Manipulation In Shakespeare's Othello

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Manipulation is a recurring theme in Othello, Iago manipulates and deceives three essential characters: Roderigo, Cassio and Othello. Throughout the novel, we see how he brings out the weaknesses of each character. From the beginning of the novel, Iago moves these characters as if they were chess pieces, he uses their passions and weaknesses to control and deceive them. He exploits Roderigo love for Desdemona and uses it towards his own benefit, he takes advantage of Cassio’s trust, and plays on Othello’s insecurities. Iago’s tactics for manipulation are indicative depending on the person’s weaknesses and passions. For instance, it is ludicrous how three very different characters are similarly manipulated by Iago. Othello a man of …show more content…
Although in the beginning they both start off as honorable men. He deceives them by passing off as a loyal ensign, and makes a mockery of them behind their back. Yet, Iago manipulates Cassio by taking advantage of Cassio’s trustworthy nature and his inability to handle liquor. Cassio’s excessive drinking causes a brawl between Montano and Cassio, which leads Othello to demote him from his position as lieutenant. Iago intentionally slanders Cassio, and convinces him to plead to Desdemona to convince Othello to reinstall him again, he states “Confess yourself freely to her. Importune her help to put you in your place again” (Act II.II.321-323). Cassio’s reputation is highly important to him, and having been demoted exposes him to Iago’s plans easily. At this point Cassio is so determined to get his position back, that he fails to notice Iago’s true intentions and follows his advice. Unfortunately, Iago uses their meeting to convince Othello that they are having an affair, “Myself where I draw the moor apart and bring him jump when he may Cassio find soliciting his wife” (II.III.388-390). He lures Othello to where Desdemona and Cassio are talking and when Cassio flees, he states, “Cassio my lord? No, sure, I cannot think it, that he would still away so guilt-like” (Act III.III.42-43). In a sense, Iago is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, preying on Cassio’s trusting nature. Iago manages to unravel Cassio’s …show more content…
He makes a fool out of Roderigo along the same lines of Cassio. Iago uses their unsuspecting nature to make them part of his plot. From the very beginning, we see how far he is willing to go for Desdemona’s love. Yet, Iago uses these sentiments towards his plot. Roderigo’s gullible nature allows him to follow through with Iago’s plans and he devotes his time and money in pursuing Desdemona. Iago claims that all the jewels that are given to him will be used to flatter Desdemona in his proclamation, yet he plans to keep them for himself and claims “Thus do I ever make a fool in thy purse” (Act I.III.401). Roderigo’s love for Desdemona makes him susceptible to Iago’s manipulation, so much that he is easily convinced to murder Cassio if it will work toward winning Desdemona. Once Roderigo fails to murder Cassio, Iago quickly disposes of him by killing him. This portrays, Roderigo is just a chess piece in Iago’s game controlled through his lust for Desdemona, and he uses him to bring the downfall of other characters. To put it succinctly, both characters are easily persuaded to commit irrational actions through their unfortunate

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