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

Does Iago Cause The Tragedy Of Othello And Desdemona, Or Is He Merely The Catalyst?

Extracts from this document...


Othello Does Iago Cause The Tragedy Of Othello And Desdemona, Or Is He Merely The Catalyst? The Shakespeare Tragedy, Othello, was written and set during the early 17th century Venice rule. The play is set in Cyprus and Venice. There are many arguments whether Iago causes the tragedy towards the end of the play, or whether he is merely the catalyst. To many, Iago is the most evil character in the play. He is blamed for the tragedy of Othello and Desdemona. However, some do not see him as the cause of the tragedy, but merely as a catalyst, who speeds up the rate of the fate of Othello and Desdemona. This can be argued, despite there being more in favour of Iago causing the tragedy, rather than him only being a catalyst. One factor in favour of Iago causing the tragedy is projected throughout the play. This factor is the hatred that Iago has for Othello. Although he never directly tells his motive for hating Othello, there is definite hatred throughout the play. Iago repeatedly says in soliloquy: "I hate the moor" (page 25, line 397) ...read more.


He is saying that so that it sounds like he is saying it to himself, when he is actually saying it loud enough for Othello to hear it and make a bog deal out of it. This is when Cassio is talking to Desdemona. Another cleaver and sly way that Iago makes Othello suspicious is in the same scene. He says: "Cassio my lord? No, sure, I cannot think it that he would sneak away so guilty-like Seeing you come" (page 54, lines 38 - 40) Iago is saying this to Othello, following the leave of Cassio. Othello did not state that he was suspecting Cassio would sneak away. Instead, Iago 'plants' this thought into Iago's mind. This whole suspicion adds to the facts that are in favour of Iago causing the tragedy of Othello and Desdemona. In act 3, scene 3, Othello asks for Iago to find evidence that asks for Iago to find evidence that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona. Iago knows exactly what to show, so he steals a handkerchief that was given to Desdemona from Othello. Iago steals this handkerchief, and plants it in Cassio's chambers. ...read more.


"Peace and be still" (page 108, line 45) You could also say that Othello is gullible. He easily believes Iago. This could be his weak point, and makes him an easy target for Iago. Othello easily believes Iago, and hardly ever questions him. Othello also jumps to conclusions very easily. He listens to Iago's statements, and straight away jumps to the conclusion that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. He does not question anyone. "Dost thou say so?" (Page 59, line 204) This quote shows that he just questions Iago whether he thinks that Desdemona is having an affair or not. "I am bound to thee forever" (page 59, line 211) This quote shows that Othello believes Iago. Othello feels that he owes Iago for helping him with his marriage. If Othello did not have any suspicion towards Desdemona, he would not listen to what anyone has to say, but would follow his own judgement. In conclusion, a final answer whether Iago is a catalyst or causes the tragedy will never be found. Different opinions have different answers, and so either of the answers is right, and neither is wrong. I suggest that there is a little bit of both in the play. He acts as a catalyst, as well as causing the tragedy. Mr.iqbal ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Othello section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 GCSE Othello essays

  1. Othello: 'Shakespeare has presented the three female characters as merely stereotypes.' How far do ...

    This is because Othello uses the fact that Cassio has the handkerchief as proof for his wife to be cheating on him. If Emelia had not taken the handkerchief, Othello may not have believed Iago as there would not have been any proof of Desdemona's betrayal.

  2. Why did the marriage of Othello and Desdemona end in tragedy?

    He talks to her as if he talks to a soldier using images of war and might. "May the winds blow till they have wakened death, And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas". Because she comes with him to the wars, she becomes even more in his mind

  1. Does Iago cause the tragedy of Othello and Desdemona or is he merely the ...

    Nevertheless, by the end of the century, English was a language to be satisfied of. The most important themes of the play are - witchcraft, magic, jealousy, honesty, and misrepresentation. Magic is one of the main themes because Shakespeare knew that King James I loved magic, as he had written a book about magic and witchcraft.

  2. Who is to blame for the tragedy of Othello?

    This is shown when he says "Iago is most honest". So he believes that Iago always tells the truth, as that's what Iago wants him to believe. His obsessive love for Desdemona is as well something that could leave him as the one to blame, as by being so deeply

  1. How far do you agree that Othello is a tragedy caused by male egotism ...

    This also applies to Cassio. It is possible his need for revenge on Cassio and Desdemona is because he has tried, but failed, in combining both roles of solider and lover. He treated Desdemona as a prize he earned for his victory's in the military, some people believe she replaced his career as his source

  2. In what ways does

    I now move on to the second rule of tragedy. In the case of Othello this rule is represented strongly.

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