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Iago's Evilness Vs Othello's Race

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In the play of Othello written by Shakespeare, the destructiveness of Iago's evil deeds are compared and examined against Othello's race for his downfall. Othello’s race is an important factor which leads to his downfall. Without race, Iago’s plans would not be as destructive. The collaboration of these two components therefore resulted in such a tragedy.

Othello’s awareness to his race increases as the play moves on from Act 1 to Act 3. In Act 1, it is obvious that Othello’s race stands out from the white Venetian society. Although he is confident about his position in the Venetian Society when he says, “My parts, my title and my perfect soul shall manifest me rightly.”, he is aware of his difference among the others in the duke’s court. He becomes cautious in his speech, putting himself down in front of these people claiming he is not particularly good with words of expression, “Rude am I in my speech”. Secondly, he believes white Venetians are more superior that his own race, he has more confidence that a white venetian’s decision would be more justified than one of his own. This is shown when Othello was dealing with the situation of Cassio’s fight on the street in Act 2, he often looks to Iago for an explanation, often referring him as “honest Iago” through out act 2 scene 3. Othello believes Iago as a loyal, white Venetian man who would make the correct decisions. He gives no doubts on Iago’s judgment without any further hesitation as he trusts Iago entirely, not showing any signs of wanting to further investigate on the case. Thirdly, when Iago reveals to Othello of his suspicion that Desdemona is cheating on him, it leads Othello to question the reason for his race, “And yet how nature erring from itself”, which was strongly agreed by Iago, “one may smell, in such, a will most rank, Foul disproportion, thoughts unnatural” forcing Othello to believe his race is a reason for Desdemona’s betrayal. By the end of Act 3 scene 3, he is successfully convinced by Iago to show his negative attention towards his race and age when he says, “Haply for I am black,

And have not those soft parts of conversation…or for I am declined Into the vale of years”. This is justified when he completely gives up on saving his marriage and status to return to his original identity of loneliness and the never-ending inferiority, “Arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow cell!” showing his despair for his race.

Iago’s original simple plan becomes complex when he involves more characters into his plan. He uses more people in his plan because of his growing hatred for those people; using them to “make the net that shall emmesh them all”. His devil-like character of enjoying setting up evil traps and watching aside as people suffer in horrible situations motivates him. He knows it for himself and admits it when he says “When devils will the blackest sins put on, They do suggest at first with heavenly shows as I do now” which reveals his lies of appearing to be вЂ?heavenly’. His enjoyment of doing evil deeds and his thirst for revenge is obvious to the audience through his soliloquys and dramatizations.

At the beginning of the play, Iago is the person who stirs up a conflict between Brabantio and Othello, however, the audience could see he is only pretending to be loyal to Othello while reporting about him to Brabantio. We see Iago as a two-faced



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