The Power of Words Essay examples

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Historically, the villains in Shakespeare’s plays, Othello in particular, derive much of their power from their ability to persuade other characters within the play to do anything within the villain’s will using speech as their main tool for exploitation. Shakespeare was an expert on using language to his advantage in his plays and quite deeply grasped the power of words. In Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago’s manipulative use of speech is an influential force that drives the play forward and leaves him no exception to the villain armed with a scheming tongue. But this powerful use of speech is not merely limited to literature; there are plenty of villains that endure in life and current times of real society. Perhaps one of the most…show more content…
Both Iago, in the text of Othello, and Hitler, in his speech given on May 4th,1941 in Berlin, developed a style of speech that persuaded many, seemingly good-natured, people to do whatever it was they wanted to do and it was through Aristotle’s pillars of public speaking (ethos, logos, and pathos) that they were able to control others for their personal gain. Iago, the antagonist from Othello, is by far one of the finest examples of using rhetoric to its highest power. The first pillar of public speaking used by Iago is ethos, or ethical appeal, is the credibility that the speaker creates with his audience. In short, the general population tends to believe people whom they respect. By incorporating ethos into his speech, Iago establishes his trustworthiness and authority, making him a worthy and well respected leader. Ethos is what makes Iago’s victims believe he is of excellent disposition and generally honorable. Beginning with Roderigo, a dense and envious suitor of Desdemona, Othello’s wife, Iago uses an obscure web of fairly simple words to entangle his first prey. By doing such, Roderigo questions what Iago truly feels about Othello and Iago continues to influence Roderigo that he is repulsed by the thought of Othello. By doing just that, Iago makes use of the very quintessence of what ethos is and persuades Roderigo that he is, indeed, someone who can be trusted. Iago explains how he was

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