Rhetoric is an incredibly powerful tool capable of seducing even the most obdurate of people. As one of the most illustrious playwrights ever, Shakespeare was no stranger to the power of rhetoric. Rhetoric served as the fountainhead of Shakespearian allure. We watch the dramatic works of Shakespeare because we enjoy having our emotions manipulated; we enjoy the catharsis and self-reflection that accompanies a trip to the theater. Shakespeare truly was a master manipulator, but his manipulation was generally beneficial.
Othello’s confidence for a loyal man to maintain honesty and morals are contradicted through Iago’s actions: “in a man that’s just / They are close dilations, working from the heart, / That passion cannot rule” (3.3.123). Iago, due to the understatement to his name, is not perceivable as hateful. Othello’s willingness to sense Iago’s distress, and to believe his accusations, is because of the lack of awareness Othello has for his vengeance. Iago is of such little power and relevance within societal ranking that if he were to have intentions to sabotage anyone, which he does, are not considered, thus making him easily trustworthy to those of greater dominance. Society’s view of an individual determines how others consider and surmise their persona, though these conclusions may be false.
Iago’s Plan In Shakespeare’s “Othello”, manipulation and deceit are prevalent throughout the play, and the use of these tools causes multiple characters to become more and more violent as a result. Through the use of verbal and physical manipulation of others combined with the use of irony, simile, and metaphor, Iago progressively shifts Othello’s positive mental attitude towards his peers into one more similar to that of the cold blooded and vicious killer that he is deep down which can be seen through his actions. At the beginning of the play, in Act 1 Scene 1, Iago can be seen verbally communicating with his peers in which his lying spree begins.
At the beginning of Shakespeare’s play, Othello is portrayed as a man who is confident in himself and his position. He is deeply in love with his wife, Desdemona, and we can see their relationship was both strong and stable. However, while the play and its events start to unfold, with the help of Iago’s evil plans, these factors don’t stay the same. When Iago begins to plant the seeds of doubt in Othello's mind about Desdemona's unfaithfulness, his once strong faith in love quickly is replaced by suspicion and jealousy. “Othello displayed signs of a man no longer sane.
And happily repent.” Iago, being the master manipulator that he is, recognizes Othello’s insecurity and is able to play upon them. He manages to plant seeds of doubt in Othello’s mind. “She did deceive her father, marrying you,/ And when she seemed to shake and fear your looks,/ She loved them most” (Shakespeare, 3.3.238-240).
Iago also manipulates Othello with jealousy. When Othello is gone at war, Iago tells him that Cassio and Desdemona were getting too close. At first Othello does not believe him, but by Iago saying “nothing,my lord; or if- I know not what” Othello starts to question if it is true (III. III. 39). Iago constantly uses his “innocence” to make Othello jealous and start to assume that it is true. These actions eventually lead to a tragic event.
Othello’s life transforms the second he steps into Cyprus. Iago’s motives are devastating as he plan’s to take Othello’s position, regardless of the cost. Iago plants the seed of deceit and unfaithfulness when he hints of an affair involving Othello’s love, Desdemona and Cassio. An overwhelming feeling of jealously takes a hold in Othello’s life. Othello is no longer the well spoken, and respected army general that everyone knew him to be, but instead a short tempered man with little respect for
Othello loses his respect and nobility when he falls right into Iago’s trap. In Act IV, an upset Othello strikes Desdemona. The Venetian gentleman, Lodovico, sees for the first time Othello behave violently. Lodovico asks,” Is this the noble Moor whom our full Senate/Call all in all sufficient?” (IV,ii,259-260).
In Act 4, Iago lies to Othello saying,“What if I had said I had seen him do you wrong?” convincing Othello of Desdemona and Cassio’s affair (4.1.24). Iago knows Othello’s jealousy overwhelms him at the thought of Cassio and Desdemona, giving Iago control over Othello’s emotions and
The above passage from Shakespeare’s “Othello the Moor of Venice” encapsulates the irony of Iago’s character; but, also foreshadows the deceptions and betrayals that he will orchestrate on each person that is involved in his life. Othello at its core deals with appearances versus reality: shown through racism parallels and paradoxes. Honest and just are not qualities Iago possesses, but this is his appearance to his social circle; when in reality he is a manipulative, deceitful, double crossing, backstabbing man. He cares for no one but himself; and will destroy and pervert innocence to serve his own ambition and darkness.
In many stories, there are villains who seem to control how the characters act by manipulation. These kinds of villains use multiple techniques to get what they want and to execute their plans. The techniques are used to affect the characters in a negative way in favor of the villain. In Othello, the antagonist Iago, plays that role. Iago affects the characters’ lives in a negative way by his honest reputation, his ability to “read” people, and how he “proves” to be Loyal.
Development of Othello The character of Othello transforms during the course of the play from a respected and revered general to a fallen and easily fooled man, due to the unfortunate sequence of events that transpire through both coincidence and Iago’s evil designs. He said that he wouldn’t be the jealous type unless he had seen it happen right in front of him, but with the help of Iago and a lot of coincidences it had happened in front of him. His judgment of the coincidence over ruled facts that could have changed the way it had ended drastically (Nwabueze, 167).
Iago’s powerfully disruptive insinuations torment Othello to fall precipitously into his intricate trap, believing in the prospect of Cassio and Desdemona’s fictitious affair. Through the use of linguistic techniques such as elliptical speech, subservient vocative choices and a hesitant tone, Iago is able to construct artful innuendoes to deceive and manipulate Othello. Supplementary to linguistic techniques, dramatic techniques such as dramatic irony reinforces Iago’s role as a two-faced villain, who is making a pretence of being Othello’s loyal ensign. Eventually, Iago’s villainy nature sows a seed of doubt in Othello that germinates into the murder of Desdemona. Through the characterisation of Iago as a notorious villain, Shakespeare is able to hold Iago’s actions accountable for the play’s tragic downfall, establishing a sense of powerlessness amongst the
Knowing how jealousy eats someone up, Iago uses that upon Othello by introducing doubt in one of the greatest things he had, his love in Desdemona. The way Iago worked into Othello’s head is that he made it seem like he was helping him by thinking of different possibilties, which only fed the green-eyed monster in Othello. “Their best conscience is not to leave ‘t undone, but keep ‘t unknown,” (III,iii. 235-236)said Iago, which exaplains exactly how he functions. He tells Othello what he wants to hear, which is what builds the doubt of Othello.