A Comparison in Morality of Two Shakespeare Characters Essay

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Both Lady Macbeth and Iago, have versions of a temptation scene in which they manipulate the minds of their prey to achieve a goal. After strengthening her mind and fortifying her emotions, Lady Macbeth feels prepared to take on the responsibility for what’s to come. Sensing her husband’s tentativeness, she eases his nerves by saying “you shall put this night’s great business into my dispatch, which shall to all our nights and days to come give solely sovereign sway and masterdom” (I. vii. 67-70). She manages to keep her cool and maintains a level head for the beginning stages of their villainy when Macbeth is still on the edge. In order to push him into compliance she distorts her idea of masculinity and “comes to assume all the obnoxious …show more content…
The spur of ambition did not drive Macbeth too hard toward his great opportunity, but her goading taunts he could not withstand, though they drove him onto horrors” (Shanley 308). The difference between Lady Macbeth and Othello in this sense is she provoked Macbeth to commit atrocities, but they were atrocities that she believed would be to his benefit. Iago, on the other hand, used cunning manipulation with a remarkable lack of care for consequence to lead Othello and others to their own demise. In Othello, Iago is constantly manipulating those around him but one particular manipulation catapults the characters into violent action. His use of the handkerchief as a physical representation of Desdemona’s betrayal really put the nail in the coffin, as it represented to Othello the sanctity and love of his relationship with Desdemona. “Iago’s manipulations of Othello’s mind are like the catechizing of him in a black mass, as the pace of the play increases through their raging stichomythia; and in the handkerchief the solemn enunciation of the false doctrine has its corresponding revelation of the ‘sacred object’” (Burke 135). By manipulating everyone involved in the interaction (Emilia, Cassio, Roderigo, Desdemona, and Othello), Iago was able to construct a false truth that Othello would swallow because the coincidences were there, as was Desdemona’s

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