INGL3104 Section 101
6 May 2009
Tracing the steps by which Iago poisons Othello’s mind against his wife and his friend. Why does everyone call him “honest Iago”? What factor helps Iago to “gull” Othello so easily?
All chess players know that in order to win, is important to trace a good strategy based on the opponent’s moves at each game. This game is the representation of waritself. As a result, when reading Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago comes in mind as a brilliant chess player. In this, Simon is right on his essay when he writes that “Iago moves the characters in the play as if they are chessmen”. This character is a terrific strategist who knows his opponent very well, Simon also asserts that he uses the character’s individual aspirations and passions to motivate themto what ever he wants them to do. Because of it, Othello does not even notice how Iago does “checkmate” on him. Ever since the beginning of this play Iago’s goal is to destroy Othello’s life and reputation by ruining his marriage with Desdemona. Using his very well talented manipulation skills, Iago twists Othello’s confidence on his wife and friend to gull him, and so get away with his revenge.Is true that Iago has better skills and knowledge to be lieutenant than Cassio; but his evil plan is not only because Cassio is named lieutenant instead of him. This decision of Othello’s is most likely the cherry on top of the cake. The real detonator here is that there are rumors that Othello had an affair with Emilia, Iago’s wife; this is proven when Iago says “He’s done my office… But I,for mere suspicion in that kind, Will do as if for surety…” Cassio is simply the perfect bait to do his trick (II, i, 367-371).
Iago had it in mind since the beginning “Must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light” (II, i, 383). All the action starts racing right after a storm which is the alarm that in a symbolic way tells that something dreadful is approaching. Iago’s first relevantstep was to induce Cassio into drinking and then to convince everyone that he was an alcoholic. This, the first night in which Cassio was supposed to do the guard. This ended up ruining Cassio’s reputation for he got involved on a fight and so Othello felt forced to discharge him from his lieutenant position. Because of these Iago was now the new lieutenant. Second part of the plan now, Iago knewhow Desdemona was all careful and good to others, as well as he knew that she appreciated Cassio very much. Therefore, he tells Cassio to ask for Desdemona’s help in order for her to speak to Othello and she promises to do so; and she does in very insistent manner. This, with Iago’s help, worked as a very strong mind poisoning in Othello.
“Honest Iago” is the wolf itself dressed as the lamb; hisvisible actions make everyone think he is a trustworthy man. He learns to know well in off those around him, and disguises himself outstandingly. He sees that Othello is easily be fooled by appearances, and this can be noticed when he says that men are what they look like (II, I, 378-381) and so confirms it when Othello in response tells him “Certain, men should be what they seem” (III, iii, 141).At scene three, Iago reaches to manipulate Othello’s thoughts greatly “she did deceive her father, marrying you” (III, iii, 220) meaning she was already disloyal to her father and could be as disloyal to him. Othello now felt doubts and told Iago to let him know if he observed anything else (III, iii, 255). Later on Othello’s mind would not stop so he desperately asked Iago to prove his words.After this, Desdemona worried for Othello who was having a migraine, dropped by accident the handkerchief he had first given her as a gift. Iago had told his wife Emilia to steal this many times, and so she found her opportunity with Desdemona’s oversight. This handkerchief is a very important symbol of Othello’s genuine love to Desdemona, becoming a key element for the play. When Emilia...
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