Detailed Outline of "Othello"

Essay by KristyWalkerCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 2004

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Thesis: The ease with which Iago manipulates Othello suggests that evil can be seductive.

I. Iago easily manipulates Othello.

A. Iago convinces Othello that he is his friend.

1. Iago appeals to Othello's military mind.

2. Iago uses love against Othello to cause him to experience jealousy.

B. Iago convinces Othello that Cassio is the enemy.

1. Iago manipulates Cassio into drinking too much since he is certain Cassio will do something he will regret.

2. Othello demotes Cassio from his position of lieutenant.

C. Iago convinces Othello that Desdemona is being unfaithful.

1. Iago places Desdemona's handkerchief near Cassio's bedroom.

2. Iago tells Othello he saw Cassio wipe his brow with Desdemona's handkerchief.

II. Iago fans the flames of Othello's distrust and fury with Desdemona's supposed


A. Iago first suggests that Desdemona shared her bed with Cassio.

B. Iago suggests to Othello that Cassio will gloat to others about his conquest of Desdemona before telling Othello that Cassio boasted to him that he did indeed sleep with Desdemona.

C. Iago cunningly talks to Cassio about Cassio's mistress Bianca, each smile and each gesture made by Cassio infuriating a hidden Othello who thinks Cassio is talking about sleeping with Desdemona.

D. Othello decides to kill Desdemona by strangulation in her bed and Iago pledges to kill Cassio.

III. Evil is a powerful but not an irresistible element of human experience.

A. Iago was not evil for the sake of being evil, rather his evil was driven from jealousy and greed that he couldn't control.

B. Iago's major motivational factor is the destruction of all that is good

and the rise of evil.