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"the Plotting of Iago Is Both Incredible and Without Substance". to What Extent Do You Agree or Disagree with His Statement?

Essay by review  •  November 6, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,448 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,486 Views

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In William Shakespeare's tragic drama Othello we see a morally depraved character, named Iago. Throughout the play he has a plan to bring down a general named Othello, this plan goes from, what seems like, strength to strength. Yet does it? Is the plan Iago makes believable or even realistic?

The plan Iago makes appears to be far too over convenient, the plan changes after certain factors are either added in or taken away from the plotting he is doing. For example when the fight happened between Roderigo and Cassio, Iago kills Roderigo and Cassio is wounded. When this happens Cassio's lover, Bianca appears at the scene and Iago is able to blame it on her because, she has a reputation for not being honest. That is not the only time in the play he changes the plan in a matter of seconds, to fit what he wants, and it works. This can all make it seem very unrealistic because, it is assumed that in real life that would just not happen.

Also the fact that it is set over just 3 days is unrealistic in itself. I think that for a man and women to be deeply in love, wed and then have each other turned against them would surly take longer than 3 days. For example, when Emilia steals Desdemona's strawberry handkerchief for Iago. In this scene we are told he has begged he to steal it "a hundred times", and this scene is all supposed to be set in just one morning. This makes you feel as though it is slightly exaggerated purely for the purpose of Iago's plot.

In addition many of the characters class him as their confidante, for example Roderigo, Cassio, Desdemona and even Othello. You would think with all these people so close to him one of them would realise what was happening but they just do not. They all refer to him as "honest", in fact the word honest appears fifty-two times, repeatedly about Iago. Right up until the final scene no one knows anything of Iago's plan, until Emilia reveals what she knows. This all puts quite an unrealistic spin on the plan, for all the characters are supposed to be noble and wise, so you would believe that Iago would have been found out before all this. Especially by Othello, when Iago is telling him the best way to kill Desdemona.

Moreover Iago appears to be motiveless. He gives his reason as he wants to get back at Othello for promoting Cassio over himself and he thinks Othello is having an affair with his wife, Emilia. However since Othello is not having an affair with Emilia, Iago cannot prove this theory and after Cassio's promotion he forms the plan to gain revenge on Othello. You would imagine that for one person to want to destroy another's life they would need to have very good motives, not just anger due to a promotion they did not get. This makes Iago seem even more unrealistic because he has such a lack of morals and feelings.

At the end of the play when Iago says, " I never will speak a word", could be seen in two contexts, one in the sense that Iago's character is unrealistic and without substance, but also that he has substance and is realistic. For the first view, which agrees with my title quote, this could be seen as an extra evil to his character, because people are so desperate to find out what he did and why he did it, for 4 people get killed or murdered. Iago not speaking to them then could be seen as trying to present people with more pain. On the other hand it could be seen as a guilty action, not wanting to admit to what he did for fear of a greater persecution.

Another way Iago's character could be seen as realistic and with substance is that he could have mental problems, which wouldn't have been understood or recognised when the play was written. Iago appears to be a sociopath, with no regard for others feelings or life. If this was true then it would not have been unrealistic for this plot to happen because people with these types of disorders are usually fairly clever, for they see the way people think and manipulate them to the best of there abilities. Iago may well have been a person with that type of disorder so who's character could be made to seem understandable.

Furthermore being evil is not necessary unrealistic. If you were trying to manipulate people to gain a certain sort of power over them, which Iago is trying to do, surly you would stop at nothing to do so. For example Hitler was what some people call evil and he was trying to gain power, he did so in any way or by using any means he could. I'm not saying Iago is like Hitler for obvious reasons, but there aim was vaguely the same. To manipulate people in to doing what they want or make them do what they need. With evidence that there are people who could be classed as like Iago, this has to show he is not unrealistic.

Some people argue that the amount of soliloquy's

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