William Shakespeare 's Othello And Othello

1385 Words Dec 10th, 2015 6 Pages
For the time Othello was set in, 16th century Elizabethan society held strong socioeconomic roles that governed social statuses. In Shakespeare’s Othello, class positions become a theme that emphasizes power as a major role in relationships. In the case of Othello, a general of the Venetian army, and Iago, one of his trusted advisors, that power struggle is the force that dominants the play and leads to the disastrous and memorable ending. Machiavelli’s treatise, The Prince, examines the dynamic between power and servitude and how a proper ruler will take care not to be hated by his inner circle and pick the right ministers to advise him (Machiavelli XVI, XXII). By using Machiavelli’s treatise, the roles that Othello and Iago contributed to the tragedy will be studied to determine the cause for the struggle between power and servitude and how, if possible, that struggle could have been avoided if Othello had adapted to the philosophy suggested in The Prince.
Othello’s character is one that goes through dramatic changes throughout the play at the hands of his advisor Iago, but also at his own hands. Iago is arguably one of Shakespeare’s most notorious villain and he remains as evil in the play as he was when he is first introduced. Iago is determined to break Othello down by manipulating him into believing that his wife, Desdemona, has been unfaithful and Iago does not need to do much to convince him. There may be several theories as to why Othello is easily manipulated even…
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