Manipulation And Tragic Flaws In Shakespeare's Othello

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Manipulation, tragic flaws, two things that go hand in hand with each other. If you find your enemy’s weakness, use it to your advantage to bring them down. In the play Othello by William Shakespeare, the main character Iago, did just that. However, he took it to new extremes. When he wanted to exploit someone he used the same tactic each time. He went after their weakness or tragic flaw. By manipulating each character and their flaws Iago systematically got each character, Othello, Roderigo, Cassio and Desdemona, to destroy themselves and each other. Iago really had no specific reason to make each character do what they did but he did it anyway. Iago showed us that by mastering the art of language and imagery and by using simple manipulation …show more content…
What differentiates Desdemona’s eventual fall from the other characters is that Iago inadvertently brought her down. Desdemona is the wife of Othello and is the most beautiful woman in the book. She was born into a wealthy family and sheltered as a child, which is part of the reason for her independent spirit and her willingness to go against what is expected of her. She married Othello (who is black) to spite her father, and she was unafraid to speak before the senate when she is questioned. Through Iago’s manipulation of Othello, he brings down Desdemona as well. Each time, Iago plants a thought in Othello’s head, Othello takes his jealousy and anger out on Desdemona a prime example being when Othello hits Desdemona in front of Lodovico in Act IV, scene i. At the beginning of the book Desdemona was a strong woman who knew what she wanted, she had confidence, beauty, and an independent spirit. But when Othello changed, she changed too, by the ending scenes of the book Desdemona was reduced to a begging, weak and weeping shell of the woman she once was. Desdemona’s tragic and eventually fatal flaw, was that when faced with adversity, she crumbled. When Othello became angry towards her she did not know what to do or how to handle it. Iago wanted to bring Othello down just as much as he did with any other character and in the end by bringing Othello down, he brought Desdemona down as …show more content…
Iago manipulates Othello by fooling Othello into thinking his wife (Desdemona) is cheating on him with his captain and good friend, Michael Cassio. Othello is not very emotionally intelligent but yet he is very passionate. When Othello gets angry, jealous or upset his logical thinking stops and he just goes by what he feels is right, an example is him firing Cassio without knowing the surrounding facts. The best example, however takes place during Act IV, scene I. After eavesdropping to the conversation between Iago, Cassio and partially Bianca and after seeing Bianca with his handkerchief that Bianca claims was second hand gift from Cassio, the first thing Othello says to Iago after leaving his hiding spot is “How shall I murder him, Iago?” (IV.i.162) This shows how passionate yet unintelligent Othello really is. Othello even admits in the book that he gets overly emotional “My blood begins my safer guides to rule, / And passion, having my best judgment collied, / Assays to lead the way.” (II.iii.186-189). Iago also plays to Othello’s pride when he keeps telling Othello that his actions are always right. By Iago doing that he keeps making Othello believe in things like Desdemona’s unfaithfulness. It isn’t until the end of the book after Iago manipulated Othello to the point where Othello killed his wife over nothing, that Othello realizes the extent of Iago’s control

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