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

Why is Iago's manipulation of Othello successful?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why is Iago successful in his manipulation over Othello? Shakespeare's 'Othello', at first, seems to be centred around a black man in a position of power in a white European society. 'Othello' therefore would seem the obvious and most suitable title. He is the tragic hero; it is the change in him and the aspects of his nature which bring about the fatal consequences. However studying the play in more detail you become increasingly aware of Iago being the main focal point throughout the play. Shakespeare gives more lines to Iago than Othello, and allows us into his thoughts using soliloquies. He does not do this with any other character even the main one, Othello. However, saying this, Othello still contributes to the overall tragic end. Othello's character is used by Iago to make him vulnerable to his manipulative tactics. Various parts of Othello's character are shown through the play both to the audience and Iago which then get used against him. One characteristic that is an example of this is his attitude to having either all or nothing. He shows this when talking about Desdemona 'When I love thee not chaos is come' explaining that if he does not love her it would be a total disaster. ...read more.

Middle

Throughout he manages to links Desdemona and Cassio in the same pieces of dialogue 'He had been acquainted with her.' After this, Iago continues to questions everything Othello says, instead of answering. When Othello asks whether Cassio is honest, Iago simply repeats the word honest with a question mark as if he does not really believe it. He does this again when Othello asks what he thinks, he replies 'think, my lord?' Iago is successful here in building up Othello's temper and making him suspicious that there is something bad in Iago's mind. We can tell that he has been successful in winding him up and worrying him when Othello replies to him, 'Alas, thou echoest me, As if there were some monster in thy thought' Iago may have been echoing the words of Othello, but has managed to shift his own bad thoughts into Othello's mind as he starts using language with imagery such as 'Monster'. Iago controls the conversation throughout and as it goes on Othello has less and less power at one point Othello says to Iago 'I prithee speak to me' almost begging him to tell him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Iago had managed to get Cassio drunk and start a fight, which evidently got him fired, as Iago had planned. After this however Cassio does not want Othello to forget him, so he asks Desdemona to speak for him to Othello. Out of the goodness of her heart she does so with all of her energy. Cassio then exits as Othello enters, not wanting Othello to see him out of an understandable sense of shame. Othello is provoked by Iago to see this as a guilty departure and convinces him that Desdemona's protests on Cassio's behalf are a sign of her attraction to him. It is very clear, especially at the end of Act 3 scene 3 that Iago has been successful manipulating Othello from completely loving his wife to complete 'Chaos' At the end of At 3 scene 3 Othello, a professed Christian, swears 'by yond marble heaven' that his 'bloody thoughts' will never turn back until a 'wide revenge' has been accomplished. Christian judgement has by this point been perverted so totally by powerful emotions, Iago has been able to work so efficiently through vulnerable emotions and an insecure character to successfully and completely manipulate Othello. This play seems to ask the question that if this can really happen, how secure is any belief or any sense of good? By Amy Smith MiDr ...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. In Act III Scene III, what techniques and dramatic devices are used by Shakespeare ...

    Iago snatches the handkerchief and tells Emilia to leave. At this point Iago has a soliloquy in which he reveals his intentions for the handkerchief. It is the evidence that Othello needs. This soliloquy reveals a much darker, twisted mind - almost psychopathic.

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

    Another example is that Iago will use Othello's trustfulness and integrity. Iago knows Othello already trusts him. Iago will "play" an honest man who is loyal and loves his general. If this is the case, why would Othello believe for a minute that Iago is not telling him the truth?

  1. How Does Iago Successfully Manipulate Othello in Shakespeare

    Later all the characters exit but Iago and Roderigo. Iago has been plotting some more and decides it would be to his advantage if Roderigo was to start a fight with Cassio resulting in one or both of them getting into trouble. Iago tells Roderigo "Desdemona is directly in love with Cassio" and uses the previous affectionate welcome in order to back this up.

  2. 'Hell and Night must bring this Monstrous Birth into the World's Light.' How Successful ...

    (Act 1, sc 3, line 77-79) which gives Othello the opportunity to defend his actions which is not entirely what Iago wanted but Brabantio still ended up disfavouring the marriage. Consequently, Brabantio and Desdemona fall out, "I had rather to adopt a child than get it," (Act 1, sc 3, line 189).

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

    This is an example of Pathos because Iago is using imagery to add dramatic effect. Shortly afterwards, during a conversation with Roderigo, Iago expresses that Othello has never been with a woman in a sexual way and that he is inexperienced in that kind of situation.

  2. How has Iago made his ‘medicine work’ on Othello? Discuss the reasons for Othello’s ...

    Iago avoids an answer by simply repeating Othello's questions until Othello gets angry and demands of Iago: "If thou dost love me, show me thy thought" [III, iii, 116-117]. Iago replies with the blatant lie, "My lord, you know I love you".

  1. DISCUSS THE WAYS IN WHICH IAGO CONTROLS AND MANIPULATES TWO OTHER CHARACTERS IN

    Iago uses Cassio's faults to manipulate him, like Cassio's looks and his flirtatious personality to Cassio's own disadvantage because Iago gets Othello to think that Desdemona is having an affair with him. It all starts when he persuades Cassio to join in with the festive drinking even though Cassio has

  2. Othello and Iago - Who is the monster?

    To me it appears that the destruction of Othello and Desdemona's happiness is like a game to him. He takes some kind of twisted pleasure in seeing their lives fall apart. 'And practising upon his peace and quiet Even to madness.'

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