William Shakespeare’s Othello follows the downfall of the Moor Othello and those associated with him. Othello’s ensign, Iago, causes the demise of Othello as payback for not being chosen as Othello’s lieutenant. Shakespeare makes Iago a puppeteer in a sense so that he may control those around him without getting caught, up until his own demise. Through the manipulation of the people around him, and Othello’s emotions and insecurities, Iago manages to completely destroy the lives of Othello, Desdemona, Roderigo, Emilia, and everyone affected by the innocent deaths. Shakespeare uses imagery, diction, and the antagonist to reveal the effects of manipulation and jealousy on love, as well as the importance of distinguishing appearance versus reality.
Iago is able to manipulate Othello’s thoughts and actions by using Othello’s emotions and insecurities against him. Iago directly attacks Othello’s skin color when he tells Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, “Even now…an old black ram / Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise! / …Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you.” (I.i.97-100).
Iago compares Othello to an old black ram and a devil while he compares Desdemona to a white ewe, highlighting the racial differences between the couple. Even though Othello is the head of the Venetian army, he is still at times discriminated against for his dark skin. Othello’s marriage to Desdemona is also affected by this discrimination because even though Othello is an upstanding citizen and a good solder, he is seen as unfit to be married because of his skin color. Othello contributes to the racism against him by believing that Desdemona cannot love him because his skin is not pale like hers or Cassio’s. Their marriage begins to suffer because Othell. .
at he sees in his mind, put there by Iago, be what he uses to decide what to do instead of waiting to actually catch Desdemona and Cassio having an affair. The entire tragedy could have been avoided if Othello had not let Iago into his mind, and if he would have relied on what he had seen himself instead of relying on what Iago would tell him. Works CitedCohen, Derek. “Patriarchy And Jealousy In Othello And The Winter ‘s Tale.” Modern Language Quarterly 48.3 (1987): 207.
Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice.
Ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. New York: Washington Square, 1993. Print.Lenson, Barry & Kenneth Ruge.
“The Othello Response: Conquering Jealousy, Betrayal And Rage In Your Relationship (Book).” Library Journal 128.19 (2003): 86. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Mar.