Jealousy And Manipulation In Othello

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Jealousy and Manipulation in Othello It is often unavoidable for one to encounter devious people who exist only to influence those around them in favor of attaining their desired reality. In our modern times, psychologists may label these people as mentally ill with a number of personality disorders, but in Shakespearean times, they were simply called “evil” or “villainous.” In William Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago is the clear antagonist, scheming to get revenge on various innocent characters while simultaneously exploiting their good natures in the interest of employing their accidental help in their successful destruction. Iago’s behavior throughout the play assists in developing the recurring themes of jealousy and manipulation while emphasizing …show more content…
When Iago first warns Othello of Brabantio’s anger upon learning of his only daughter’s marriage, he is not agitated or apprehensive; rather, he claims that his “parts, [his] title, and [his] perfect soul / shall manifest [him] rightly” (I.ii.31-32), as well as the “services which [he has] done the seigniory” (I.ii.18). He knows that his stance in society will make up for Roderigo’s rumors, demonstrating for the first time his values: reputation and truth. Then, when Othello lashes out at Desdemona in a fit of anger (and in front of company), Lodovico, a Venetian of nobility, reflects on how it “would not be believed in Venice” (IV.i.248), and wonders aloud if Othello is truly “the noble moor… / …[w]hom passion could not shake” (IV.i.272-274). Lodovico observes how much Othello has changed since he last saw him, and considers how no one from Venice would recognize the man he is now, nor believe Lodovico if he told them of the situation truthfully. He appears amazed at Othello’s blatant disregard for his status and honor, which he held in such high regard in the past. This seemingly random shift in Othello’s behavior has surmounted as a result of Iago’s behavior. He convinces Othello to agree with his radical ideas about jealousy, women, and love until he is overcome with these crass thoughts, and ends up putting them to good use on …show more content…
Through his tireless labor, he successfully conveys a sense of jealousy and uncovers how it corrupts the people affected and ruins the lives of those unaffected. Othello accuses Desdemona of giving “[t]hat handkerchief which [he] so loved and gave” (V.ii.51) to her to Cassio and proves completely unwilling to listen to Desdemona’s excuses, as he has already decided to murder her based on hearsay. A certain “element of irrationality…accompanies” (Godfrey 1) jealousy, seen simply during the consideration and ultimate execution of his plan to assassinate his wife. When Othello insults and hits Desdemona in front of Lodovico, he is attempting to “defend [his] honor” through the usage of “sheer force and threat of violence,” saving “[his] name by acting violently against [the woman] who [has] ‘dishonored’ [him]” (Pelusi 2). While it is clear to the other characters and the reader that Desdemona is the victim of the situation, Othello is blinded by his emotions. Desdemona’s perceived unfaithfulness is essentially what leads to her inevitable death, as “[h]armful jealousy springs from a weak sense of self” (Pelusi 3). Othello worries about what kind of life he can offer Desdemona, rather than another man of younger age and lighter skin. Iago’s actions also demonstrate flagrant themes of manipulation and illustrate how, when implemented successfully, it can

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