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The Vulnerabilites of Iago from 'Othello' and Abigail from 'The Crucible'

Good Essays
Iago and Abigail both benefit from the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of others when they attempt to appeal to their victims. They both are able to identify the uncertainties or fears of others, and they plant seeds of doubt in the minds of those they wish to manipulate. Iago skillfully does this to Othello by feeding his slight uncertainty of his marriage. Iago’s goal is to convince Othello that his wife, Desdemona, is cheating with Cassio. His main tactic here is to make Othello so jealous, that he can no longer be objective. This would make him susceptible to whatever lies and ideas Iago plants in his head. To himself, Iago confirms, “I put the Moor At least into a jealousy so strong that judgment cannot cure…Make the Moor thank me, love…show more content…
He targets the fact that Desdemona had been hiding Othello from her father, so she is skilled in deceiving others. He implies that because she did this once, she is liable to do it again. He says to Othello, “She did deceive her father, marrying you; And when she seem'd to shake and fear your looks, She loved them most” (Shakespeare, III, iii, 206-207). This accentuates Desdemona’s devious and possibly duplicitous nature. Iago says this as if he’s trying to simply warn Othello, but this puts the idea in Othello’s head that his wife is not completely innocent to deception. This, just as Iago planned, makes Othello’s doubt grow; he has essentially been primed for persuasion on his wife’s character. Abigail uses a similar strategy when she preys upon the fear of the people of Salem. Just like Iago does, she targets the most sensitive weakness her victims have when she manipulates them. Abigail is skilled with dissembling others, and she uses this to find peoples weaknesses on countless occasions. One key example of this is when she must keep the girls from confessing what truly did happen in the woods. She takes a tyrannical approach by striking fear into these young…show more content…
Abigail and Iago both have solid reputations within their communities, which they use in their deception. Iago has a reputation for being exceptionally trustworthy and honest. Othello himself says that “Iago is most honest” (Shakespeare, II, iii, 7). This reputation is useful for Iago because he is known for telling the truth so, everyone is more inclined to trust him, even when he makes outlandish accusations. When Iago is trying to get Cassio fired, he goes to Othello and tries to convince him that Cassio is notorious for drinking too much. He takes the approach that he is a good friend of Cassio’s but feels it his duty to inform Othello of this issue. Because of Iago’s outstanding reputation, Othello believes that this is simply a caring and considerate gesture on Iago’s part. Othello reassures to him, “I know, Iago, Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter, Making it light to Cassio” (Shakespeare, II, iii, 225-226). Iago acts as though it is hard to hurt his friend Cassio like this when in reality, it is exactly what he intended to happen. Othello clearly buys this as he acknowledges Iago’s ever-present honesty. Later on, Iago uses his honest and kind reputation to further convince Othello of his wife’s infidelity. Iago again takes on the angle of the loyal friend who has to warn Othello of the situation, he says, “but I am much to blame; I humbly do beseech you of your pardon For too much loving
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