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Othello Act 2, Scene 2 - How does Shakespeare create a manipulative villain?

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Othello Essay Act 2, Scene 2. How does Shakespeare create a manipulative villain? Shakespeare creates a manipulative villain in Iago by showing Iago's slyness and making him take advantage of other character's weaknesses. At the start of the scene peace is announced in Cyprus and Othello opens all of the kitchens for eating, drinking and celebrating-"All offices are open." Taking advantage of Othello's generosity Iago sets out to disrupt the peace. Othello appoints Cassio in charge of keeping the celebrations under control but Cassio is confident that "honest" Iago is reliable and capable enough to take on the job In this scene he takes advantage of Cassio's weakness-getting drunk very easily as he has "very poor and unhappy brains for drinking." Deceitful Iago makes the most of this when he "fasten[s] but one cup upon him." Cassio thinks that Iago is his friend and that he just wants to have a good time but Iago wants to get Cassio drunk and for him to lose his position as Lieutenant: "Am I to put Cassio in some action that may offend the isle." ...read more.


He is acting as if he wants no action taken against Michael Cassio, but here he is manipulating Othello because he actually wants Cassio to be in trouble. He is also manipulating Othello into thinking that he has absolutely nothing to do with the affair and that he is being entirely honest. Othello obviously believes Iago as he says: "I know Iago thy honesty, and love doth mince this matter, making it light to Cassio," before dismissing Cassio. Iago, having succeeded in the dismissal of Cassio, then goes to actually comfort Cassio. Cassio is worried about his reputation and Iago comforts him: "You have lost no reputation at all, unless you repute yourself such a loser." Cassio thinks that Iago has his best interests at heart but he is just being manipulated, as was Roderigo before him. Iago's first plan of the night has worked so he then begins to manipulate Cassio again so as for his next plan to work. ...read more.


Another innocent victim who is manipulated by Iago is Roderigo. He tells him what he wants to hear. He makes him feel that there's still a chance between himself and Desdemona. He manipulates him into provoking Cassio while Cassio is on guard- "I pray you after the Lieutenant, go." Iago makes Roderigo think that he is doing this for himself but in fact it is just helping Iago's own plan. When Roderigo is badly hurt and has lost all hope Iago still plays the good 'honest' man and attempts to 'comfort' Roderigo by telling him that his current rival is out of the picture so there is still hope-"And thou by that small hurt hath cashier'd Cassio" Iago persuades Roderigo to stay because he still needs his help, so again, Roderigo has been manipulated. Shakespeare has created a manipulative villain in this scene very well. Iago manages to manipulate Cassio, Roderigo and Othello without arousing suspicion in any of them. They all think he is 'good,' 'honest' Iago and has every ones interests in heart but really he is a sly, manipulative character. ...read more.

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