Iago as Expert Manipulator in Othello
In Othello, by William Shakespeare, the character of Iago cleverly and skillfully alters the appearance of reality within certain characters minds that are clouded by emotion. While Iago does deceive both Cassio and Roderigo, the most vulnerable character to Iago’s treachery appears to be Othello. By being a good director and manipulator of emotions and intentions, Iago carries out his plan to exploit Othello’s mental weakness almost flawlessly. Iago’s ability to bend and sometimes replace the truth with his own lies drives the overall action of the play.
The characters most vulnerable to Iago’s manipulation seem to be the ones that appear the most emotionally confused. Iago finds ways to alter these characters’s perception of reality and pushes them to believe in a false reality created by Iago’s own twisted mind. The emotions that Iago plays upon are that of love and jealousy, which Iago calls “the green eyed monster which doth mock / The meat it feeds on” (3.3.179-180). Roderigo and Cassio fall to Iago’s treachery by one if not both of these emotions. However, Othello turns out to be the most vulnerable character to Iago’s wickedness. Iago himself says that “I’ll pour this pestilence into his ea…
Othello. Directed by Oliver Parker with Laurence Fishburne and Kenneth Branagh. Columbia Pictures/ Castlerock Entertainment, 1995.
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