Power Of Manipulation In Shakespeare’s Othello And Fey’s Mean Girls

June 7, 2022 by Essay Writer

The potential to manipulate is within everyone, whether you decide to use it or not determines the type of person you are. Throughout the course of William Shakespeare’s “Othello” and Tina Fey’s “Mean Girls”, the themes of manipulation, jealousy, and character downfall are clearly prevailed. In both the movie and the play these themes were used at the expense of others in order to obtain personal gain. Manipulation was used as weapon, forcing people to do whatever they were told. Jealousy was used in order to gain advantage over another person.

The characters in both “Othello” and “Mean Girls” went through drastic character changes throughout the course of the play/movie which was a result of manipulation and jealousy. Manipulation is the key theme that causes the plot to thicken in both “Othello” and “Mean Girls”. The characters Iago and Cady take advantage of how they are trusted, in order to manipulate others to benefit themselves. Throughout the play “Othello” Iago portrays himself as a kind, honest person, that genuinely cares about the wellbeing of his friends. He does this to make his enemies believe he is their friend and they can trust him “Though I do hate him as I do hell’s pains/I must show out a flag and sign of love”. This allows him to be viewed as a trustworthy person which people can depend on. Clearly his actions are working as he is constantly referred to as “most honest Iago”.

Iago’s intentions to take advantage over others is to seek revenge on Othello and Cassio, after he did not receive the promotion. A prime example of Iago taking advantage over others, is when he gets Cassio drunk in order to start a fight that would result in Cassio’s termination of his position as lieutenant. The way Iago masks his true intentions allows him to manipulate characters without them suspecting a thing.

In a similar way Cady from “Mean Girls” disguises herself as a “plastic” in order to gain information to share with Janis. Cady went to great lengths in order be liked and accepted by the plastics. For example when Regina got back with Aaron, Cady pretended to be unaffected by it, however deep down she was plotting her plan to take down Regina. Cady wants Regina to like her, in order to develop a sense of trust in their relationship “I could hate her, but I still wanted her to like me”. Now that Regina trusts Cady, it is easier for Cady to manipulate her. This is demonstrated when Cady gives Regina “Kalteen Bars” to help her lose weight but in reality the bars made her gain weight. Regina began to gain suspicion when she noticed she was gaining weight, however Cady backed her point up by saying “first you bloat, then you drop 10 pounds like that *snaps*” and Regina believed her because she trusted Cady. This goes to show how it is easier to manipulate others when you are trusted by them. Iago and Cady are very similar characters. They both portray themselves as kind, trustworthy, loyal people, in order to make it easier to take advantage of others.


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