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How does Iago manipulate characters and bring about their downfall in Shakespeare's Othello?

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Introduction

This managed to get me an A. DO NOT COPY, use it to help you make yours better. Othello Coursework How does Iago manipulate characters and bring about their downfall in Shakespeare's Othello? Introduction The play 'Othello' was created by William Shakespeare. Othello is a tale set in Venice at the time when adultery was a hanging offence. It is a tale all about jealousy and manipulation by one of the main characters, Iago. It was originally created by Giraldi Cinthio and was titled: 'The Story of Disdemona of Venice and the Moorish Captain' Shakespeare created his play by taking the characters and location and then adapting it to his own style for effect. Iago manipulates the characters by revealing and exploiting their fatal flaws to bring about their downfall. Iago uses Othello's jealousy of Cassio to make Othello believe he is having an affair with Desdemona. Iago uses Desdemona's trust and love for Othello to bring about her downfall. Iago even uses his wife's trust to make her not notice his schemes. Iago also uses Cassio's fatal flaw, trust. Cassio is in love with Desdemona. Iago has his own weakness too, greed. He is greedy for power and is jealous of Cassio for being promoted above him, and will do anything to stop Othello and Cassio. In act 1 scene 1, Iago starts to manipulate Othello straight away. Iago is speaking to Roderigo about how he despises Othello and wants revenge. Iago refers to Othello as 'it' or 'him' never speaking his name, this is used to make Iago sound more devious, and to give more effect to the scene. Iago carries on and says that he also hates Cassio for getting 'his job' by being promoted to lieutenant ahead of him, a promotion, Iago feels, should have belonged to him. Iago vows that he will get revenge upon Othello and Cassio, "I follow him to serve my turn upon him. ...read more.

Middle

Yet I persuade myself to tell the truth." This statement gives Othello the impression that Iago is loyal and trustworthy, and will keep a secret with his life, but if Othello where to ask him, he will tell. This is dramatic irony, as Iago caused the fight and is giving Othello a false image of friendship. Cassio loses his job, and he asks Desdemona to convince Othello to give him his job back. This makes Othello suspicious of their relationship, as Desdemona is constantly telling Othello to give Cassio his job back. Othello goes to talk to Iago, and asks him what he knows about Cassio and Desdemona's relationship. Iago tells very little, often repeating himself to try and make Othello want to know more. Iago acts concerned for Othello and tells him that there is a seed of doubt in Othello's mind, "O beware of jealousy, it is the green-eyed monster which doth mark the meat it feeds on." Iago says this tin order to make Othello think that he is a friend and is trustworthy. This is dramatic irony as Iago was the person who planted the doubt in Othello's mind to begin with. Iago continues to play mind game with Othello by making him doubt Desdemona's innocence, "Look at your wife; observe her well with Cassio; wear your eyes thus, not jealous nor secure." Saying this makes Othello suspicious of Desdemona's faithfulness, and makes him believe that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair. Iago continues to build up Othello's suspicions by stating, "She did deceive her father, marrying you." This makes Othello think that Desdemona is capable of lies and deceit, and she could be deceiving him as well. Othello then gets really paranoid about Desdemona and Cassio's friendship, which is exactly how Iago was trying to make him think. This shows that Othello is totally under Iago's control. Iago carries on to manipulate Othello's mind, he keeps manipulating him so much that Othello starts to doubt his reasons for marriage, "Why did I marry?" ...read more.

Conclusion

She explains how Iago has managed to manipulate people up to the deaths of Roderigo, Desdemona, and the serious injury of Cassio. Soon Iago, Montano and Gratiano and others enter. Emilia confesses to Iago that she has told Othello about his evil deeds and sly manipulation, and Iago denies it, trying to make himself appear innocent as usual. Emilia continues, and gets Iago so wound up that Iago kills his wife. Othello gets so heartbroken by finding out that Desdemona was innocent, and it was all Iago's manipulation that convinced him otherwise, that he kills himself out of grief. In the final speech, Iago is being sentenced to torture for all his crimes, "The time, the place, the torture, O' I enforce it." Iago manipulates all the characters, in different ways. Othello was the main focus of Iago's manipulation. Iago manages to make Othello feel that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. He manipulates Bianca by making her find the handkerchief, a wedding present from Othello to Desdemona. Iago very cleverly manipulated every character subtly without them realising until the damage had been done. Iago managed this by using rhetoric in his manipulation. He uses Ethos - the use of an authority or educator to break up arguments - and he uses Pathos - the use of emotive language and imagery to add dramatic effect - and finally Logos - the use of logic, data and statistics. He carefully uses all of these on all characters throughout the play to bring about their deaths. An example of Ethos was when Iago talks to Montano about Othello and Cassio's drink problem, an example of Pathos is when Iago talks to Brabantio about Othello and Desdemona's marriage, and an example of Logos is when Bianca is seen with the handkerchief by Othello. All of this clever and sly manipulation leads to the downfall of several characters, and the imprisonment of himself, (which was unplanned). Othello page 1 of 6 ...read more.

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