The Theme Of Betrayal In Othello

Superior 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. The most significant betrayal in the play is the betrayal of Othello. Othello is
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This quote is evidence that Iago plans on using Othello’s flaw of jealously to assist in his plan of revenge. Othello is not the only victim in the tale of betrayal. Even Iago’s closest friends are subject to being pawns in his plan for revenge. Not only did Iago betray his friend Othello but he also betrayed his friend Rodrigo. Iago betrays Rodrigo by using his deep lust for Desdemona’s a tool to manipulate him into to carrying out the dirty work of his plan. Iago is aware that Rodrigo is willing to do whatever it takes in order win the love of Desdemona. Roderigo is a man who is well intentioned but is so blinded by his love for Desdemona that he is willing to do whatever it takes to win her over. This sets up Rodrigo to be betrayed as Iago convinces Roderigo to romantically pursue Desdemona. This become evident when Iago says
“Put money in thy purse. Follow thou the wars; defeat thy favour with
A usurped beard. I say, put money in thy purse. These Moors
Are changeable in their wills-fill thy purse with money (I, III,
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At the end of the play Rodrigo begins to catch on to Iagos scheme, he threatens to kill him if he does not see results with Desdemona. Iago being the twisted person he is convinces Rodrigo to do his dirty work and kill Cassio. He promises that this will finally get Desdemona to be with him. Rodrigo still has doubts but Iago convinces him when he says, “If thou hast that in thee indeed which I have greater reason to believe now than ever, I mean purpose, courage, and valor, this night show it (IV, II, 210-213)”. Iago asserts the purpose of killing Iago and eliminates any doubt in his mind. Cassio goes through with the plan but is injured by Cassio. Iago hears his friend’s cries for help and responds by stabbing and killing him to avoid any loose ends. Rodrigo’s final words before being stabbed where “O damn’d Iago! O inhuman dog (V, I, 62)”. This quote verifies Rodrigo’s thoughts moments before he died which demonstrates how his supposed friend has betrays

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