Machiavellian Villainss In Shakespeare's Othello

Amazing Essays
Machiavellian villains are notorious for preying upon their victims until they accomplish their goal. In Othello, William Shakespeare uses Iago’s manipulation of Othello as an example of what Machiavellian villains do to their victims. Iago is a classic example of a Machiavellian villain, as he continues to manipulate Othello and turn him against his friends. Ultimately Iago is able to turn him against his wife, at which point Othello turns on himself by committing suicide. As presented in Othello, Machiavellian villains are a far more dangerous foe than someone who uses physical violence because they are able to destroy the lives of multiple people simultaneously and turn their victims against themselves. In the play, Iago is so devious in …show more content…
Furthermore, Iago is able to convince Othello that he is his best friend while fantasizing about his downfall. In 2.1.308-312, Iago proclaims that he will, “…Make the Moor thank me, love me and reward me. For making him egregiously an ass and practising upon his peace and quiet even to madness. Is here, but yet confused: Knavery 's plain face is never seen till used.” Iago’s declaration exposes his intentions of pretending to befriend Othello. At the same time, he intends to prey upon his mind until he enters a jealous rage. According to Iago, once Othello is in this state, he will make a fool of himself and offend the people around him. Moreover, Iago is able to persuade Othello that he cares about him and anything he says that is hurtful is said out of love. He tells Othello, “Trust me, I fear it has. I hope you will consider what is spoke comes from my love. But I do see you’re moved. I am to pray you not to strain my speech to grosser issues nor to larger reach than to suspicion” (3.3. 215-220). In this passage, Iago is pretending to regret revealing his suspicions regarding Desdemona and Cassio’s relationship to Othello when he appears to be upset by the news. However, it is clear that he is intending to hurt Othello indirectly by making him think that Desdemona is cheating on him. Therefore, Iago is undoubtedly a master of deception and manipulation, which are …show more content…
As a result, Cassio’s reputation for being honest and noble would be damaged further. Moreover, Othello would be so jealous that it would destroy his relationship with Desdemona as he takes out his jealousy on her. Machiavellian villains also exploit their victim’s weaknesses in order to guarantee their downfall. Iago demonstrates this when he mutters, “As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad. And his unbookish jealousy must construe poor Cassio’s smiles, gestures, and light behaviour quite in the wrong” (4.1. 103-105). This excerpt implies that Othello will misinterpret Cassio’s smile to be Cassio bragging about sleeping with Desdemona. Evidently, Iago has successfully used Othello’s naivety and jealous tendencies against him. Additionally, Machiavellian villains often use psychological warfare to convince their victims to commit heinous crimes, and let them suffer the consequences of that act. The scene when Othello murders Desdemona is an example of this as he

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Having this target Iago must get his revenge. Iago has a friend Roderigo who is in love with Desdemona, he toys with Roderigo mind saying that he will get Desdemona, when Iago just needs Roderigo to be apart of his plan to take down Cassio and Othello. Even though Othello actions were him, he was manipulated by Iago and his lies. Iago feeded him into believe that Desdemona was cheating and he continue to shove the thought of this down his throat, making him break to the edge. Othello took his fall when he killed Desdemona, hurting his love, and becoming a beast like everyone said he was.…

    • 1312 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Othello Jealousy Analysis

    • 1072 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Othello’s insecurities about his race makes him extremely jealous of Cassio. He cannot think straight or use rational thought to keep the jealousy out of his head. Othello’s jealousy puts him in a position where he is at the mercy of whatever perception that Iago chooses to show him. This causes Othello to create the tension between him and Desdemona. Iago also utilizes the handkerchief to incite even more jealousy in Othello.…

    • 1072 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Iago uses Roderigo as a tool to trap Cassio. Cassio appears to be perfect but is tragically flawed, and tricked into over-drinking. The brawl that spurred from Roderigo and Cassio woke Othello. The perfect Cassio without realizing falls victim to Iago’s manipulation and loses his position as lieutenant. Iago, again, uses his psychopathic tactics to explain to Othello that Cassio started the brawl.…

    • 901 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Iago Narcissism In Othello

    • 1904 Words
    • 8 Pages

    In other words, Iago represents a persona that is far from his reality, and he plays upon the emotions of others by insinuating love triangles. His insinuations play upon the emotions of others, which is a narcissist way of getting into the mindset of his victim. Iago’s narcissistic traits are highlighted by the methods he uses to seek out his revenge. It is those narcissistic traits that leave Iago with the “victim syndrome”. Narcissists live with a delusional mindset of “greater than others”.…

    • 1904 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Iago’s envious desire to be in Cassio’s position and his suspicions of Othello being with his wife causes him to create plans that destroy people’s reputations and corrupt the trustworthiness of innocent people. In one of Iago’s soliloquies, he reveals his plan to make Othello think that Cassio has been seeing his…

    • 1129 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    His soldier Iago is interested in him and so jealous about his life, so he attempts to cripple it. He will accomplish his goal by manipulating Othello, deceiving him and counterfeiting him. Firstly, Iago is jealous about the relationship between Othello and Desdemona and attempts to manipulates Othello. “Dangerous conceits are in their natures of poisons.” Iago (3.3.374). This quote shows that Iago is envious about Othello, so he poisons him by making him think that Desdemona does naughty things from his back.…

    • 850 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The mere rumor is enough for Iago to become jealous and angry. He is terrified by the idea that his wife would cheat on him and destroy his honor. As a result, Iago decides to get revenge on the men who insulted his honor. Iago tells Othello that Desdemona, his wife, is cheating on him. Iago warns Othello not to have the very reaction he is hoping Othello has.…

    • 1390 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Curtis Karner Mrs Markovich ENG3U In the play Othello by William Shakespeare the theme of betrayal has an effect on many of the plays characters. Othello and Rodrigo both endure a crippling betrayal at the hands of the sinister Iago. Iago betrays his General Othello by trying to ruin his relationship with Desdemona through a series of devious acts designed to get revenge on Othello for not promoting him to Lieutenant. Iago betrays his friend Rodrigo by using his deep lust for Desdemona against him, he uses Rodrigo’s stubbornness to manipulate and ultimately betray him. Both these characters make the mistake of trusting Iago which results in their downfall.…

    • 1119 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In the final analysis, Iago is more narcissistic which is more evil, according to the definition. Furthermore, narcissism can lead to being deceitful and use others without having any remorse. Along with Iago’s selfish behaviour, he was also very manipulative to get what he desired. Near the beginning of the book, Iago finds out that Roderigo is deeply in love with Desdemona and would do anything to get her back. He knows this and tricks Roderigo into thinking that Iago can bring her back.…

    • 1183 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Initially, Iago convinces Roderigo, a jealous admirer of Desdemona, that Cassio and Desdemona are fond of each other. He then plans to use Cassio to make Othello jealous. Then, Iago gets Cassio drunk, watches him brawl with Roderigo, and warns Othello of the fight. Because of Cassio’s rash actions, Othello strips him of his lieutenancy. As a result, Iago suggests to Cassio to ask Desdemona to intervene with Othello in Cassio’s favor.…

    • 1165 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics