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How has Iago made his ‘medicine work’ on Othello? Discuss the reasons for Othello’s credulity that allows it to work.

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Introduction

"My medicine, work: thus credulous fools are caught." How has Iago made his 'medicine work' on Othello? Discuss the reasons for Othello's credulity that allows it to work. cred�u�lous adj. 1. Disposed to believe too readily; gullible. 2. Arising from or characterised by credulity. From Latin, credulus, to believe. jeal�ous adj. 1. Fearful or wary of being supplanted; apprehensive of losing affection or position. a. Resentful or bitter in rivalry; envious: jealous of the success of others. b. Inclined to suspect rivalry. 2. Having to do with or arising from feelings of envy, apprehension, or bitterness: jealous thoughts. 3. Vigilant in guarding something: We are jealous of our good name. 4. Intolerant of disloyalty or infidelity; autocratic: a jealous God. Middle English jelous, from Old French gelos, jealous, zealous, from Vulgar Latin *zlsus, from Late Latin zlus, zeal. See zeal. Act/Scene/Line references will be in the format, [I. ii. 20]. This would be Act 1, Scene 2, line 20. Let us first look at Iago's motives for wanting to hurt Othello. In scene I of the play we see Othello, a black general of Venice and the supposed hero of the story, has made Cassio, another foreigner ("One Michael Cassio, a Florentine" Iago [I. i. 20]), his new lieutenant. Iago feels he deserved the promotion as he says, "I am worth no worse a place." [I. i. 11]. Iago feels that Cassio's experience is purely theoretical ("Mere prattle without practice is all his soldiership." ...read more.

Middle

Most people would go home, sulk for a bit and then leave the offending spouse. At the most they'd try and beat up on the person having the affair with aforementioned spouse, but Othello decides to kill them both! There could be several explanations for this huge overreaction. * Shakespeare could be trying to show that 'moors' are heathen psychopaths with no respect for human life (a little like PE teachers). * We could be seeing the side of Othello that comes out to make him such an amazing soldier - his bloodthirsty killer mode! Something he can normally control, but which Iago has provoked into an unexpected appearance * Maybe Othello is just a very passionate man, taking both love and hate to their extremes. * Iago is just so good at what he does; he can turn even the most calm and composed of men into a confused wreck and a killer. I think it's actually a combination of the first and last. Shakespeare's trying to show us how manipulative Iago can be as well as exploiting the audiences prejudice against Othello's colour. Just when you thought Iago was going to ease off of Othello, he comes up with his best deception so far. He tells Othello of how, a few nights ago, he was afflicted with a case of "the raging tooth" and decided to get into bed with Cassio (er...). ...read more.

Conclusion

i. 20]), and Othello has made him his general rather than a Venetian. This may seem to people like Othello is himself, a racist and prejudiced against Venetian's. In conclusion, I think that through all his scheming and deceit, Iago has proved himself to be not only a jealous and envious man, but also clever, cunning, imaginative and manipulative. He can take the best qualities of a person and turn them against said person. For example he refers to Cassio being a "proper" man [I, iii, 374]. In this context, Proper means handsome. Being handsome is obviously a positive feature in a person, but Iago will use Cassio being handsome to evoke jealousy in Othello. Iago has the ability to be one person and seem like a completely different person. He is multiply faceted. He has taken control of his own life and has decided to make things happen. Maybe we should stop looking down at Iago as the villain of the play and begin to revere him as the hero? I think Othello has only himself to blame for his actions. He allowed Iago to deceive him. He took other peoples word without trying to prove it for himself or looking for any real evidence. He never confronted his wife until the very end, by which time he was so aggravated that he was going to kill her whatever she said. He tried and failed to see around Iago's falsities. He allowed his passion to get the better of his judgement and he paid for this with his own life, and that of his wife's. Daniel Gibbard Othello - Credulity i i ...read more.

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