How And Why Is The Public The Persona That Iago Presents Different From The Character Revealed In His Soliloquies

901 words - 4 pages

In Shakespeare's play Othello, Iago presents a different persona in his soliloquies for a particular outcome; Iago is Shakespeare's most duplicitous character and this gives him the power through which he can explore ideas of deception, illusion, betrayal and reality. Iago reveals a very different persona to the other characters in the play because it is a large part of his deception with which he wreak's his revenge. It also adds another dimension of reality, as it empowers the audience with knowledge withheld from other characters and creates the sense of tragedy associated with Shakespeare's plays.Othello confronts us with the evil possibilities of the human and Iago in particular forces us to consider many of the important themes in the play. Iago is very sly because he is able to ruin Othello and simultaneously destroy as many other lives as possible. Iago pretends to be friends with the characters he manipulates to get them to unwittingly take part in his revenge.He is very intelligent in bringing this together, as it is not until the very end of the play that people begin to suspect that someone is trying to deceive them, but by then it is tragically too late.Iago begins his plot after Othello did not appoint him as his new lieutenant. It is in some ways easy for him to begin putting his plan into action as he has already built up friendly and trusting relationships with many of the characters. The reason they do not even question him in relation to the issues that arise in the text is because his deception is cunning enough never to cause them to suspect him. He knows people trust him and he therefore knows he has the power to manipulate them and use their trust in anyway he wants and in this case, bring about the downfall of Othello (Iago's speech: "Iam not what Iam").It is arguable to say that Iago only developed his malevolence after Othello rejected him, as lieutenant and he therefore only wanted revenge after this. However, his plan was so devious and spiteful that it would be very hard to develop all of those plans, idea's and emotions without having some sort of tainted personality or a personality based on the type of acts he committed. The characters were unaware of his true personality until the end and it would have come as a great shock to Othello that someone who he thought was his friend could be so horrible as to deliberately and knowingly cause the death of so many characters, including his own wife and at himself. However, Othello is not to blame for his downfall, as people do not expect their best friends to so badly and deliberately corrupt their lives.Iago uses many characters from the play to make his plan happen. Cassio is by far the most used of all characters, without Cassio's partaking in the scheme it would be non-existent. Cassio is used by Iago as the man having an affair with Desdemona (Othello's wife) in his plan, he sets up Desdemona and Cassio together, making them look suspicious and then put doubts into Othello's mind of Desdemona's loyalty to him. The climax of the play is based around the 'handkerchief', which Iago plants in Cassio's chamber to suggest that Desdemona gave the handkerchief to him as a token of their relationship. However, Othello places great importance on the handkerchief and this is the point where he decides that Cassio must be murdered (Othello: "Within these three days let me hear thee say That Cassio's not alive"). Another man who he manipulates and who we tend to feel sorry for at times is Roderigo, a character who is tricked by Iago into believing that Desdemona is in-love with him just as he has great love for her, he uses Roderigo for money that he says he's spending on gifts for Desdemona which he actually squanders on his own personal needs. Iago is very skillful at using people and manipulating situations to his advantage as we see so very often.Shakespeare's Play Othello presents us with a depressing view of society and people and allows us to explore these ideas along with those of deception, illusion, betrayal and reality through the character Iago. The only way possible that the public persona he presents is different from the character revealed in his soliloquies is by deception. As readers it is frustrating to see the goings on of Iago's plan while the other characters are totally unaware until the last pages of the text, this is why Shakespeare's writing is so famous. Iago could be one of the most malevolent and devious characters in all of Shakespeare's play's, this thought is clearly presented to us through the text Othello.


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