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

"Whilst I ago manipulates other characters for his own ends, they hardly help themselves". How far do Othello, Cassio and Desdemona provide Iago with enough evidence for him to undo them?

Extracts from this document...


"Whilst I ago manipulates other characters for his own ends, they hardly help themselves". How far do Othello, Cassio and Desdemona provide Iago with enough evidence for him to undo them? Although Iago cleverly manipulates situations and people in his aim to seek vengeance, the other characters contribute to their own destruction through their individual character traits. Many of the characters have qualities that are essentially worthy but which are ironically able to be used by Iago as weapons against themselves or others. Desdemona's attractiveness together with her charitable mind and pity for others is a goodness which Iago can use to 'enmesh them all'. Iago recognizes Othello's desire for knowledge makes it possible for him to corrupt Othello's mind whilst Cassio's good manners prove to contribute to his downfall. Iago never forces any of the characters to do anything against their will, his main achievement, through his universal trustworthiness, is to get others to see things from his point of view. Othello sees him as a soul mate, his wife as a strumpet and his best friend as his sworn enemy. Iago sees Desdemona's sexual attractiveness, which is deliberately exaggerated by Shakespeare, as an opportunity to use Desdemona in Othello's downfall. She is described by Cassio as 'divine Desdemona'. ...read more.


A pestilent complete knave, and the woman hath found him already'. Cassio is a perfect gentleman and never acts improperly towards Desdemona but Iago uses his correctness to poison Othello's mind into thinking he is Desdemona's lover. Cassio is able to get close to Desdemona as he was an integral part in Othello's wooing of her, carrying love tokens and messages between the two lovers but Iago is agble to use this fact to suggest improper behaviour between Desdemona and Cassio. In Act 3 scene 3, he plants a seed of suspicion in Othello's mind when they enter the scene and see Desdemona talking with somebody, who Iago knows is Cassio, hastily leaving as he says to Othello 'Cassio, my lord? No, sure, I cannot think it,? That he would steal away so guilty-like,/Seeing you coming'. Iago is able to imply that Cassio's liaisons with Desdemona have been less than innocent. Iago uses Cassio's weakness of character to his advantage as Cassio openly admits that is unable to handle his drink as he tells Iago 'I have very poor and unhappy brains for drinking'. However, Cassio is easily convinced by Iago that it is in honour of Othello that he should take part in the festivities and so Cassio reluctantly agrees to join in. ...read more.


Wear your eyes thus: not jealous, nor secure.' Due to his lack of judgment he is willing to sacrifice the wife that he loves and his most trusted friend. He is unable to see through the fa´┐Żade of Iago. Othello has little experience of corruption is ignorant of Venetian woman. Iago plays on this, as he is trying to insecure Othello's racial position, 'I know our country disposition well: in Venice they do let God see the pranks they dare not show their husbands; their best conscience.' As Othello is an outsider, his knowledge is limited so Iago lies to him and gives him his stereotypical view of Venetian woman. As Othello and Desdemona are newly married he would not know Desdemona that well. Although Iago is an evil schemeing character, his plans only succeed as he uses the weakness of other characters and exploits them. Cassio, Desdemona and Othello all display traits that make them vulnerable which Iago recognises and utilises in his over all plot to bring about the destruction of Othello. Cassio openly admits to being proud and ashamed of his behaviour. His natural attractiveness is used against him. Desdemona is targeted because of her sexuality which Iago knows he can wound Otehllo with. And Othello displays powerful emotions which Iago is able to turn from love to jealousy. The main characteristic that each person displays that enables Iago to succeed is trust. ...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. How does Iago manipulate characters and bring about their downfall in Shakespeare's Othello?

    In this quote Othello is saying that he will ask her about her faithfulness, and if she lies, then God help her. Othello soon starts to have a breakdown. All his speech starts to occur in non-verse colloquial language. This shows that he has lost his mind and cannot control himself or his emotions.

  2. Is Othello a 'noble hero' brought down by 'a devil of motiveless malignity' or ...

    Through Iago's initial torment, continued by Roderigo, they are able to force Barbantio to do exactly as they wish. Iago primarily makes use of the double meaning of the word thieves to get Barbantio out of bed and force him to be confused with the situation.

  1. The Characters of Othello, Cassio and Iago.

    will continue to play up to Othello, ensuring Othello's trust and using innuendos are all very typical of this kind of Iago. The second Iago is only revealed to Roderigo, he reveals a lot more of his twisted nature in this character, though Roderigo recognizes none of this because of Iago's 'help' with his infatuation with Desdemona.

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

    At the end of Act 1 Scene 1, Iago supplies us with a soliloquy to add dramatic effect and to attract the audience. His soliloquy tells us of how he wants to bring revenge on Othello, using the excuse that Othello had been corrupting his wife, Emilia.

  1. How Iago manipulates Othello.

    Iago continuously reminds Othello how honest and loyal he is and unfortunately, Othello seems to believe him. IAGO 'Lord, you know I love you.' This is on line 118. Iago says this because he is becoming increasingly aware that Othello is changing, into what, Iago isn't sure of yet so

  2. Explore Iago's ability to manipulate events in the play. Show how he alters events ...

    When Roderigo confronts Cassio a fight breaks out, Cassio chases Roderigo and during the scuffle Montano; the Governor of Cyprus who steps in to break up the fight gets injured. Othello is awakened and informed of what has happened by none other than Iago who very discreetly tells him that Cassio was to blame.

  1. Othello - How does William Shakespeare use the opening scene to introduce ...

    follows Othello so that he can see to his revenge on him - being the bitter character that he is. He hates Othello for not promoting him, which leads him to use some strongly racist terms such as "old black ram".

  2. The two characters Iago and Desdemona.

    A.C Bradley makes a very short relevant point, which I totally agree with. He says 'One must constantly remember not to believe a syllable that Iago utters on any subject including himself.' This is true as the audience cannot believe what Iago says as he constantly lies and is deceitful.

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