Shakespeare Essay

669 WordsMar 5, 20153 Pages
In Othello the antagonist is Iago. Throughout the play, Iago constantly prompts conflict and jealousy in a determined attempt to break up the relationship between Othello and Desdemona, on revenge of Othello’s positioning of Cassio as lieutenant and on suspicions that he has taken certain independence with his wife. Iago and Othello’s relationship is incredibly intricate, as we see the rise and fall of each character respectively, and how jealousy consequently subverts the power relations in the play. At the beginning of the play, Othello has statistical control, with his judgement directing Iago and Cassio; however after choosing Cassio as lieutenant Iago plans his revenge and begin to plant vivid images of Desdemona’s betrayal as he strips down Othello’s power and builds his own upon this. Iago is easily justifiable as the most powerful character in the play. However his jealousy and thirst for power ultimately lead to his failure, and like Othello became another character engulfed by the ‘green eyed monster’. Although this may indicate both character are equally powerful or equally not powerful, I believe Iago’s failure was less destructive and important. Iago fits the definition of jealousy, as he is in a state of revenge prompted by rivalry and competition, compared to Othello who is in a state of suspicion of sexual love. The ‘green eyed monster’ has another victim in the form of Roderigo who is envious that Desdemona loves Othello over him. In agreement with the definition of jealousy, Roderigo desires the possessions of another [1]. Reflecting, I believe the most powerful character is the ‘green eyed monster’. Jealousy has the power to destroy the soul and evident in Othello jealousy triumphs over all. Towards the end of the play, Othello’s language indicates that he has fallen under Iago’s spell as the two characters begin to merge; another indication

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