Othello, by William Shakespeare Essay

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In Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago is portrayed as a cruel puppet master, using his high order critical analysis and manipulative skills to exact on those he believe wronged him; as he weaves a web of deceit to ensnare the play’s protagonist (and namesake of the play) Othello. Various movie adaptations have portrayed the characters in different ways, often resulting in a fusion of the context of the age, artistic license and Shakespeare’s character. One such fusion is Stuart Burge’s 1965 filmic portrayal of Iago in his Othello. Act II, scene I is a prime example of how Iago can be adapted for film.
Other characters within the play assist in Iago’s plot by revealing their weaknesses. Cassio, who speaks of Desdemona as the “Divine Desdemona,”
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Roderigo stands as a contrast to the deceptive Iago, who is both easily fooled and manipulated by Iago. After circling Roderigo in a manner likened to that of a predatory animal, he positions himself beside Roderigo’s shoulder, which is representative of his insidious nature and ill motive. Iago and Roderigo’s relative positioning is also relevant and symbolic to their respective natures; upon expressing disbelief he pushes past Iago, who then lures Roderigo back into a submissive, seated position, demonstrating his control with playful strikes on the shoulder. This, coupled with the initial good natured touch of the chin, contrast with Iago’s true feelings towards Iago; as the audience and readers know of Iago’s superiority complex, made evident by the soliloquy at the conclusion of act I which describes Roderigo as Iago’s personal coin purse. Roderigo concludes his role in the scene with a rise to Iago’s eye level, symbolic of Iago’s deception in that Roderigo truly believes that he is not only a dear friend, but on an equal level to Iago.
One of Iago’s primary motives is jealousy, and his wanton acts of vengeance with little to no proof all substantially contribute to the portrayal of his character both in the movie and in the play. Cassio’s over embellished description of Desdemona attests to his attitudes toward her and the apologetic manner in which he explains his mannerism after

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