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Othello - Character study of Iago

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Othello In 'Othello', Iago works to bring about the downfall of the characters that he hates, particularly Othello and Michael Cassio. In order to do this, he uses not only the weaknesses of his victims, but their strengths and good qualities as well. Iago says this about Desdemona: "So will I turn her virtue into pitch, And out of her own goodness makes the net That shall enmesh them all" (Act 2 Scene 3) Iago's victims have virtues, which he uses to undermine them and plot their downfall. Othello is a noble and heroic gentleman. He is open and honest. He has a trusting nature and he is romantic. Othello is a brave person who is not person of words but sorts problems out by fighting or by action. Iago says: "The Moor is of a free and open nature, That thinks men honest that but seem to be so, And will as tenderly be led by the nose as asses are" (Act 1 Scene3) Othello is courageous and fearless. "The Moor, nowbe't I endure him not, Is of a constant, loving, noble nature" (Act 2 Scene 1) Othello has self-control over his passionate nature. When it breaks, nothing can stop Othello's rage. ...read more.


In this expedition for revenge he uses Roderigo for money and the strongest reason of all, he seems to enjoy what he is doing. Iago becomes very jealous of Othello because of his position in the Venetian army. Iago feels that black men cannot rise above him because they are black. Iago frequently refers to Othello as the 'Moor' and the 'Black Ram', with theses statements Iago is implying that Othello is worse than white people and because of his race he should not hold the position he does in the army. Out of this racism also extents the jealousy of Othello's wife, Desdemona. He is sexually attracted to her but that is not a real reason for hating Othello. His mind concocts stories that he believes are true and thus making himself think that it is right to take revenge on Othello by sleeping with his wife. Iago is also jealous of Othello's sexual power, as it is well known in those times that black men were better in bed than white men. With this in mind Iago feels that Othello has slept with his wife Emilia, "leapt into his seat", he wants revenge for this too, "not out of absolute lust", but so he can get back at Othello. ...read more.


The settings are Venice and Cyprus. Venice is a posh and wealthy place. It is prosperous and civilised. We know this by looking at Roderigo who is wealthy. Venice is a place with law and order and it is organised. Everything is in order. If there is crime in Venice it is dealt with by the senates. Venice is an established government. Othello's life in Venice is organised and good. He is always happy maybe because he has the wealth and he is general in Venetian army. People respect him a lot. Cyprus is a rough and tough place. We know this because Othello's life disintegrates and everything falls apart. There are murders and drinking. There is no justice in Cyprus. It is a chaotic area. People lose their jobs and reputation. There's always fighting and Cyprus is under attack by the Turks. Cyprus is therefore a good setting for Iago to do his mischief because there is no law and order in Cyprus. It is easier for him to do it in Cyprus than in Venice. Justice does not exist in Cyprus because it is a chaotic place. The play Othello includes different themes like love, trickery, jealousy and racism. It gives a negative view of the human race. It seems to suggest that people's positives and their good qualities not only protect but also makes them vulnerable to the attack of evil. 1 ...read more.

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