Essay Preview: Othello Case
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The tragedy “Othello” by William Shakespeare is a story based solely upon the revenge of two characters, Othello and Iago. Othellos lack of insight, played upon by Iago, leads to his downfall. Othello is considered a hero he is not a man like us, but a man recognized as extraordinary. He has the obvious heroic qualities of courage and strength, as well as, the ability to love with deep passion. He is, in a sense, a self-made man.
“I follow him to serve my turn upon him,” (1.1.44). From the beginning of the story Iago has a cruel intent bent on destroying Othello merely because the job that he sought after was given to Cassio. From the very beginning his hatred burns so bright towards Othello. With or without reasonable justification for revenge, Iago immediately starts to tear Othello apart, setting his plan into motion, by informing Brabantio that his daughter Desdemona is out with a black ram and committing unjust acts. As time progresses Iago becomes more wrapped up in his lies that he even begins to believe that Othello has slept with his own wife, Emelia, and now he has even more reason to hate “the Moor”.
From the beginning of the play, Iagos view of Othello as a beast is obvious. Iago repeatedly describes Othello in terms of animals. When Iago attempts to incite Brabantios anger, he does so by referring to Othello in vulgar, bestial terms. He says to Brabantio, “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram / Is tuping your white ewe” (1.1.89-90). Iago not stopping there then continues to say to Brabantio that “your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs” (1.1.117-118).
Each of these animalistic phrases could be viewed only as Iagos attempt to anger Brabantio if it were not for the fact that Iago also refers to Othello as an animal when he is alone. In his soliloquy at the end of Act 1, Iago says that Othello “will as tenderly be led by thnose / As asses are” (1.3.338-339). He again refers to Othello as an ass in Act 2: “Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me, / For making him egregiously an ass” (2.1.233-234) Whether alone or accompanied, Iagos views on Othello are clear that he sees him as a beast who can be easily tricked into committing murder.
Iago realizes that to destroy Othello he must convince him that murdering Desdemona is justified and then reveal that the act is unforgivable. To accomplish this, Iago provides Othello with what a man needs, proof. Othello repeatedly demands proof of Desdemonas crime. He says to Iago, “No, Iago; / Ill see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove” (3.3.194-195). He then demands that Iago give him “ocular proof” saying, “Make me to seet; or, at the least, so prove it / That