Friday, January 8, 2010

A Cruel Plan

That’s not amiss.
But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw?
[Othello withdraws.]
Now will I question Cassio of Bianca,
A huswife that by selling her desires
Buys herself bread and {clothes.} It is a creature
That dotes on Cassio – as ‘tis strumpet’s plague
To beguile many and be beguiled by one.
He, when he hears of her, cannot restrain
From the excess of laughter. Here he comes.
Enter Cassio.
As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad,
And his unbookish jealousy must {construe}
Poor Cassio’s smiles, gestures, and light behaviors
Quite in the wrong. How do you luiterant?

(Act IV, Scene I, 109-120, p. 177)

Adolf Hitler is a historical figure that everyone has heard of. He has convinced whole nations to listen to his dictatorship in order to reach his goals. After a lot of murders and victories he has achieved his aims but his destiny was clear – there comes a time when he receives what he deserves, and dies. This is just one example of a villain from a historical point of view and there are many others – from books and movies. Iago plays the role of the antagonist in Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello. His plan is clearly presented in Act 4 Scene 1 lines 109-120. His speech illustrates his brilliant cruelty, connected to two of the main themes in the play – honor and doubt, and shows his characterization.
To this moment Iago’s plan is working pretty well – he has convinced Othello that his wife is cheating on him. The villain has used his wife Emilia. Iago had told his wife to do everything possible to take Desdemona’s handkerchief that Othello has given to the daughter of the Venetian senator as a sign of their love. His action show his skilled manipulation with this action because his wife does not know that she is part of his cruel plan. Actually, she has no idea what he is thinking of and who will get into his net of lies. Iago also talks to Cassio and assures him that Desdemona is the only one who can help him to return to his position and to win again the trust of Othello. Because of the conversations and the time that Cassio and Desdemona spend together, the main character of the play becomes suspicious. The last person that Iago uses in order to achieve his goal is Roderigo. He tells him that the only way to take Cassio’s place as a lieutenant of Cyprus and the one who has the love of Desdemona is to kill him. If everything goes well for Iago, the situation should be the following: Othello should kill Desdemona and lose his honor and when Cassio and Roderigo fight, both of them to find their deaths. This way Iago will be the only one who will be honored and he will take all of the important positions. The theme of honor is a leading theme in the play – all of the characters fight in order to achieve it. His plan is brilliant because he is very sharp-witted, manipulative and intelligent but the situation goes wrong.
The monologue of Iago in Act 4 Scene 1 reveals his cruel plan very clearly and concerns the theme of women in this play. Their role is very important. First, a woman stays in the center with the problem – Desdemona, the one who has left her father and admitted the race difference of her beloved because of her feelings. Emilia is significant for the success of Iago’s plan. This shows that his heart is cold as a stone. He treats her with no respect like she is no one is his life. The third woman Bianca, is described in this speech of Iago. The reader can gain the idea of the image of Bianca’s character. She is described as a:
A huswife that by selling her desires
Buys herself bread and clothes.
Earlier in the play it becomes clear that she is a prostitute in love with Cassio and Iago shows this in his speech using the simile “as ’tis the strumpet’s plague”. It clearly shows Iago’s attitude towards women. The long description and the long sentences show that this villain is ready to do everything in order to get what he wants and that he does not care about anyone else besides him. In this part, it becomes clear that he will question Cassio of Bianca while Othello is thinking that Cassio is describing his intimate moments with Desdemona. Iago speaks of Othello’s jealousy as “bookish” which shows that the only reason for it is Iago’s controlling words. The villain has thought about Othello’s reaction and this becomes clear in line 10 where he talks about the synchronization of Othello’s and Cassio’s actions. The way Iago speaks shows that he has no doubt that his plan will work as he wants to.
The speech of Iago shows how brilliant and manipulative he is. He earns the trust of Othello and the main character of the play loses his adequate thinking. He uses his wife and two of the characters that he is pretending to be friend with in order for his plan to succeed. The motive to all of these is honor which is one of the main themes in the play. Iago can be compared with Adolf Hitler based on their actions and destinies and the eventual punishment.

*Works Cited: Othello. N.d. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Jan. 2010.

I find this video really interesting and funny because it tells the story for very short time and a person can get the main ideas of the tradegy Othello.

1 comment:

  1. the video is very funny :) and at the same time educational :)