Othello Essay

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[Warnken examines the relationship between Iago and Othello, determining that while Iago's evil corrupts Othello, the potential for evil already lurked within the Moor-Iago merely frees his capacity for evil. Iago's strengths-his ability to quickly exploit situations, his knowledge of human nature, and his innate cunning-exploit Othello's weaknesses-sensitivity, pride, insecurity, and short sightedness. The critic finds that Othello gradually adopts Iago's speech patterns and worldview, and by the play's end Iago "penetrates Othello's character, and plays upon its weaknesses, nourishing as he does so, the evil already present within Othello." Thus, Othello ends the play dominated by the emotions over which, in the opening scenes, he had insisted he had control. By succumbing to these emotions, he destroys himself. For further commentary on the character of Iago, see the excerpts by A. C. Bradley, D. R. Godfrey, Ruth Cowhig, and Wyndham Lewis.]

Iago is perhaps Shakespeare's greatest villain...

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This section contains 4,615 words
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Othello from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.