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Othello Manipulating Roderigo

Manipulating Roderigo

In Othello, Iago serves as a clever manipulator. He uses his skills on the stupid and naive Roderigo to get revenge on Othello. Iago’s main reason for his hatred of Othello is because he is passed over for the lieutenant position given to Michael Cassio. Iago also seems to have delight in the manipulation and destruction he is causes.

One major way Iago uses his manipulation on Roderigo is by jealousy. At the start of the play, we hear a conversation between Roderigo and Iago. Roderigo is angry because he has been giving money to Iago to help him gain the love of Desdemona, but he learns of Desdemona’s marriage to Othello. Also in Act one Scene one Iago convinces Roderigo to spoil Othello’s marriage by stirring Desdemona’s family against the Moor. At the end of Act one Iago has his first soliloquy. Iago says, “Thus do I ever make my fool my purse:/ For I mine own gained knowledge should profane/ If I would time expend with such a snipe/ But for my sport and profit” (1.3.384-387). He reveals his plan of cheating Roderigo out of his money and giving him unfulfilled promises. Another example of his manipulation occurs at the end of Act two Scene one. Iago explains to Roderigo that Desdemona will soon grow tired of Othello and will look for a more well-mannered and handsome man. He says that Cassio will be her first choice because he has seen them holding hands. Roderigo argues that Cassio was just being polite, but Iago persuaded him of Cassio’s intentions. Iago then urges him to start a fight with Cassio. Iago encourages the fight because he wants revenge on Cassio for being promoted to the lieutenant position. Iago shows his masterful manipulation skills by having Roderigo being almost invisible in the scene where Roderigo starts the fight with Cassio, who is drunk and chasing Roderigo around the stage threatening to beat him up. As he was chasing him, Cassio stabbed Montano, the Governor of Cyprus. No one seems to give it a second thought of who started the fight and what the fight is about. In Act four Scene two Roderigo returns. He is enraged that he is not with Desdemona yet and is ready to confess pursuit of her to Desdemona...

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Category:   Othello

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