The Critical Weakness Of Trust In William Shakespeare's Othello

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Many of William Shakespeare’s tragedies portray characters that bring misfortune upon themselves due to a tragic flaw. Shakespeare’s Othello explores the critical weakness of trust in different characters and how the erroneous villain, Iago uses this trait in order to cause their demise. Othello bestows confidence on Iago and mistrusts those most loyal to him. Emilia is also a victim of placing trust in Iago, where she fulfills all his duties; in return he is able to manipulate her for his own schemes. Roderigo’s imprudent trusting nature allows himself to be deceived and used by Iago repeatedly for Iago’s motives. Throughout the play Othello, Iago’s exceptional understanding of human characteristics, specifically trust allows him to manipulate …show more content…
Iago especially employs this skill in order to seek revenge on Othello because he was passed for a military position. He was easily able to manipulate Othello into questioning Desdemona’s faithfulness by taking advantage of Brabantio’s warning, “Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see: She has deceived her father, and may thee.” (I.iii.294-295). Iago uses this phrase in order to help implant the idea of an affair between Cassio and Desdemona. This demonstrates how Othello accounts for other’s judgments to formulate his own opinion. During most of the play Othello refers to Iago as honest and relies on him as a close confident. Moreover, he trusts every word Iago claims making him more gullible and easier to deceive. In Scene iii of Act III, Othello falls prey into Iago’s manipulation through the mere suggestion of him being a cuckold. “I speak not yet of proof. Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio; Wear your eye thus, not jealous nor secure:” (III.iii.196-198) This results into Othello continuously interrogating Iago with questions regarding his wife’s adherence. Othello slowly drives himself to pure insanity by become manifested with preposterous self-doubt and thereby mistrusting those most loyal to him. Iago’s influence over Othello is so powerful that even the way Othello murders Desdemona was the approach Iago had advised. …show more content…
While previously failing to become Desdemona’s suitor, Roderigo invests all of his trust in “honest” Iago. Nonetheless Iago only exploits Roderigo’s infatuation with Desdemona and goes as far as tricking him out of all of his money. “put money in thy purse. It cannot be that Desdemona should long continue her love to the Moor,-- put money in thy purse,--nor he his to her: it was a violent commencement, and thou shalt see an answerable sequestration:--put but money in thy purse.” (I.iii.344-347) Iago’s salient understanding of Roderigo’s foolish naivety allows him to have full control over his money simply by mentioning Othello’s wife. Iago suggests a myriad of solutions for Roderigo to settle with Desdemona, however these schemes are in fact only advantageous towards Iago. The irrational trust Roderigo has for Iago remains to such a degree that he even goes as far as saying, “I’ll go sell all my land.” (I.iii.379)This hyperbole portrays the great trust he has in Iago, and the extremes he is willing to go to. It substantiates how effortlessly he comes to his downfall, merely by placing a huge amount of dependence in Iago. Finally when Roderigo comes to the realization in his weakness of being foolish and too trusting, he is deluded again as Iago distracts him with the unattainable idea of Desdemona. “if thou the next night following enjoy not Desdemona, take me from this world

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