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The Role Iago Played in Othello's Downfall

Othello is a tragedy by William Shakespeare set in Venice. Othello is a extremely respected common and Iago is his ambitious comrade. Othello promotes Michael Cassio to the position of lieutenant and Iago becomes incredibly jealous. Iago starts plotting against Othello, the eponymous hero, and turns him against his wife, Desdemona, daughter of the senator of Venice, Brabantio, by telling him of her supposed infidelity with his lieutenant, Cassio. In a fit of jealous rage, Othello smothers Desdemona to death. Emilia, Iago’s wife, then speaks the truth of Iago’s program to Othello and Othello lashes out in his anger by wounding Iago. He then kills himself out of grief for the loss of Desdemona and of guilt. Iago kills Emilia out of anger at her betrayal and is arrested for his crimes. Iago is the tragic villain of the play as he performs opposite to the hero and provokes the eponymous hero’s own fatal flaws, which leads to the tragic conclusion. Iago is regarded as a strong, Machiavellian villain and antagonist as he holds the majority of the lines, practically double to that of the protagonist and tragic hero, Othello, giving him energy over Othello as properly as the space to use the maximum amount of words to manipulate the hero into participating in his crimes. Iago plays the role of the wise villain as he is both cunning and manipulative. With regards to how Iago manipulates and deceives the six crucial characters, Roderigo, Brabantio, Desdemona, Emilia, Cassio and Othello, Iago comes across as the most considerable contributor to Othello’s downfall.

Iago tends to make use of Roderigo’s idiocy to use him as the important in beginning his campaign against Othello. Roderigo is considered the fool of the play and is also hopelessly in adore with Desdemona. Iago identifies that Roderigo is certainly an straightforward mark and realises that Roderigo will do something to be with his beloved Desdemona and starts to use him as a paw. Iago states to Roderigo that he too hates the Moor, “Roderigo – Thou told’st me thou didst hold him in thy hate. Iago – Despise me if I do not.” (1.1.7-8). He also hints to Roderigo of how he plans to thwart Othello, “Iago – Regardless of whether I am in any just term am affined/To enjoy the Moor. Roderigo – I would not stick to him then. Iago – O sir, content you./I stick to him to serve my turn upon him.” (1.1.38-42) and consequently telling Iago of Othello’s wrongs in deciding on Cassio over him, adding to Roderigo’s motives for hating Othello. Iago convinces Roderigo to speak to Desdemona’s father and tell him of the secret marriage among Othello and his daughter understanding this will lead to tension between Brabantio and Othello. Iago tricks Roderigo out of his money as nicely by telling him to “put income in thy/purse,” (1.three.333-334) and to place his trust in him. In his soliloquy Iago speaks to the audience acknowledging Roderigo as a “fool” (1.3.365). Using the expertise of his really like for Desdemona, Iago manages to turn Roderigo against Cassio by telling him that “Desdemona is straight in adore with him.” (two.1.210). Roderigo is talked into angering and fighting Cassio by Iago in the course of Act two.1. 250-260 stating that by performing this Roderigo will “have a shorter journey to your/desires” (2.1.259-260) namely Desdemona. By provoking Cassio, Roderigo manages to get him stripped from his rank of lieutenant. Roderigo, nevertheless, starts to suspect Iago, and Iago has to feel on his feet and persuades Roderigo into getting into yet another duel with Cassio “Why, by generating him incapable of Othello’s spot – knocking out/his brains.” (four.two.222-223) this time with the aim to finish with Roderigo, Cassio or each dead. Each nevertheless survive and Iago acknowledges Roderigo as a loose cannon and as a result kills him, realizing the Roderigo could jeopardise his cunning plan, such as in Shakespeare’s play, Richard II, exactly where Richard II hired Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, to kill his uncle, then persecuted Mowbray for carrying out so to remove his chance of getting caught himself. The influence that Iago poses on Roderigo leads him into bringing down Cassio from his ranks, which as will be explored later on, leads to Othello’s downfall. As a result Iago is indirectly responsible for Othello’s downfall by means of his exploitations of Roderigo.

Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, is possibly Iago’s most critical victim. He is an essential man in Venice a Venetian senator, a well-known citizen and landowner. Like many Venetian men of the time, his reputation is the upholder of his honour. Iago assumes this as Brabantio’s weakness and he and Roderigo remove Brabantio’s honour by telling him of how his daughter has been stolen from him by the Moor. He compares Othello’s actions to that of a thief, stealing Brabantio’s daughters virginity and virtue. Iago makes use of double entendre in animal imagery “Even now, now, really now, an old black ram/Is tupping your white ewe.” (1.1.89-90) eferring to sexual imagery of Othello and Desdemona to provoke Bradantio’s anger and embarrassment. By referring to Othello as no far more than an animal, “an old black ram (1.1.89)” “a Barbary/horse” (1.1.111) Iago also reminds Brabantio “You are a senator” (1.1.118) highlighting of how this marriage of the Moor and Desdemona would have an effect on Brabantio’s honour and pride as his daughter is a reflection of him and in the Venetian society of those times the daughter was home of her father, which Desdemona acknowledges “You are lord of all my duty/I am hitherto your daughter.” (1.3.182-183), and it was her fathers duty to pass her off to a suitable man who was worthy of the daughter, exact same social class and exact same race. This defiance on Desdemona’s portion would negatively influence her fathers honour as it appears he has lost manage. The fundamental point spoken by Brabantio is “Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see:/She has deceived her father and may possibly thee.” (1.three.188-189), this creates a subconscious element of doubt in Othello’s mind and Iago couldn’t have planned it greater than if he’d mentioned it himself. This could be noticed as the point where Othello’s downfall began.

Iago also makes use of Cassio, Othello’s appointed lieutenant, by suggesting that Desdemona has a sexual partnership with Cassio for that reason stirring Othello’s jealousy. He was selected over Iago who resents him now for this. Iago’s motive for like Cassio into his plot is jealousy. We see Iago’s anger at getting passed over for the promotion in the opening act, “A fellow virtually damn’d in a fair wife … He, in excellent time, must his lieutenant be,/And I, God bless the mark, his Moorship’s ancient.” (1.1.21-33) It is also supposed that Iago is jealous of Cassio more than his appears and charm to which Desdemona may locate appealing, “Besides, the knave is handsome, young, and hath/all those requisites in him that folly and green minds look soon after./A pestilent full knave and the lady hath found him/currently.” (2.1.232-235) Iago comes to understand that Cassio is just the man that most guys (green minds) would be jealous of and decides to use this against Othello’s weakness. Another motive for Iago’s jealousy is that he believes his wife to have slept with Cassio, too. “For I fear Cassio with my night-cap too” (2.1.288) Iago then identifies Cassio’s weakness as having low tolerance for alcohol, “I have drunk but 1 cup tonight, and that was craftily/qualified too and behold what innovation it tends to make here. I am/unfortunate in the infirmity and dare not activity my weakness with/any more.” (2.three.32-35) and convinces the imprudent Cassio to have yet an additional drink, blindly taking the bait. Iago uses this to lure Cassio into the drunken brawl with Roderigo, which would lead to his expulsion which as Iago knows that the reckless behaviour will insult Othello, “Am I to place our Cassio in some action/That could offend the isle.” (two.three.53-54). By convincing Cassio to go seek assist into restoring his position from Desdemona, Iago can commence manipulating Othello into believing that Desdemona’s causes of displaying preference more than Cassio are significantly less than honourable, leaving Iago cost-free to strengthen the sense of doubt and jealousy in Othello. Iago reveals this plan in his soliloquy, “For whiles this truthful fool/Plies Desdemona to repair his fortunes,/And she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,/I’ll pour this pestilence into his ear:/That she repeals him for her body’s lust.”(2.three.320-324). Iago also plants the token that Othello gave to his wife, the handkerchief in Cassio’s lodgings and when Othello sees this, he takes it as proof of his wife’s infidelity. As the final straw of Othello’s tolerance grows shorter, Iago makes use of Cassio for the final time into tricking him into speaking of Bianca, his mistress, whilst Othello thinks he speaks of Desdemona. “And his unbookish jealousy need to construe/Poor Cassio’s smiles, gestures, and light behaviours/Quite in the wrong.” (four.1.99-101). Iago makes use of Cassio all through the play to give proof to Othello and to heighten his currently present weakness of rash temper and jealousy, spurring on the approach of Othello’s disgrace and after again circuitously top to Othello’s demise as was accomplished with Roderigo.

The two primary females of the play are produced use of by Iago throughout his campaign against Othello as effectively and this is exactly where the significance of the handkerchief comes in. Iago asks his wife, Emilia, to steal the handkerchief for him, which she does. She reveals of what importance this handkerchief is to the Moor as it was Desdemona’s “first remembrance from the Moor.” (three.3.293) With the handkerchief in his possession, Iago speaks of how he has poisoned the Moor’s thoughts currently with jealousy and words of betrayal and that this handkerchief, which he will place in Cassio’s lodgings, will be noticed as proof of betrayal by the Moor. He acknowledges that Othello is already beneath the influence of his manipulation in a metaphor referring to his manipulations as poison, “I will in Cassio’s lodging drop this napkin … As proofs of holy writ …The Moor currently alterations with my poison:/Unsafe conceits are in their nature poisons …like the mines of sulphur.” (three.three.322-330) In the final scene when Emilia discovers Iago’s intention, she speaks them to Othello and as Othello comes to realise her truths, he breaks down entirely out of grief and guilt and commits suicide. Iago also plays about with Desdemona, abusing her vulnerability and naivety of thoughts to frustrate Othello, “So I will turn her virtue into pitch,/And out of her personal goodness make the net/That shall enmesh them all.” Iago reveals that he shall use Desdemona as the essential to Othello’s downfall. He knows that Desdemona’s naivety will not let her recognize her husband’s jealousy or anger and he counts on this by forcing Othello to confront Desdemona regarding the handkerchief. Realizing that Desdemona will deny losing it, Iago believes that Othello will see this avoidance of topic as guilt: “Is’t lost? Is’t gone? Speak is’t this out of th’way? … Zounds!” (three.four.76-93) consequently this would confirm, in Othello’s eyes, that Desdemona is obtaining an affair with Cassio which would lead him to agree to Iago’s plots of their deaths out of jealousy and rage. This would be the point of no return in the play, where Desdemona and Othello’s fates are decided.

Possibly Iago’s most sorrowful victim of all is Othello himself. By means of sturdy imagery and language, Iago manages to manipulate Othello into believing that Desdemona has certainly deceived him. Iago begins his manipulation by implies of an outburst which he then tries to take back, “Ha! I like not that!” (three.3.34) referring to Othello and him seeing Desdemona and Cassio speaking alone. This outburst guarantees Othello’s consideration and Iago can start passing out his “medicine.” Iago identifies Othello’s weaknesses getting jealousy and temper. He uses several techniques to draw these feelings out into the open. Iago starts to lodge bits of doubt into Othello, asking why Cassio steals away from them looking guilty. (3.three.48) Iago replays Brabantio’s initial warning reminding Othello that “She did deceive her father, marrying you And when she seemed to shake and fear your appears/She loved them most.” (three.3.207-208). Their secret marriage hyperlinks to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet exactly where Juliet eloped with her Romeo, therefore deceiving her father. Their marriage went against the society of their time and ended in both of their deaths. In a way the secret marriage of Desdemona and Othello foreshadows a fatal outcome when compared to the fates of Romeo and Juliet. When Othello asks for proof, Iago tells him of how Cassio once lay next to him and in the evening spoke of entering into adultery with Desdemona. “I lay with Cassio lately … fate that gave thee to the Moor.’” (three.three.414-427) He uses sexual imagery of how Cassio tried to kiss him and give himself to Iago. This further angers Othello. Iago also mentions seeing Cassio wipe his beard with the handkerchief that Othello had given to Desdemona. When Desdemona can not create the handkerchief (as Iago has stolen it) Othello’s suspicions become greater, as does his jealousy. In Act 4 Scene 1 Othello is in hiding and sees Bianca strategy Cassio with his handkerchief, in Othello’s eye’s this confirms his suspicion. Hearing Iago and Cassio speak of Bianca in such derogatory terms, by referring to as “poor rogue” “monkey”, and referring to her actions of how she threw herself at him (4.1.128-131),he believes that they speak of Desdemona, angering him additional. Iago convinces Othello that Desdemona wants to be killed. “If you are so fond over her iniquity, give her patent to offend/for if it touch not you, it comes near no one.” (4.1.186-187)

Seeing the way that Iago has managed to manipulate and deceive each and every and each character in Othello by recognizing their vulnerability and weaknesses, we see how each and every deception played a portion in Othello’s downfall by means of the exploitation of their weaknesses. Iago played on their weaknesses and employed them to heighten Othello’s jealousy and temper which ultimately led to his downfall. So although it was the hero’s own flaws that in the end did lead to his end, it was certainly Iago who initiated the coming out of these flaws and had carried out almost everything he possibly could to bring Othello down as we see in the final scene where Othello’s anger and jealousy set off by Iago, lead to him killing his wife and himself. As Iago’s role of becoming the clever villain leads to Othello’s demise, we can as a result say that it was certainly accomplished out of cunning the other characters into trusting him, deceiving Othello into believing that Iago was certainly “honest” , hatred towards Cassio and Othello which bloomed out of jealousy and good fortune.
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