Otheelo: Iago’s Manipulation Essay, Research Paper
Iago is the master of deception and no one cares to notice it because he is known to them as honest Iago. “Good night honest Iago” (Shakespeare 2.3.325). He uses his trust that everyone has for him against them to plant ideas in their heads. He will do anything to get what he wants and he does not care who he hurts as long as he gets what he wants. Iago uses his expert judgment of character to use and betray his fellow friend, Roderigo. He is jealous that Cassio is Lieutenant and plots against him because he believes that he should be Lieutenant. Othello believes and trusts only Iago, and Iago uses that trust against so in the end it will benefit him and only him. Iago uses manipulation to betray Roderigo, Cassio and Othello so that it will benefit himself. Iago knows that Roderigo is gullible so he uses that to his advantage. He finds out early that Roderigo is in love with Desdemona and he is quick to use that to his advantage. Iago uses mind control to convince Roderigo that Othello is not good for Desdemona. Roderigo uses this information to call upon Brabantio and explain to him that he will be better off for her. “If she be in her chamber or your house, Let loose on me the justice of the state” (1.1.139). Roderigo convinces Brabantio that Othello is not good enough for Desdemona which causes hatred for Othello from Brabantio. Iago also uses his friend Roderigo to do his dirty work. Iago says to Othello that he will take Cassio out of the picture but instead he convinces Roderigo to do it. Iago plants thoughts into Roderigo’s head that Cassio and Desdemona are fond of each other which causes him to go after Cassio. Iago does not care who dies because either way it will fit into his plan. “Now, whether he kill Cassio, Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other, Every way makes my gain” (5.1.12). Iago uses his manipulation on a gullible Roderigo to do his dirty work and when Roderigo is not needed anymore, Iago betrays him by killing him. Iago did not like Cassio at all because Othello gives him the Lieutenant position instead of him. Iago feels that he deserves that position more than Cassio and he uses the trust Cassio has for him against him. Iago does his homework and finds out that Cassio is an alcoholic. Iago uses this information to get Cassio drunk and he gets into a fight with Montano. Cassio wounds Montano and when Othello asks Iago what happened, Iago says that Cassio had to much to drink and ended up attacking Montano. This works out for Iago because Cassio lost his position of Lieutenant. “Cassio, I love thee, But nevermore be officer of mine” (2.3.243). Being the genius that he is, Iago uses Cassio’s own faults against him.
Iago seems to get along with Othello but deep down he despises him. Othello is the cause for Iago’s actions because Iago believes that he slept with his wife, Emilia. He also despises him because did not appoint him Lieutenant. Iago knows that Othello will listen to him because he is his right hand man. So with ease, Iago gives Othello hints that he thinks Desdemona and Cassio are more than friends. Iago uses the fact that the handkerchief given to Desdemona by Othello, which means a lot to her is now in the hands of Othello. “And did you see the handkerchief. What is that mine? And to see how he prizes the foolish woman your wife: she gave it him, and he hath giv’n it his whore’ (4.1.172). Iago knows that Othello is going insane so he tells Othello that the only way to get even with his wife is to kill her. Othello believes this is the right thing to do because he is listening to the words of honest Iago. Iago gets into Othello’s thoughts by telling him to kill his own wife. Iago even tells Othello how to kill her and Othello does not realize that Iago is taking advantage of him. “Do it not with poison: strangle her in her bed, even the bed she hath contaminated” (4.1.206). Iago believes that Othello slept with his wife, so he gets revenge on him by putting false accusations in his mind that his wife is a strumpet. He also breaks the friendship between Othello and Cassio so he can get what he wants, the Lieutenant’s position. Roderigo, Cassio and Othello were all victims of Iago’s manipulations. These manipulations causes Iago to get whatever he desires. Iago takes advantage of his friend Roderigo by making him do his dirty work. Roderigo does do his dirty work because Iago plants ideas into his head that once Othello and Cassio are dead, then he will get his love, Desdemona. Cassio is very loyal to Othello but Iago changes that by taking his looks and young age against him. He makes Othello think that Desdemona will like Cassio better because he is younger and good looking. Iago does not want Othello to live because he hates him. He believes that Othello slept with his wife, Emilia and is jealous of him. He also hates Othello because he gives Cassio the Lieutenant’s spot instead of his right hand man, Iago. With all his evil thoughts, it does not end up the way he had planned.