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Explore the ways in which Iago destroys the relationship between Desdemona and Othello

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Introduction

Explore the ways in which Iago destroys the relationship between Desdemona and Othello It is obvious from the very beginning of the play that Iago plans to get his revenge upon Othello. For instance he comments that "I follow him to serve my turn upon him." However it does not become immediately apparent what Iago is going to do until Act 1 Scene 3 when he states that "To get his place and plume my will...after some time, to abuse Othello's ear that he is too familiar with [Desdemona]." Therefore it is clear that Iago destroys the relationship between Desdemona and Othello because of his immense jealousy of Cassio which is shown by "For 'Certes' says he, 'I have already chosen my officer.' And what was he? ...One Michael Cassio, a fellow [with] mere prattle without practise." Iago is not only jealous of Cassio, but also of Othello because he believes that "he's done my office." In fact this is entirely refuted by Iago's wife Emilia later on in the play. For instance when both her and Desdemona are discussing whether they would "abuse their husbands," Emilia claims that she would "neither [do so] by this heavenly light." Therefore Iago's jealously of Othello is clearly uncalled for as he has no reason to suspect that Emilia has been unfaithful. Nevertheless, Iago still wants to be "evened, with him wife for wife." Another possible reason for Iago's jealousy could be that the relationship between Desdemona and Othello is a much stronger and more loving one that that between Iago and Emilia. It is clear that the relationship between Iago and Emilia is not always a happy one by "as of her tongue that she oft bestows on me." Therefore I ago may be jealous of Desdemona and Othello's relationship. ...read more.

Middle

Despite this, Iago advises Othello to "look to [his] wife, observe her well with Cassio." Iago also plays on the fact that that Othello is a stranger to Venice and so does not know what happens, such as "in Venice they do not let God see the pranks they dare not show their husbands." This shows that because Othello does not know all the ways and customs in Venice, Iago uses this fact to his advantage. It is clear that Othello believes Iago, as he answers rather pathetically "dost thou say so?" Iago almost seems to prove his point by reminding Othello that "she did deceive her father, marrying you." This is clearly doing more than just reminding Othello that it is not the first time that Desdemona has deceived someone, it is also putting ideas of Desdemona's infidelity into Othello's head and yet he replies again in a rather a pathetic way "and so she did," thus showing that Iago's words are having the desired effect upon Othello. Therefore this shows that Iago's plan of destroying the relationship between Desdemona and Othello is beginning to work. It is clear that Iago has realised that at last his doings are beginning to work as he comments that "I see this hath dashed your sprits." However Othello denies this by saying "not a jot." Despite his evil scheme, Iago continues to pretend that he is "loyal," as he does thorough the entire play. This is shown by his seeming concerned attitude- "I'faith, I fear it has." Not only this, but he convincingly lies to everyone thought, about to whom he is loyal. For instance he claims that "Cassio's my worthy friend," when he is plotting to bring him down along with Desdemona and Othello and has already caused him to loose his job. ...read more.

Conclusion

Whereas less noble people such as Iago tend to speak in verse most of the time and yet occasionally Iago does speak in prose: "I have't. It is endangered. Hell and night must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light," and so shows how skilled Iago is at disguising his personality and appearance in order to fool people and so succeed in his plan to cause the breakdown of the relationship between Desdemona and Othello. Structure is also essential for the success of Iago's mission. For example Iago constantly works on destroying the relationship throughout the play. Also Iago tends to distance himself from the action, such as the fight between Cassio and Roderigo. By doing this, Iago escapes from the blame. Many of the scenes take place at night and so this provides an element of secrecy to the action which helps to disguise Iago's actions, for example Act 1 Scene 1. Also towards the end of the play, the action takes place in increasingly private places away from people such as inside. This means that there are fewer people to become suspicious of Iago which could ultimately cause his plan to fail. Therefore the ways in which Iago destroys the relationship between Desdemona and Othello are largely by constantly putting doubts into Othello's mind and gradually building upon them into particularly graphic images. Also by lying to everybody, particularly Othello and even using people such as his wife to help him succeed, mainly without their knowledge or consent. Iago also manipulates people so well that they partially cause their own downfall; for instance suggesting to Cassio to get Desdemona to appeal to Othello to rehire Cassio. Word Count: 2,970 ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

A solid essay that shows a sound understanding of the play and the characters' roles and purpose within the play.
At times it would be better to reduce the quantity of points being made and focus on good quality analysis and relevance to the question instead.

4 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 03/05/2013

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