Iago's Manipulation Essay

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In William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Othello, Iago demonstrates a mastery of manipulation over people who had previously trusted and confided in him. His sudden turn from Othello’s loyal ensign to rage-filled villain seems indicative of a man who can no longer accept his position in life. Iago’s plotting of Othello’s demise starts as idle talk of a disgruntled 28 year-old career military man passed over for promotion. Iago believes that such a promotion may never come after Othello rejects his candidacy and makes it clear that he did not believe him suitable. He sees Othello is only concerned with personal and political gain with his choice of Cassio as lieutenant. When Iago teams with love-scorned and desperate Roderigo, he begins…show more content…
Roderigo is a co-conspirator with Iago but is not equal in developing a web of lies and jealousy designed to ensnare others. “Thus do I ever make my fool my purse (Shakespeare)”. Iago takes advantage of the desperate former suitor of Desdemona and controls his emotions like a puppeteer pulling strings. With the line, “But for my sport and profit”, it is clear that Iago sees enriching himself off Roderigo’s envy as an amusing task with such an easy mark (Shakespeare 1473). Roderigo is a simple-minded fool who believes that by giving money to a lowly ensign he can win the love of Desdemona, have her marriage to Othello dissolved, and restore her virtue. What is not clear is whether Desdemona would even consider Roderigo’s advances. We know that Roderigo has failed in previous attempts to court Desdemona and Brabantio “charged thee not to haunt my doors” (Shakespeare 1458). Roderigo is eager to charge forward with Iago’s instructions and is so gullible that he is repeatedly puts his self in physical danger. Roderigo has no realistic chance of success and is therefore considered a pawn for Iago to maneuver. To enlist his help to eliminate Cassio, Iago conjures up a tale of an affair between Desdemona and Cassio that Roderigo is all too willingly to accept about the woman he loves. According to Iago, Roderigo is no longer considered Desdemona’s second choice behind Othello, but falls to a distant third behind Cassio. Roderigo becomes
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