Evil And Dark Desires Of The Subconscious

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In the play Othello by William Shakespeare, the audience encounters characters that are manifestations of evil and dark desires of the subconscious. This theme is portrayed through the characters of Iago and Othello. From the start, Iago’s malicious intents are clear. Because of his feelings of incompetence, particularly to Othello, he succumbs to very human emotions like jealousy. However, his proceeding actions seem to lack awareness and thought for others. Iago manipulates Othello until he too becomes mad and overpowered by envy. Both characters are immersed into their sinister roles because of accessible motives, but they experience fluxes of instability that ultimately dehumanize their characters. At each of these transitions, the motif of bestial and monstrous themes are present to mark the characters’ demise. The most effective way of portraying a character’s greatest fears is to make the audience see it themselves. By doing so, the audience feels connected to the character and is subsequently more understanding of his motives. Shakespeare uses bestial imagery early on in the play so that the audience may see what lays in the subconscious of the characters. Iago is plotting against Cassio in Act 2, and he reveals to the audience that his plan will cause Cassio, “to be as full of quarrel and offense as my young mistress’ dog.” His desire for Cassio to be represented as rowdy animal indicates the power reversal that Iago is scheming about. The disparity between
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