Is All Revenge Improper?

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There is one main theme in Shakespeare’s play Othello, and that is revenge. In this play, Shakespeare shows that he believes all revenge is improper, and he displays this through his character Iago. Throughout the play, Iago completes copious events to seek personal revenge. It is very clear to see throughout the plot that Shakespeare implores the reader to acknowledge Iago as a character who completely embodies improper revenge. Iago not only attempts to seek out his own personal revenge, but he manipulates several other characters in order to help him reach his own goal. He plays on the other characters’ weaknesses and personal tragedies to help him reach his own ultimate revenge. As is proven by the end of the play, Shakespeare is clearly stating his personal belief that revenge is improper. This can be seen through the ultimate downfall of Iago and all those involved. In his play Othello, Shakespeare uses the plot, characters, and ultimate destructive ending to all to show the reader his opinion that all revenge is improper.

Shakespeare first set a plot in which Iago could cause chaos without being suspected and get his revenge. Everything started with Iago not receiving an incredible promotion. Iago was a choice to be promoted to lieutenant but Othello chose Cassio over him for the job. Iago became furious since he believed he would make a better lieutenant than Cassio. Also, at the same time, Roderigo wanted revenge on Othello for “stealing” Desdemona from him. Iago was able to manipulate Roderigo and convinced Roderigo to help him. Since Othello is preoccupied with a potential war with the Turks, he can be easily distracted and fooled. To add on to that, Desdemona, Othello’s wife, continuously pleaded for her husband to trust her, but he never fully did. This plot made it easy for Iago to get most of his revenge he wanted, but not all of it. Shakespeare

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