The Relationship Between Othello and IagoAt the start of Othello, Iago makes very clear to Roderigo Download as DOC, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd . Love and Desire; Power and Control: An Analysis Of Othello's Iago he is an embodiment of one layer of human activity, which has no relation to any other . Iago's understanding of love, jealousy, and deception in a loving relationship is not. given in the download "Some Things to Think About" ("Othellos_cheatpdf") in capturing something specific about Iago's relationship to his environment.
During this conversation, Iago is present, and since he is modeling his definitions of love and lust after those he witnesses who are in love, we can witness him later recalling this understanding of love to exercise his desire for control over Othello: Take a look at the conversation between Iago and Othello when Iago first introduces the idea that Cassio and Desdemona may be having an affair: My lord, you know I love you….
I am bound to thee forever…. It takes three proclamations of his love until Othello reciprocates feelings of a bond or love from himself to Iago. I believe that it this scene, Iago is subconsciously looking for affirmation — fishing for verification — that Othello thinks of him fondly. Once his desire is fulfilled, he is able to conclude the conversation, as he has no more immediate need for feelings of love.
With this in mind, we can begin to understand the relationship between love, power, and control; Iago undoubtedly has the desire for power, and he sees the control that people who are in love have over each other. In fact, he even openly expresses this relationship to Cassio: I may say so in this respect, for that he hath devoted and given up himself to the contemplation, mark, and devotement of her parts and graces 2.
Therefore, I believe that Iago is seeking to win power by gaining the love of those with power. In his mind, it is a simple equation: In following him, I follow but myself 1. At the same time as Iago is attracted to Othello, there is no doubt that Iago is, at times, repulsed by him, too: However, at the same time, Iago desires to be loved!
He is torn; he hates weakness, yet he desires weakness through his wish for love and the vulnerability that comes with it. Martin Wangh; he says that Wangh: He notes that Iago somewhat implausibly accuses Desdemona of levherous feelings 9 toward, not just one, but several men. Iago, moreover, feels that Othello has had not only Desdemona, but Emilia…. More specifically, Holland argues that when Iago tries to show his own affections by placing his love for men onto women, he is really using a defense mechanism: Looking at the system of male homosocial desire, I believe that Iago desires to exist and thrive within this system.
Specifically, he wishes to be included within the inner circle of the hierarchy. That is to say, he wishes to be included, respected, and loved within the circle of those who control the power and regulate the system.
Iago, then, is motivated by his desire to move within this circle, and it can be demonstrated by taking a closer look at where the character stands — figuratively and literally — among other male characters in the play, how he interacts with them, and how he desires to control or be controlled by the power resulting from this hierarchy. Often, 11 we can see Iago literally lurking on the outside of scenes, peering in.
In essence, this change of location grants Iago much more freedom to enact his manipulations; he is able to take a greater authority in Cyprus because of the lack of the highest powers, like senators and dukes. Take, for example, two distinct scenes of manipulation; one occurs in Venice and the other in Cyprus. As Roderigo stands in the open, visible to the senator, Iago hides craftily behind a barricade, shouting the more visually stimulating and offensive lines.
The second scene that aids in illustrating this point is the one in which Iago convinces Roderigo to start a fight with Cassio when they are drunk in Cyprus.
Shakespeare's Othello - Othello's Relationship with Iago and Iago's Motive
The notable difference in the two scenes, however, lies in the aftermath of each. In Venice, Othello must answer to the Duke, and in that scene, Iago, notably, is not questioned, nor does he even utter a public line. That said, when the play moves to Cyprus, Iago, in turn, moves closer to Othello and the inner circle. Iago controls this power over Roderigo to use him as a pawn; for example, the aforementioned scene in which Iago gives Roderigo a direct order.
Iago prompts Cassio to direct his affection toward Desdemona: What an eye she has! Methinks it sound a parley to provocation. An inviting eye; and yet methinks right modest. And when she speaks, is it not an alarum to love? She is indeed perfection.Othello and Iago 3 3
I know our country disposition well: In Act 3 scene 4, Iago and Othello seal their relationship when 15 they make the mutual bond to kill Cassio and Desdemona. The film shows the two men on their knees when they make the pact; both Othello and Iago cut their hands with a dagger, and then they shake hands and embrace.
In the homosocial sphere they are now even since they are plotting a scheme together and have sealed their evenness with blood. Through his manipulation, Iago fed his desires and climbed to the top of the hierarchy, and after a close evaluation of his character, we can begin to understand why. Iago has a deep lust for power. He wants to be in the inner circle and control those around him, and the pathway that he takes to attain this is by attempting to attain a homosocial love from Othello.
In order to do this, however, he needs to work his way up the homosocial hierarchy. He manipulates Cassio, Roderigo, and Othello to trust and love him, but since he does not know how to love, he underestimates the seriousness of the emotion, resulting in the tragedy.
By looking at where Iago both literally and figuratively stands, we can more deeply understand his intentions. After the play moves from Venice to Cyprus, the minimized hierarchy allows Iago to 16 move through social functions unnoticed; it also brings him closer to the inner circle of which he wishes to be a part.
Work will be assessed according to the following three benchmarks: Be that as it may, your research is vital to this final essay. Ultimately, your references to Gajowski, Holland, and Sedgwick help clarify a direction for your claims about Iago and love. See my comments in number two. In short, I strong bibliography, though I would like you to flesh out some of the very short entries.
You assert that subconsciously, Iago seeks what he lacks: This is hard to credit because Iago is so thoroughly aware of his own deceptiveness and is so clearly an agnostic about love. However—and this is crucial—when you introduce Holland and Sedgwick, the argument begins to solidify. The essay would be far stronger if you were to introduce Holland earlier.
This would ground your claims about the 17 subconscious. Othello's attachment to Desdemona now explains why he was passed by and the new appointment of lieutenant to Othello was conferred upon Cassio. After his usual manner Shakespeare has made the opening conflict, that between Othello and lago, the chief conflict of the play.
But this is a conflict between two men who had up to this time been the nearest and warmest friends, one a great general and the other his most trusted officer. There is plenty of evidence throughout the play that up to this time there had been the fullest confidence between the two, and both alike were looked upon as men of excellent ability and sterling character. Othello was known as a noble Moor and had attained the highest military position, and therefore must have had the fullest confidence of the state and the senate.
Every one regarded lago also as an upright and noble-minded man, and he had earned for himself the epithet of "honest. We must then account for this change, as upon this change all the development of the play depends. This is the play. Shakespeare has apparently been at pains to show us what lago's attitude toward the Moor was, as well as what it is, and the explanation of the change can be found only in the play itself.
We must explain it either from the incidents of the play or from the words of the play, or from both. The incidents that take place at the opening of the play, at the same time as the change in the attitude of lago, are two, the courtship and marriage of Othello and Desdemona, and the promotion of Cassio to the position of lieutenant under Othello.
The words of Iago at the opening of the play show that he regards the latter as an offence to himself, and therefore makes it the ground of his hostility to Othello.
He complains that Cassio has "had the election," and that, "He in good time must his [Othello's] Lieutenant be, And I bless the mark his Moorship's Ancient. At a later time he comes to see some connection between the two incidents, and believes that Cassio got the appointment because of an old friendship with Desdemona, and probably because he carried messages between Othello and Desdemona during their courtship.
When Othello had occasion to appoint a lieutenant, "Three great ones of the city in personal suit" appealed to him on behalf of lago, only to find that he had already chosen Cassio. It appeared to be a matter of personal preference only, for he could give no reason for the choice of Cassio.
This capricious choice lago at once took as a very great slight upon him, and rightly so. As one of "the usual lunacies," so-called, in the interpretation of the play, however, Professor Bradley says, "It has been held, for example, that Othello treated lago abominably in preferring Cassio to him.
This is the basis of the complaint of lago, and arouses at once his suspicion and bitter resentment, and soon turns him into an abiding but very stealthy enemy.
If Othello can be capable of such gross violation of all military rules and practices, lago sees that he can no longer trust Othello, and that all confidence between them has virtually ceased to exist, and no longer can he hope for the intimate relationships of former days to continue. This rewarding of Cassio with a military position because of personal service to himself and Desdemona was a most dangerous thing for a general to do, and opened up all kinds of possibilities of trouble, not only with lago, but with the discipline of all his forces.
Only the fortune that favors fools could save him from disaster. But it was fatal when one of the disposition of lago was involved, for it turned him at once into an enemy, not only to himself, but to all the others connected with the insult, to Desdemona and Cassio, linking all three in his plan of revenge.
Here, then, is an outstanding fact that too few critics have even observed, and none have adequately explained. At this point in the lives of Othello and lago a great change comes over their relations. It cannot be too much insisted upon that up to this time they had, been the warmest and closest friends, and that lago had been in fact the confidential officer of Othello. Now all at once, for some reason that has not been understood, lago has been turned into the bitter enemy of his old friend, Othello, and as if to mark the importance of this for the interpretation of the play, the dramatist has chosen this point in their relations for the opening scene.
But in spite of all that has been observed about the importance of Shakespeare's opening scenes for the exposition of his dramatic art, little attention has been paid to this fact in respect to Othello. The task of the critic at present, then, is to discover the cause of this great change in the relationships of these two men, and from this to trace the further development of the play.
Ever since Coleridge it has been the common thing, though by no means universal, to attribute the whole trouble to the sudden and unmotived malignity of lago, or to forget the fact that it has been sudden and unlike anything heard of before on the part of lago, and to assume only the malignity.
Later critics, however, have not been able to overlook the emergence of the malignity at this time, and have attempted to explain it from their own imaginations rather than from the words of the play. Professor Bradley may be taken as voicing the best that can be said by those who would lay all the blame of the tragedy upon lago, but who feel they must account in some manner for this sudden malignity.
Not content with charging lago with the evil the play undoubtedly lays upon his shoulders, Professor Bradley suggests that lago has always been in reality a villain, and has worn his "honesty" only as a mask, which now he throws off, revealing suddenly the real villain that he is, his true nature. He has always been, says Professor Bradley, "a thoroughly bad, cold man, who is at last tempted to let loose the forces within him.
A complete criticism of the assigned motive of lago, and an attempt at the elaboration of his real state of mind must be left until after we have followed the conflict through the initial stages, when we shall be better able to judge the real merits of the case. Sufficient reason has been found, however, for declining to admit that the drama is the story of the intrigue of lago, and as the name would intimate it is the play of Othello.
There is also now justification for attempting to explain the play as in the main the tragedy of the Moor in his new home in Venice.