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Shakespeare's Play Othello

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Shakespeare's Play Othello

In ShakespeareЎЇs play Ў°OthelloЎ±, the character Iago is the main driving force in the play, who manipulates others to do things in a way he wants and benefits him, and moves him closer toward his goals. Iago is smart. He is an expert judge of people and their characters and uses this to his advantage. But his plans and hatred toward Othello, Cassio and Desdemona eventually lead to a tragic ending in the play. In the play we can also see Shakespeare deals with racism, where Othello being the black man, called a Ў°MoorЎ± a lot of times in the play. This play well shows a great combination of IagoЎЇs plan along with his racism against black people and women.

IagoЎЇs hatred toward Othello started first when he chose Cassio over Iago, and even grew more when Iago thinks Othello has slept with his wife, Emilia. (I, iii, 369-370)

He even calls Othello a Ў°MoorЎ±, which signifies colored skin people. (I, iii, 344)

In act I, Iago gets money and jewelry from the rich Roderigo, saying he would give it to Desmonda, whom Roderigo is in love with. But Iago doesnЎЇt give to her and keeps them for himself. Though Roderigo lacks confidence and determination in his quest to charm Desdemona away from Othello, Iago, like an angel to a doubting saint, is there to restore his faith. In Act 1, Scene 3, RoderigoЎЇs hopelessness even brings him to the verge of suicide, but Iago gives him many reasons why Desdemona will not remain true to Othello: that Desdemona Ў°must change for youth,Ў± that Ў°she first loved the Moor but for bragging and telling her fantastical lies,Ў± and that Desdemona needs Ў°sympathy in yearsЎ± (I, iii, 346), (II, I, 221-222, 228). While Iago offers these reasons that Roderigo should be steadfast in his pursuit, the underlying theme of IagoЎЇs argument, and the ultimate motivating factor for Roderigo, is the idea that the relationship between Desdemona and Othello is unnatural because of OthelloЎЇs race.

All that makes Othello Ў°the MoorЎ± is the color of his skin; apart from that he demonstrates the qualities of a noble Venetian. 'It is actually quite remarkable how much Othello, a foreigner, has integrated himself into Venetian society; he is of the utmost importance to the well-being of the state and he holds the respect of the Senate. In addition to his political career, his private life is joined with Venetian society when he marries Desdemona. No longer an outsider, Othello has become everything that Ў°the MoorЎ± cannot be, appearing Ў°far more fair than blackЎ± (I, iii, 285). Yet in the midst of racism, this cannot endure. Something happens that puts Othello in his place as Ў°the Moor.Ў±

Ideas about race motivate Brabanzio, Roderigo, and Othello, and it is Iago who manipulates their active and latent racial prejudices and insecurities. It is no coincidence that Iago manipulates racial issues to feed the tragedy, for he too is motivated by racism. Granted, Iago has strong feelings of personal inadequacy and is envious of the love shared between the Moor and Desdemona. But surely Othello is not the only happily married man in Venice. But Iago seeks to destroy Othello because Othello passed him up for the lieutenancy, but becoming lieutenant is not IagoЎЇs ultimate aim; once he gains the position, he still seeks the complete destruction of Othello. Besides, IagoЎЇs Ў°cause is hearted,Ў± and runs deeper than professional jealousy (I, iii, 362). Iago feels deeply compelled to destroy OthelloЎЇs happiness because, in IagoЎЇs eyes, Othello is Ў°the MoorЎ± and should therefore embody the societal position of Ў°the Moor.Ў±

In his quest to destroy Othello, Iago constantly uses racist language to precipitate the racism of others. Nonetheless, some of IagoЎЇs language demonstrates his own Ў°heartedЎ± racism. In his first soliloquy,

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