Justice And Injustice In Othello Essay

1180 words - 5 pages

Justice and Injustice in Othello 

    In the Tragedy of Othello, by William Shakespeare, a great injustice is done to the main character, Othello the Moor. Othello is manipulated by the villain Iago to satiate Iago’s need for control and his desire for revenge. 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 mould for many other villains in their own deeds. He appears to be cunning, decisive, and able to take advantage of any set of circumstances. He moulds the people around him and his surroundings to suit his own “peculiar” ends. Furthermore 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 excellence.

 Iago, to achieve his revenge manipulates Othello into wrongfully suspecting 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 as foreigner, a dark-skinned Moor. Othello appears to be a even-tempered 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 the misnomer of the “honest Iago”, and eventually is consumed by the lie.

 Shakespeare portrays 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 using witchcraft to woo his daughter. Othello replies calmly and eloquently in contrast to Brabantio’s hysteria, explaining that he did not use any sorcery except that of his presence. He tells Iago, when Iago urges him to hide,

“My parts, my title, and my perfect soul/

Shall manifest me rightly.”

Othello is a man who is in control of his emotions, and is seen as a strong, respectable man in such whereas Brabantio’s is not.

Iago attempts to discredit Cassio is the eyes of Othello (II.iii). He enables Cassio to become intoxicated and then later Roderigo picks a fight with him. Othello finds Cassio at fault for the fight, which he seems to be at first glance., and removes him from his office. Even after it is done with, neither have any idea they were manipulated by Iago, but think he is a wonderful person, better, in fact, because of this incident.

 Iago drives a stake in between Othello and Cassio, one that he slips in to break them apart. Once Cassio is relieved from his post, he is no longer present to refute the allegations that Iago makes...

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