridled hatred expressed the contextual feeling of an Elizabethan audience towards a moor, a 'black' Muslim. Throughout the play it is shown that Iago holds a general contempt for all other characters and he sees them as nothing more than 'puppets' to be manipulated. Othello is the main recipient of Iago's deception. Iago's concoction of Desdemona's and Cassio's affair is created through Othello, utilising his insecurities against him. Through the allusion it appears as though Othello is the construct of these lies removing the blame from Iago. He speaks of his views of Cassio's honesty stating, "Michael Cassio, I dare be sworn I think he is honest." It is here that through Iago appearing uncertain in his response to Othello's questions that Othello too becomes uncertain. It unnerves Othello and he probes Iago to determine what it was that he was alluding to. The...

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