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

Is the tragedy solely due to Iago? Is there anything in the characters of Othello and Desdemona that aids Iago's plans? Do you think the play is a tragedy of characters or a symbolic clash of good and evil?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Is the tragedy solely due to Iago? Is there anything in the characters of Othello and Desdemona that aids Iago's plans? Do you think the play is a tragedy of characters or a symbolic clash of good and evil? In Shakespeare's drama 'Othello', the reader is presented a tragedy of characters deeply affected by the clash of good and evil. The evil contained within Othello is by no means magical or mythical yet is represented by the character Iago. Iago has no conscience, no ability to perform good deeds. He is a psychopath, and is not capable of forming affectionate relationships or feeling guilt and concern over his behaviour. He is "an unbeliever in and denier of all things spiritual, who only acknowledges God, like Satan, to defy him" (William Robertson Turnbull, Othello: A critical Study, 269). The opposite of Iago is Desdemona, who is described frequently by other characters as "she is divine, the grace of heaven" (Act 2, Scene 1). The ultimate defeat of good by the wrath of evil is one of Iago's motivations. It is not only in his nature of evil, that he succeeds but also in the weaknesses of the other characters. ...read more.

Middle

Because he asks Othello what proofs he requires of his wife's infidelity Iago changes the subject, without Othello noticing it. There is a contrast in the play, when the scene moves from Venice to Cyprus. Venice could be associated with the good or specifically Desdemona, and could be linked with the evil in Iago. Desdemona ha s been taken from her peacefulness and Iago commits his largest acts of deceit in Cyprus. Iago is encouraging Othello's jealousy so far, that Othello finally commits his first act of violence against Desdemona by hitting her. This shows Othello's other tragic flaw. He made himself susceptible to Iago and the jealousy within him begins to lead to the demise of others. Othello has isolated himself from everyone else except Iago, by his actions. Iago uses the other characters to work straight towards his aims. Because of this, he can maintain his supposed ignorance about the events going on and still work his scheming ways. Desdemona wants to be loved and acknowledged by her husband. She could not control her feelings of insignificance. She is striving to be the best wife that she could be and feels that her role as a wife is being threatened. ...read more.

Conclusion

Forced to deal with Desdemona's rebelliousness and the pressures of Iago, Othello murdered his wife. Sadly, the ultimate price that Desdemona had to pay for her liberation was death. So finally Desdemona, representative of goodness and heaven, is murdered by her husband and blames her death on herself. Iago's big mistake was that he trusted his wife Emilia, who finally revealed his plot. Although not completely victorious at the end of the play, Iago does successfully eliminate the one character representative of heaven, innocence, and honesty. Yet "remains the censure of this hellish villian" (Act 5, Scene 2). Finally, everything Iago pretended to be led to his demise: Honesty, Innocence, and Love. Iago is a villain, a demi-devil who loves evil and follows 'divinity of hell'. He represents the mystery of iniquity, the more baffling because he seems to everyone except Roderigo to be an honest man. He makes Desdemona and Cassio, as well as Othello, believe that he is a plain, blunt and outspoken man, incapable of deception. That's why Iago cannot be the only one to be blamed. If Othello has a bit more confidence in his wife, and has Desdemona not lied about the handkerchief: "It [the handkerchief] is not lost ... "(Act 3 Scene 4), the play would maybe have a different ending. ?? ?? ?? ?? Maria Lembeck 12 GM 1 ...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': A Tragedy of Deception or a Tragedy of Self-deception? Depicting the downfall ...

    Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty, But seeming so for my peculiar end'. The manner in which Iago ruthlessly expresses his desire for revenge, without hesitation or lacking conviction, causes the audience to immediately sense that the play has an explicit theme of deception.

  2. In Which way does Iago manipulate characters and contribute To their downfall in Shakespeare's ...

    At the beginning of Act 3 Scene3, Cassio seeks Iago's advice in how to go about getting his job back, which is quite ironic, seeing as it is Iago that lost him the job in the first place. Iago recommends that he speak, to Desdemona, because she would be more sympathetic towards his situation.

  1. 'Iago's deception of his victims sets off the events that lead up to the ...

    Shakespeare demonstrates Iago's abusive power over Othello by his use of language. Words spoken by Iago at the beginning of the play 'were they as prime as goats and as hot as monkeys!' and 'Cassio did top her'. Othello has almost been consumed by Iago and thus Iago is much

  2. Explain and analyse the factors and characters which play a role in the creation ...

    In the end Iago starts to lie and make up stories about Cassio in an effort to make Othello believe him and Othello does. He confronts Desdemona but does not listen to her when she says she doesn't understand. He then smothers her but Emilia (Iago's wife)

  1. How Desdemona is presented as acharacter and perceived by others in Othello.

    He turns the people that love and admire her the most into jealous and hateful people, and so successfully transmits his negativity on them. The tragedy of this play centres on Desdemona and her good intentions, and her death shows the evil that has triumphed over good.

  2. Othello. In the tragedy of Othello William Shakespeare writes a play full of trickery, ...

    This ends up driving Othello mad and his jealousy drives him to violence. He ends up strangling Desdemona and killing himself. A second problem that Othello has is his appearance towards the public. Throughout town Othello is portrayed as a good man and is well respected by everyone in town.

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

    (Act 1 Scene 2, lines 63-65) Brabantio is accusing Othello of enchanting Desdemona through supernatural magic and drugs. He does not believe that Desdemona would desire Othello, a black Moor as her companion. Honesty is a major theme because the word "honest" is usually used in an ironic way throughout

  2. Many critics have described Iago as 'evil' Do you think that this is the ...

    Iago knows exactly how to manipulate Roderigo and pushes the right buttons in the right place and time. Roderigo as we know is deeply in love with Desdemona so whenever Iago wants something he cunningly ties it in with Desdemona so he will do it.

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