English / Othello And Iago – Two Of A Kind?

Othello And Iago – Two Of A Kind?

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Autor:  anton  31 October 2010
Tags:  Othello
Words: 1257   |   Pages: 6
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When reading Shakespeare's “Othello the Moor of Venice”, the two main hero's seem to be very different, both in character and actions.

Othello seems to be an honest man who believes other people. He is respected by society for his nobility and bravery. Iago is a villain, plotting around not only against Othello. Othello demotes him to a lower status, and despite beeing a trained soldier, Iago is quite a coward when it comes to confronting an enemy with a sword.

Although these two figures seem so different, they are [much more] alike, in more than one way. They both share the army way of life, and they tend to curse and use harsh language when upset. They both betray the people they are close to.

Othello and Iago are suspicious towards their wives, threaten them and eventually murder the innocent women.[In this essay we will see that] [D]despite their differences, Othello and Iago are two soul mates, that one way or another let their inner darkness out [and][TO] rule their actions.

One way in which these two characters differ is in their character.

From the beginning of the play, Othello lets Iago get close to him despite the fact that Iago is expected to be jealous of Cassio. This trust develops throughout the play. "O, thou art wise; 'tis certain" (IV, i, 72), Othello says to the villain, completely blinded by his lies. Iago, as can be seen from act one, made up his mind to ruin Othello. "I follow him to serve my turn upon him" (I, i, 42), he tells Roderigo, as he describes the plot against Othello. Another difference is in the way they are viewed by others.Othello is so respected for his services[,] that he doesn't fear any complaints from Barbantio. [HE PROUDLY STATES,]

"My services which I have done the signiory

Shall out-tongue his complaints" (I, ii, 19).

When the senate needs someone to do the job, they ask for Othello

"DUKE: Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you

Against the general enemy Ottoman" (I, iii, 48).

Iago was demoted by Othello, who chose Cassio to be his officer instead of him. Iago is of lower class, and his wife is a servant of Desdemona.

The final major difference between their characters is bravery. Othello, on one hand, is brave. He is chosen to lead the army against the Turks and wins the battle,[AS HE PROUDLY ANNOUNCES,] "our wars are done, the Turks are drown'd" (II, i, 195).

Iago, on the other hand, is a coward. The audience hears him talk about his battles, but when actually holding a sword, he prefers to avoid confrontation. [FOR INSTANCE , WHEN TRYING TO KILL CASIO,]"Iago darts from concealment behind Cassio, wounds him in the leg, and exit" (V, i, 27).

The audience can therefore see two different characters. Othello is naпve while Iago is the villain. Othello is respected by everyone. Iago feels he disserves[DESERVES] more respect, better position, more money, and a more beautiful woman. Othello is a brave and victorious general that overshadows Iago, a coward that stabs his rivals from behind.

However, in spite of this difference, Othello and Iago are alike in more than one way. Othello and Iago are both soldiers. They obey orders of military fashion. Othello gets his orders from the duke and senate. Iago is doing more simple soldier chores, like when Cassio calls him "to the watch" (II, iii, 13).

This shared way of life probably made them talk the way they do, in a rude fashion, especially when they are mad. "I'll tear her all to pieces" (III, iii, 431), "O, blood, Iago, blood!" (III, iii, 451), cries Othello during a conversation of theirs. When interrogating Desdemona, he degrades her by asking "What, not a whore?" (IV, ii, 86). Iago too, builds up a negative impression against Desdemona[,] when speaking about the handkerchief,

"Yours, by this hand: and to see how he prizes the foolish woman

your wife! she gave it him, and he hath given it his whore" (IV, i, 162),

and continuing[CONTINUES WITH] in some suggestions about how to kill Desdemona:

"Do it not with poison; strangle her in her bed,

even the bed she hath contaminated" (IV, i, 188).

As we know, words can kill, and this jealousy made Othello open up the dark side of his soul. He plots against his once appreciated friend and officer, Cassio.

"Within these three days let me hear thee say/That Cassio's not alive" (III, iii, 470). Iago, just the same, betrays his friend Roderigo. "O murderous slave! O villain!" (V, i, 63), he calls out as he stabs the wounded and surprised Roderigo.As the audience can see[PT] Othello and Iago are both army mates, both curse and yell, both plot against their closest friends.

Their similarity can also be seen in their attitude towards their wives.

Shakespeare reveals the real Othello. He is convinced that Desdemona betrayed him, and proof is just a necessary technicality. “Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore” (III, iii, 358). After Emilia tells him in private that Desdemona is Honest, he still approaches his wife with hostility. “Come, swear it, damn thyself” (IV, ii, 35). Iago has a complex suspicion towards his wife. Not only does he believe she committed adultery, but she did it with Othello!

“For that I do suspect the lusty Moor

Hath leap'd into my seat” (II, i, 272).

Once Othello sets up his mind about Desdemona’s crime he doesn’t stop attacking her and insulting her. He humiliates Desdemona in public, hitting her In front of Lodovico. (IV, i, 217).He continues to torture her, and demand her to “confess thee freely of thy sin” (V, ii, 53). After smothering her, Othello still doesn’t have any mercy, and when she is in pain, he asks “What noise is this?—Not dead? not yet quite dead” (V, ii, 85), letting her die in agony.Iago too speaks roughly to Emilia, once she complains about his suspicion of her. “You are a fool; go to” (IV, ii, 147). When she reveals his lies, after Desdemona is murdered, he tries to stop her by threatening her. “Zounds, hold your peace” (V, ii, 219)[HE TELLS HER, AND THEN WARNS HER ]“Be wise, and get you home” (V, ii, 223) Then, with his sword in his hand, the sword that he used so cowardly to hit Cassio from the back, he intends to stab his wife[, EXCLAIMING, ]“Villanous whore!” (V, ii, 230)[AND]“Filth, thou liest!” (V, ii, 233). Iago then stabs Emilia, and runs out.

These two characters consistently degrade their wives, threaten them, and eventually murder them.

As Shakespeare shows us, Othello and Iago are different in some ways.Othello, in the beginning, is a respected and brave fellow, who is naпve enough to fall for the scheme of a coward and an upset villain.

However, as the plot evolves, the audience discovers the real Othello. Not only is he a rough army man like Iago, but he uses the same language, and doesn't hesitate to betray a fellow officer and plot to kill him, as Iago does to his friend.

The audience can further see that Othello's attitude towards Desdemona turns out to be suspicious and degrading, just like his villain companion's attitude towards Emilia. Othello's dark personality gives only one conclusion, to what he thinks to be the infidelity of his wife: Murder. As a second half, Iago inevitably murders his wife too.Are they two of a kind? Although Shakespeare separates them to a hero and a villain, the audience can clearly see two characters[,] whose actions, personality, and state of mind, lead them to the same outcome.



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