Othello - Evil Characteristics & Nature Of Mankind - AP Literature - Essay

447 words - 2 pages

Pham 1
In ​Othello,​ Iago’s characterization of his deception and villainous state shows the nature
of mankind. To show the nature of villainy in ​Othello,​ Shakespeare writes to Iago’s manipulation
and exploitation of Othello’s otherness.
To get revenge on Othello for not promoting him to the lieutenant position, Iago
manipulates Othello. He manipulates Othello by deceiving him of his relationship with
Desdemona. He starts off by weaving Cassio into his plot since in Othello’s eyes “Cassio’s a
proper man” (1.3.395) but disproves his proper image by manipulating Cassio to become
improper. Iago makes Cassio become drunk since he knows Cassio becomes angry when
intoxicated, which can ruin his image in front of Othello. As Cassio slurs around, Desdemona
comes to his side to help him out. As Othello comes out to see the ruckus, Iago goes to him and
starts saying how Desdemona is close to Cassio and implies that she is having an affair with
Cassio. Othello, however, does not flinch at the sight and thought since he trusts Desdemona’s
kind and loyal nature. Iago still tries to go on with his plan as he takes the handkerchief from
Desdemona and puts it inside Cassio’s room. As Othello sees the handkerchief in the hands of
Cassio, he becomes enraged at the betrayal of two of the most loyal people to him. As a result, he
murders Desdemona at the spark of jealousy. From Iago’s manipulative state, he indirectly
causes the death of Desdemona and Cassio.
A part of the nature of villainy includes the outcasts of the social hierarchy. By this
definition, Othello is “evil” in the eyes of the society since a Moor is the general. Roderigo is
angry at the fact that Othello has the hands of Desdemona, since the fair maiden chooses to
marry the Moor. Iago reiterates this idea of otherness by deceiving Othello when he says
Pham 2
Desdemona is able to “deceive her father, marrying you” (3.3.206). By Iago’s words, Othello
doubts Desdemona; if she can lie once, she can lie again about her affair with Cassio. His words
also convinces Othello since how can a fair maiden love and stay loyal to a Moor?
As Othello becomes more and more convinced with her lies and the misplaced
handkerchief, he becomes insecure of himself and doubts his once loyal people. Iago’s
manipulation and exploitation of Othello’s otherness contributes to the nature of villainy in
Othello.​ As Iago manipulates and exploits, he makes Othello become doubtful of the people
around him. By deceiving Othello, he turns a once honorable man into a corrupted man. Iago’s
villainous state allows the plot in ​Othello​ to thicken and gives the play a plot

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