Who Is Iago A Foil Character In Othello

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In the play Othello the author William Shakespeare introduces the most manipulative and conniving characters of all Shakespearian dramas to propel this complex underlying theme of jealousy. The character Iago who hides behind this elaborate façade that he has created for himself as a loyal friend is actually a multilayered, manipulative villain who acts as a foil between all characters and creates true chaos behind the play. Iago uses his skill of strategic manipulation to undermine each of the characters weakness in Othello to propel his own incentives. He takes advantage of Roderigo’s love for Desdemona, persuades Cassio under the guise of friendship, and plays with the mind of Othello’s due to his severe self- doubt. Obviously Iago finds…show more content…
Iago first begins by pressuring Cassio to drink, to get him drunk enough which causes Othello to demote Cassio from his high ranking position as a lieutenant. One of the ways in witch Iago schemes this plot is despite Iago being behind Cassio’s drunken confrontation, he betrays Cassio by telling Montano that Cassio is actually an alcoholic. Iago tells Montano. “Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep. He’ll watch the horologue a double set/If drink rock no his cradle” (Shakespeare 386). Even though Iago appears to be Cassio’s friend he ruins his reputation to further his own needs. He continuously misleads Cassio into making the wrong decision and giving him false hope. He tells Cassio that there is still a chance that he can get his position back as lieutenant only if he pleads to Othello’s wife, Desdemona. Even though this may be seen as legitimate advice for Cassio, this is all part of Iagos master plan to diminish him. Cassio states, “I protest, in the sincerity of love and honest kindness” (Shakespeare 309) but then adds in his soliloquy by sarcastically saying, “And what’s he then that says I play the villain? /When this advice is free I give and honest, /Probable to thinking and undead the course, /to win the Moor again?” (Shakespeare 378). Iago purposely gave Cassio bad advice and plans to…show more content…
Due to Othello’s race, automatically causes him to become an outcast, being the only black man in a predominantly white society. Continuously through out the entire play, he is described as “The Moor”, with his certain skin color, which results in these negative preset assumptions falsified by society of this association of savage animalistic characteristics. Due to society’s prejudice, Othello’s self-esteem slowly diminishes which allows Iago to capitalize on this weakness to plant this seed of jealousy inside of the mind of Othello. One of the first ways in which Iago manipulates Othello, is my persuading him that Desdemona Is being unfaithful to him, as she even states that she prefers people of her own “type” a class Othello will never belong to due to his race. Iago then states, “ As, to be bold with you, /Not to affect many proposed matches/Of her own clime, complexion, and degree, /Where to we see in all things nature tends” (Shakespeare 432). In theory, Desdemona would actually prefer Cassio; due to the fact that they are similar in age, race, and class, as opposed to Othello who is in fact older, black and unattractive. Iago uses Desdemona’s gender and her past to convince Othello of her disloyalty. Iago states, “ She did deceive her father, marrying you,/And when she seemed to shake and fear your looks./She loved them most” (Shakespeare 435).

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