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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?

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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.

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