Othello Essay
The movie Othello is full of very believeable and well developed characters. As it is a tradgedy,
thought, we have to have a victim or victims, in this case Othello, and the cause of their misery, which is
Iago. Iago manipulates Cassio, Roderigo, Emilia, and Othello, useing a variety of methods. Iago’s plots are
skillfully crafted with multiple levels of intrigue. Iago also pays attention to the smallest detail, proveing his
skill as a villian. Thus, Iago is a masterful villian who manipulates all those around him.
Iago manipultes Cassio, Roderigo, Emilia, and Othello in several ways. Cassio is manipulated by
Iago first getting him fired. Then, under the guise of friendship, Iago suggests that Cassio ask Desdemona
for help in getting reinstated. This is an ingenius move on as his part, as Cassio must pursue Desdemona’s
help behind Othello’s back. Roderigo is manipulated by Iago’s telling him to pursue Desdemona, even
though Desdemona is already married. Although this is a blatent lie on Iago’s part, as the viewer sees not a
single hint that Desdemona even acknowledges Roderigo’s existance, it is so cleverly delivered to Roderigo
that he takes as a fact, even when the facts show otherwise. Iago controls Emilia through her love that she
has for him. He uses her love of him to get her to steal Desdemona’s handkerchief. Othello is manipulated
by suggestion and hints that are carefully worded and said at just the right moment. Each one weakens his
faith in Desdemona a little more. Then Iago produces “evidence” to add weight to his innuendos. The
evidence is so believeably delivered and Othello already so incenced by Iago’s words that Othello does not
even question the truth of what he sees. This skillful manipulation of those around qualifies Iago as a
supreme villian.
Iago’s plots are skillfully crafted and contain multiple levels of intrigue. Iago gets Cassio drunk
and disorderly until he starts a fight. Iago then goes to Othello and tells him that he should not allow such
behavior and to fire Cassio. Then Iago convincea Cassio to pursue Desdemona’s help on the sly. Finally,
Iago uses Cassio’s pursuit of Desdemona on the sly as proof of their affair. Only a villian of great skill
could craft such a plan, as there are so many variables and chances for someone to stop and question
everything or reveal how Iago was involved in what they did. Iago also plans out his entire sceme from the
very begginning of the play. He does no planning, Iago simply moves along continuing with his plan
through the whole film. It seems as though he knew exactly how everyone would act to his manipulation
and react to the actions of each other. Iago also leaps upon every opportunity that presents itself during the
course of the movie. For example, Iago plans just for Desdemona’s handkerchief to be in Cassio’s
possesion, but when Bianca storms in and accueses Cassio of being unfaithful, Iago jumps on this
opportunity and even more thouroughly convinces Othello of Desdemona’s guilt.
Iago pays attention to the smallest details, makeing his manipulation even more complete. For
example, Iago drops hints about Desdemona possibly being unfaithful, but he does not say anything
outright, because that would be suspicious. Iago only tells Othello of what he “knows” when confronted
about it and asked directly, and even then after repeated beggings for information on the part of Othello. If
Iago had been more forward with his suspicions, Othello would not have believed him as much. Also, when
Iago accuires Desdemona’s handkerchief, he does it very carefully. He has Emilia accuire it, then makes her
tell no one that she did and won’t tell her why. If he had gotten it himself, someone might have seen him,
and that would have raised suspiscion. These small details would have been overlooked by someone who
was careless and less thourough. Iago also removes Roderigo, by convincing him to try to kill Cassio and
then killing Roderigo out of what he claims as self defence. A lesser villian would simply have let Roderigo
go, but he might have talked, so eliminating him was the only way to gaurantee he wouldn’t. Iago also
convinces everyone not to tell how they know what they know to each other, which is a very important detail
because if any of the other characters had spoken of Iago role in their actions, his whole plot would have bee
thwarted. The great attention that Iago pays to