Explain how Iago manipulates the other characters in the play Othello.

Essay by threezeeHigh School, 11th gradeA+, April 2005

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Iago is not only an ingenious villain but also a manipulator with the utmost skill. Iago creates hatred and jealousy in Othello, tricks Cassio and makes a fool of Roderigo. He holds everyone that is important in his plans in the palm of his hand and he does with them as he so wishes. But how is this? How is one man able to manipulate so many and create so much hatred and jealousy that all sense is no more?

Throughout the play, Iago makes the reasons, for why he is carrying out this evil plan, clear to us. He tells us that he does it all not only because he is jealous, of Cassio being promoted above him and he suspects "the Moor" slept with his wife, but he also does these treacherous deeds for as he says "my sport and profit". These are the reasons why from the beginning of the play Iago intends to end Othello's and Desdemona's marriage whilst trying to make Othello suffer as much as possible.

Iago uses various methods to manipulate the characters. One of these is his ability to enter terrible images into the person's head using descriptive and vile words. Iago uses this method on Othello and says to him "Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys" just after he is asked to provide ocular proof of Cassio and Desdemona in bed. This immediately places the terrible scene into Othello's mind, which enrages him and makes him forget about any need for the ocular proof that he once wanted.

Probably, Iago's most potent weapon in helping him manipulate others is the fact that he is known as "honest Iago". All the main characters trust him and due to this he is able to give them advice, which they...