To What Extent Is Iago Responsible for Othello's Downfall

1326 WordsOct 30, 20106 Pages
AS English Literature Othello Coursework: How far do you agree with Bradley’s view that Iago is wholly responsible for Othello’s downfall? A.C Bradley, a known literature critic, argues that it is in fact the machinations of the character Iago that is wholly responsible for the downfall of Othello. “..that these worthy people, who are so successful and popular and stupid, are mere puppets in his hands, but living puppets, who at the motion of his finger must contort themselves in agony, while all the time they believe that he is their one true friend and comforter?” It cannot be denied that Iago had played a big part in Othello’s tragic fall, but could Othello’s tragic fall have contributed in destroying the Moor of Venice? Othello’s…show more content…
“I’ll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove; and on the proof, there is no more but this: Away at once with love or jealousy!” Iago also reminds Othello that Desdemona did forsake her father to marry you, so what would stop her from deceiving her husband in turn for someone else. “She did deceive her father, marrying you” Finally , Iago deliberately pleads for Desdemona and Cassio despite sentencing them to death by Othello, to probably guarantee that Othello will not hesitate from killing Desdemona and Cassio. “ My friend is dead; tis done at your request. But let her live.” To this Othello rages “Damn her, lewd minx! O damn her, damn her!....To furnish me with some swift means of death for the fair devil.” This response almost guarantees that Othello will not relent from killing Desdemona. In Act 4, Scene 1, Iago further poisons Othello’s mind against Desdemona and Cassio. Similar to Act 3 Scene 3, Iago uses lewd, descriptive language to put a picture in Othello’s mind of his wife’s adultery with Cassio. “Or to be naked with her friend in bed an hour or more, not meaning any harm?” This causes Othello to fall into an epileptic fit. This is probably used by Shakespeare to emphasize Othello’s confusion and
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