Othello's Downfall - Iago's Responsibility.

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How far is Iago responsible for the downfall of Othello?

“I am not what I am" the villainous Iago states, confirming his sly, deviant nature. Othello's downfall can be largely blamed on Iago as, for one, Iago plants the seed of doubt in Othello's mind about Desdemona's supposed affair with Cassio, something which Othello would never have considered otherwise. He uses a number of different techniques to do this which shows his character to be sly and manipulative. Indeed, Cox claims he is "satanic in his energy, intelligence and daring contempt for goodness."

Othello, initially, is a truly noble figure. We hear Iago and Roderigo, however, referring to him as a “thick-lips” and an “old black ram” which seems to oppose others’ descriptions of him and the character we see in the play. A.C. Bradley argues that the downfall of Othello is Iago’s fault, as he states “…these worthy people, who are so successful, popular and stupid are mere puppets in his hands who at the motion of his finger must contort themselves in agony, while all the time, they believe that he is their one true friend and comforter.” This is open to discussion as Othello must be attributed some responsibility, however small, as to why he believed Iago instead of Desdemona since the audience believe he shouldn’t have believed him so quickly and should have discussed the claims with Desdemona.

Othello is quite easily convinced of Desdemona's infidelity considering Iago has no real proof which shows how much Othello trusts and relies on Iago. In Act 1 Scene 3, Iago is certain that he "...will as tenderly be led by the nose as asses are." In some ways, Othello's doubts about Desdemona and belief in Iago are easy to understand as Othello takes people at face value, believing "men honest that but seem to be so". He is deemed as naïve and can be considered open and accepting. Whichever the audience

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