Use of Power Play in Othello

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William Shakespeare’s impeccable use of the dynamics to shape power play in ‘Othello’ is displayed through Iago’s jealousy, and the themes of manipulation and prejudice.

Jealousy, referred to as the “green eyed monster,” by Iago, is present throughout this text and is a key aspect for the contribution to Iago’s devious plans succeeded by his power over others. As expressed in the play, Iago is jealous of Michael Cassio for being offered the promoted position of lieutenant, "One Michael Cassio, a Florentine, a fellow almost damned in a fair wife; that never set a squadron in the field, nor the devision of a battle knows more than a spinster… But he, sir, had the election: and I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof at Rhodes, at Cyprus and on other grounds Christian and heathen, must be lee'd and calmed by debitor and creditor: this counter-caster, he, in good time, must his lieutenant be,” here Iago is explaining that he deserved the position of lieutenant as he is far better than Michael Cassio in the battle field. This, as well as his hatred for Othello, is some of the main reasons that drive Iago to follow through his evil plotting.

Shakespeare applies power play to heighten a person’s influence and control over others; the theme of manipulation is expressed in astonishing ways through Iago’s power in Othello. Iago is an impressive master of deception, shown throughout the text. All characters are deceived in one way or another by Iago’s powerful manipulative schemes for instance Michael Cassio, “If I can fasten but one cup upon him, with that which he hath drunk tonight already, he’ll be as full of quarrel and offence as my young mistress’ dog.” Iago’s plan behind this speech is that by getting Cassio drunk, being the person he is, he will end up getting into a fight, “full of quarrel,” which will ruin his reputation and his trust earned by his boss
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