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William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

1715 words - 7 pages

William Shakespeare's Othello

The sequence progresses in a way that when Cassio leaves the scene,
Iago has time to contemplate his next actions, and with the arrival
and exit of Roderigo, Iago again formulates his devious plan according
to the development of the situation. In a way, Iago is going with the
flow, and that should the actions taken by the other characters in the
play have unpleasant consequences, his part was not significant as he
is not the “villain”. This sequence allow us to see Iago’s
manipulative nature in a continuous form; from the way he has made
others see him to the revelation of his true self. Audience might feel
a sense of revolt and disgust at Iago’s lack of emotional attachment
to others and yet, be amazed by his mastery at switching from one
façade to another in a trice, manipulating even men of import who
command much respect with such perfection that his plans are not
revealed or realised, except by the audience through his soliloquies.
Towards the rest of the characters, both appearing in this sequence
and not, audience might sympathize with them because of the impending
tragedy that ensues of which Iago have already let them in on.

Iago is able to capitalise on the weaknesses of others to attain what
he covets. Iago pretends to be a true friend by advising Cassio to
seek help from Desdemona upon being stripped of his lieutenant
position. Iago knows of Othello’s “weak function” when it comes to
Desdemona. He associates Othello and Desdemona’s love with religion,
something divine, more specifically, Christianity, as in “All seals
and symbols of redeemed sin”. Without gaining insight on his true
motives for advising Cassio, one would believe that his advice is
sound, as Othello respects Desdemona dearly and would likely take her
advice. Even Cassio, a man of knowledge as made known in Act 1 Scene
1, believes that Iago “advise me [him] well”. Iago, acting ever so
godly, replies “I protest, in the sincerity of love and honest
kindness”. The audience will be able to see this as proof of Iago’s
lack of moral values, as this is an outright lie because he has no
love for Cassio and he is certainly up to no good, as the audience and
himself would know. The audience thus feel it is appropriate when in
his soliloquy that he should use the devil’s work to compare to his
own deceitful work The devil will suggest “heavenly shows” initially
to tempt one into sinning, whereas for him, he will rose-tint the
whole situation to lure the people into doing things that would
ultimately lead to their doom. In this case, sinning is similar to the
actions the characters would undertake, as by doing both, they will
suffer eventually, in the temporal world or beyond life. By
associating Othello and Desdemona’s love with divinity and godliness,
Iago is by no means putting...

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