• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Iago manipulate different characters in order to achieve his aims?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does Iago manipulate different characters in order to achieve his aims? Iago is able to manipulate different characters throughout Othello by appearing to be honest and trustworthy, and using this to make people believe what he is saying is the truth. This means that Iago can tell them what he wants, in order to achieve whatever he desires. Iago is essentially a two-faced character, and it is very ironic when Iago swears, 'By Janus.' (I, 2, 33), as Janus is a two-faced Roman god. The first person that Iago manipulates is Roderigo. Roderigo is blinded by his love for Desdemona, and is prepared to try anything to win her heart. This makes him easy to manipulate, and doesn't require much skill on Iago's part. Roderigo is initially displeased with Iago, as he has paid Iago to promote a marriage between him and Desdemona, but instead Desdemona has gotten married to Othello. However, Iago easily restores Roderigo's faith in him by expressing his hate for Othello. He says things such as; 'Despise me if I do not' (I, 1, 8) when Roderigo asks if he hates Othello. Roderigo is used for his money, Iago tells him repeatedly to 'put money in thy purse' (I, 3, 330). Even when Roderigo threatens Iago, 'assure yourself I will seek satisfaction of you' (VI, 2, 195), he doesn't have the necessary willpower and ...read more.

Middle

Gradually, Iago assumes the control and power we associate with Othello, so successfully that Othello even begins to speak and think like his petty, reductive inferior. Iago makes Othello believe he is loyal, conscientious and noble-minded (ironically Othello's greatest qualities). He pretends that he'd like to hurt Othello's detractors in Act I, Scene 2, seems very anxious about the consequences of the brawl in Act II, Scene 3, and then hesitatingly describes his 'friend' Cassio's part in the evening's events. His show of reluctance in Act III, Scene 3 is also incredibly effective. By pretending that he doesn't wish to divulge his thoughts he manoeuvres himself into a position where he is able to poison Othello's mind thoroughly. Iago has a sharp eye for his victim's weaknesses or flaws and exploits them mercilessly. His role-playing enables him to become stage manager and dramatist, controlling his victim's fates increasingly effortlessly until he is unmasked by his wife, Emilia, whose obedience he ironically took for granted. A prime example of his setting up, directing and then decoding events for his victims occurs in Act IV, Scene 1, when Iago persuades Othello to eavesdrop on his conversation with Cassio. Othello is not only told what to do, he is also told how to interpret Cassio's looks and gestures. ...read more.

Conclusion

Iago is saying that Desdemona is good, as long as Othello thinks she has, further corrupting his mind, which is what Iago wants. However, we have to question what Iago's aims in Othello actually are. He seems at the start of the play, to seek revenge for Othello's appointment of Cassio to lieutenant instead of himself. But, as the play continues, Iago seems to want to punish more people than just Othello and Cassio. By the end of the play, after Iago's many evil acts, we are forced to come to the conclusion that Iago's only aims in Othello are to create chaos, by damaging as many people as he possibly can. The context of when and where the play is performed definitely affects the dramatic of the play. Iago is talking to Roderigo in Act I, Scene 1 at night in the streets of Venice, when there is no one else around, so it makes the scene seem more secretive and suspicious for the audience. Also, during this scene Iago talks exclusively to the audience, revealing his plans. This gives the audience a feeling of what is to come later in the play, however, because Iago is untrustworthy, we as the audience may be forced to question that Iago is telling us the complete truth in his soliloquies, and this mysteriousness heightens the tragic effect of the play. Jonathan Lynch L6DJN ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Othello section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

*** 3 stars

A good essay which shows understanding of the play and its complexities. Some points are well supported by appropriate quotes but in places more textual references are needed. Likewise more exploration of critical comments.
Shows understanding of dramatic irony and how Shakespeare created this and the audience's responses.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 16/07/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Othello essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explore the presentation of Iago in Shakespeare's Othello.

    5 star(s)

    Iago's relationship with Roderigo must also be noted. Roderigo clearly would not have attempted to pursue Desdemona without Iago suggesting this. However, whether this is the case with Othello is under some doubt. Iago's importance largely depends on the audience's perception of Othello. If the audience sympathises with the Moor and believes him to have been cruelly deceived

  2. Marked by a teacher

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

    4 star(s)

    This does not destroy the relationship in any way although it does make it harder for them to get their relationship to be recognised and accepted by the senators in Venice, particularly Desdemona's father Brabantio. In some ways this even makes it stronger by making Desdemona and Othello more determined

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How significant are Iagos soliloquies to the development of tragedy in Othello?

    3 star(s)

    Shakespeare had written 'Othello' during the Renaissance movement, which believed in the power of men and not gods, using Iago as a symbol of this. Iago's mastery of the soliloquy is thus used by Shakespeare to depict the power of men, not gods, to dictate tragedy in others.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Deception in Othello

    3 star(s)

    In addition, falling for Iago's deception is a way of securing his own political position and proving that he is the tragic hero in the play. Audience is not sure whether trusting Iago's critical assumptions of Othello are accurate, because in the first scene Othello contradicts Iago's presentation and everything

  1. Peer reviewed

    Explain how Iago has effected the transformation of Othello from heroic lover to brutal ...

    3 star(s)

    Indeed, much repetition is to be found in their lines and diction: Iago's 'Honest, my lord!' and 'Think, my lord!' being 'echoed' by Othello, merging the two together in many ways and thus enabling Iago to take control by feigning this 'love' between the two..

  2. How does Shakespeare present Iago as a tragic villain in Act 1?

    would evoke a strong sense of pity as we could then see that he is almost the victim of the play and a victim from his own thoughts - 'our raging motions, our carnal strings', 'raging' and 'carnal' suggest how angry and disturbed he is.

  1. Importance of military in Othello

    When discussing the murder with Iago, Othello speaks in prose showing the systematic approach to revenge, as would be common in the devising of military plans. Yet, his speech is also punctuated with short sharp utterances to reflect how his passion is beginning to prevail over his military reasoning: "O tis foul in her...

  2. 'Othello portrays a world that has the same conviction as our own: that stupidity ...

    It seems to be this that leads him to employ the events in 5:2. In 5:2, it could be argued that the events that occur are a display of downright evil from Othello and Iago. Othello kills his loving Desdemona and seems to show his confused state of mind.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work