Othello, a play by William Shakespeare, is a tragedy about a Moorish general who is manipulated by his ensign, Iago. Othello ultimately kills his wife, Desdemona, in a fit of jealous rage after Iago convince him that she has been unfaithful. The play explores themes of race, jealousy, and betrayal.
Othello is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, and has been adapted for stage and screen numerous times. The character of Iago is often cited as one of the greatest villains in literature. Othello vs. Iago is a classic example of the tragedy genre.
The play Othello, written by William Shakespeare, tells the story of two unique individuals: Othello and Iago. The events begin with Iago informing the audience of his hate for Othello. Next, Duke sends all four characters to Cyprus to defeat the Turks. However, once they have completed their victory over the Turks, Iago begins to put into action his plan to destroy Othello’s life.
Iago’s plan involves him convincing Othello that his wife is cheating on him. Othello, consumed by jealousy, strangles Desdemona out of rage. Emilia, Iago’s wife, realises what has happened and exposes Iago which leads to Othello killing himself. In the end, Iago is the only one who survived.’
Iago plants the notion of Desdemona’s infidelity in Othello’s mind, which drives him insane. This causes Othello to murder Desdemona and then kill himself. Iago and Othello play key roles in the tale’s narrative throughout Shakespeare’s Otello. Iago and Othello’s complex character development contributes to continuing conflict and their downfall in Shakespeare’s Otello.
Othello is the tragic hero of the play, and Iago is his antagonist. Othello is a Moorish general in the Venetian army. He is a good and honorable man, but he is not perfect. Othello is very proud and has a bit of an ego. Othello can also be quite jealous. Iago is Othello’s ensign. Iago is a dishonest man who is driven by greed and envy. Iago manipulates Othello throughout the play in order to get what he wants. Iago does not have Othello’s best interests at heart; he only looks out for himself.
Othello and Iago’s Character Development
Othello and Iago’s characters develop throughout the play. Othello becomes more jealous and paranoid as the play goes on. Iago becomes more manipulative and cunning. Othello’s character development is driven by Iago’s manipulation. Iago takes advantage of Othello’s weaknesses and plays on his emotions. Iago is able to control Othello because Othello trusts him. Othello is not aware of Iago’s true intentions. Othello believes that Iago is his friend, but Iago is really his enemy.
Iago has several motives for causing conflict between Othello and Desdemona. Iago is jealous of Othello. Iago believes that Othello has slept with his wife, Emilia. Iago is also angry that Othello has promoted Cassio over him. Iago wants revenge against Othello and Cassio. Iago manipulates Othello in order to get what he wants.
Iago’s manipulation of Othello leads to Othello’s downfall. Iago planting the idea of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness in Othello’s mind is what ultimately drives Othello mad. Othello murder’s Desdemona because he believes she has been unfaithful to him. Othello’s death is a result of Iago’s manipulation.
Iago is frequently trusted by the other characters in the story to tell them the truth, as they often refer to him as “honest Iago.” After Cassio and Roderigo get into a dispute, Othello asks Iago for an explanation. He says “…on thy love I charge thee” meaning that he trusts Iago will be truthful based on their relationship (Shakespeare 2.3.156-157).
Othello’s reliance on Iago leads to his downfall because Iago is actually Othello’s foil. A foil is a character who brings out the traits of another character, in this case Othello’s. Othello is naive and easily manipulated, whereas Iago is cunning and always has ulterior motives. By being Othello’s foil, Iago is able to take advantage of Othello and eventually ruin his life.
Iago is successful in fooling Othello because Othello does not have anyone to confide in. Othello is new to Venice and does not have any close friends. Iago takes advantage of this by being Othello’s confidant. Othello tells Iago everything, which allows Iago to easily manipulate him.
If Othello had someone to confide in, someone who could help him see Iago for who he really was, then maybe Othello’s tragic story could have had a different ending.
Othello trusts Iago because he is honest, reliable, and trustworthy (97). Iago has always been there for others, which is why he has a reputation for being truthful. Furthermore, Othello and Iago have fought in numerous fights together; therefore, Othello relies on him completely.
Othello is also under the impression that Iago is his best friend. Othello says, “I know, Iago,/ Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter” (3.3.290-291). Othello believes that Iago is a good person because he has always been honest with Othello in the past and has never done anything to hurt him.
Othello trusts Iago so much that he gives him complete control over his military decisions. Othello tells Iago, “From this time forth/ I put thee in charge of all my battles” (4.1.14-15). Othello knows that he can rely on Iago to make the right decisions in battle because he has always been a good friend and advisor.
However, Iago is actually a very dishonest person. Iago has always been jealous of Othello because Othello is a better soldier and has more authority than Iago. Iago also believes that Othello slept with his wife, which makes him even more angry. Iago decides to get revenge on Othello by convincing him that his wife is cheating on him. Iago starts to plant the seeds of doubt in Othello’s mind by telling him that Cassio is in love with Desdemona.
Othello begins to believe Iago’s lies and starts to think that Desdemona is cheating on him. Othello says, “I’ll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove;/ And on the proof, there is no more but this:/ Away at once with love or jealousy!” (3.3.265-267). Othello is so sure that Desdemona is cheating on him that he doesn’t even want to hear her side of the story. Othello is so blinded by his jealousy that he doesn’t see how Iago is manipulating him.