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Othello And Iago In William Shakespeare's Play

3666 words - 15 pages

Othello and Iago in William Shakespeare's Play

Othello, the main character in the play is married to Desdemona. At
the start of the play Othello is seen as evil and bad by all the other
characters and the audience. Brobantio (Desdemona's father), dislikes
Othello very much at the start of the play. This is because Othello
married Desdemona without her father's consent and Brobantio thinks
Othello has used black magic to win Desdemona's love. Whereas, this
isn't the case, Othello married Desdemona because he loved her and she
loved him. Also, in the time period the play is set, women were never
seen as very important people in society and they were seen as the
property of men. Usually their husband or father, this is why
Brobantio is angry about the fact, Othello married Desdemona.
Brobantio calls Othello a "foul thief", because of this. We also see
Iago talking about Othello in a very cruel and foul way to Roderigo.
For instance, Iago uses very racist language when talking about
Othello, and he encourages Roderigo to do so too, "thick lips"; this
is a very racist term used to describe black people. A racist thing
Iago says is,

"An old black ram/ is tupping your white ewe", Othello is described as
an evil black man here, (the black ram), corrupting an innocent white
woman, (the white ewe).

However, Othello isn't an evil and bad man after all, he puts this
idea forward very quickly to both, the characters and the audience. We
see that Othello is a very honest and good man. Also, he is a very
good and well-respected soldier so he certainly wants respect off
other people. We get this idea when Othello talks about why he loves
Desdemona, in court,

"She loved me for the dangers I had passed/ and I loved her, that she
did pity them". In other words, Desdemona loved Othello for the life
threatening things he's done and Othello loved Desdemona for pitying
them. This remark clears his name for marrying Desdemona. The Duke and
Brobantio become convinced that Othello loves Desdemona enough, to set
Othello free, without facing any serious charges. We also learn,
Othello is called on business to Cyprus and he has been "most hotly
called for", in the court case. In other words, Othello has been
called to Cyprus because he is a very important soldier. Othello takes
Desdemona to Cyprus with him. This shows Othello is a kind and honest
man because he is kind enough to take his wife with him, not to leave
her behind like many men would have.

On the other hand, however, the audience see that Iago is evil and
bad, the first time they meet him, whereas, all the characters see him
as honest and good at the start of the play. Roderigo is easily
tricked into thinking Iago is going to help get him and Desdemona
together, (even though Desdemona is already married), if he keeps
paying Iago...

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