Othello Power Analysis

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Power is often the root at which conflicts begin. As those on the bottom attempt to gain power and those at the top of the power dynamic attempt to consistently degrade those below them to prevent them from gaining influence. In William Shakespeare’s Othello, the surprise, seemingly societally transcendent, ability for Othello to gain power and Othello to be able to marry Desdemona, is immediately followed by those in power trying to relieve Othello of his role in society, leading Othello to even attempt to exert his own power. The powerful men of Othello attempt to destroy and subjugate the lives of others to prevent them from advancing and maintaining power. A crucial part of power is gaining power which is shown in the novel by a diverse…show more content…
By Iago’s own admission “I play the villain” (Shakespeare, 1310), and his internal feelings of evil are well founded as shown through his destruction of the lives of nearly everyone in the play, but he has his reasoning. Iago has grown up as a privileged white Christian male in a society that favors white Christian males and, notably, has the favor of at least three senators who would have been quite influential in Venetian society (Kiernan, Print). The catalyst for all this is the admission of Cassio to the position of second in command, which Iago had too been vying for. Iago believes this is taken from him by a Black, possibly Muslim, man, Othello. Thereby allowing Iago to use what influence and power he has retained to ruin Othello’s life and power dynamic. He relies completely on what he believes to be his merit (through status) rather than loyalty, which Othello favors. Another proprietor of power is Othello, who is more unexpected than the other characters to wield it. “I fetch my life and being from men of royal siege, and my demerits may speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune as this that I have reached” (Shakespeare,1280). As he is a non-European character he has had to have undeniable levels of experience to be appointed to his position, yet even then he is
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