A discussion of Shakespeare’s Othello, focussing on the different characters.
Othello The movie Othello is full of very believeable and well developed characters. As it is a tradgedy, thought, we have to have a victim or victims, in this case Othello, and the cause of their misery, which is Iago. Iago manipulates Cassio, Roderigo, Emilia, and Othello, useing a variety of methods. Iago’s plots are skillfully crafted with multiple levels of intrigue. Iago also pays attention to the smallest detail, proveing his skill as a villian.
Thus, Iago is a masterful villian who manipulates all those around him. Iago manipultes Cassio, Roderigo, Emilia, and Othello in several ways. Cassio is manipulated by Iago first getting him fired. Then, under the guise of friendship, Iago suggests that Cassio ask Desdemona for help in getting reinstated. This is an ingenius move on as his part, as Cassio must pursue Desdemona’s help behind Othello’s back. Roderigo is manipulated by Iago’s telling him to pursue Desdemona, even though Desdemona is already married.
Although this is a blatent lie on Iago’s part, as the viewer sees not a single hint that Desdemona even acknowledges Roderigo’s existance, it is so cleverly delivered to Roderigo that he takes as a fact, even when the facts show otherwise. Iago controls Emilia through her love that she has for him. He uses her love of him to get her to steal Desdemona’s handkerchief. Othello is manipulated by suggestion and hints that are carefully worded and said at just the right moment. Each one weakens his faith in Desdemona a little more. Then Iago produces “evidence” to add weight to his innuendos. The evidence is so believeably delivered and Othello already so incenced by Iago’s words that Othello does not even question the truth of what he sees. This skillful manipulation of those around qualifies Iago as a supreme villian. Iago’s plots are skillfully crafted and contain multiple levels of intrigue. Iago gets Cassio drunk and disorderly until he starts a fight. Iago then goes to Othello and tells him that he should not allow such behavior and to fire Cassio. Then Iago convincea Cassio to pursue Desdemona’s help on the sly. Finally, Iago uses Cassio’s pursuit of Desdemona on the sly as proof of their affair. Only a villian of great skill could craft such a plan, as there are so many variables and chances for someone to stop and question everything or reveal how Iago was involved in what they did. Iago also plans out his entire sceme from the very begginning of the play. He does no planning, Iago simply moves along continuing with his plan through the whole film. It seems as though he knew exactly how everyone would act to his manipulation and react to the actions of each other. Iago also leaps upon every opportunity that presents itself during the course of the movie. For example, Iago plans just for Desdemona’s handkerchief to be in Cassio’s possesion, but when Bianca storms in and accueses Cassio of being unfaithful, Iago jumps on this opportunity and even more thouroughly convinces Othello of Desdemona’s guilt. Iago pays attention to the smallest details, makeing his manipulation even more complete. For example, Iago drops hints about Desdemona possibly being unfaithful, but he does not say anything outright, because that would be suspicious. Iago only tells Othello of what he “knows” when confronted about it and asked directly, and even then after repeated beggings for information on the part of Othello. If Iago had been more forward with his suspicions, Othello would not have believed him as much. Also, when Iago accuires Desdemona’s handkerchief, he does it very carefully. He has Emilia accuire it, then makes her tell no one that she did and won’t tell her why. If he had gotten it himself, someone might have seen him, and that would have raised suspiscion. These small details would have been overlooked by someone who was careless and less thourough. Iago also removes Roderigo, by convincing him to try to kill Cassio and then killing Roderigo out of what he claims as self defence. A lesser villian would simply have let Roderigo go, but he might have talked, so eliminating him was the only way to gaurantee he wouldn’t. Iago also convinces everyone not to tell how they know what they know to each other, which is a very important detail because if any of the other characters had spoken of Iago role in their actions, his whole plot would have bee thwarted. The great attention that Iago pays to the smallest details cements him as a master manipulator and cunning villian. Iago his an ingenious manipulator and villian who controls everyone around him. The way he manipulates Cassio, Desdemona, Othello, and Roderigo is proof of this. His ability to intertwine his plots, play the characters off each other, and take advantage of every opportunity that presents inself shows his skill as a manipulator. Finally, Iagos attention to detail, ensuring his total control over his victims and solidifying him as a true villian. Only a truely great villian who uses his brain, thinks through every possibility, and jumps upon every oppurtunity could have done what Iago did in Othello.
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