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The Battle of Good vs. Evil in Shakespeare's Othello

Uploaded by kevinwebb on Jan 13, 2012

"I am not what I am." What is Iago? -- as distinct from what he
pretends to be -- and what are his motives?

In Shakespeare's, Othello, the reader is presented the classic
battle between the deceitful forces of evil and the innocence of good.
It are these forces of evil that ultimately lead to the breakdown of
Othello, a noble venetian moor, well-known by the people of Venice as
a honourable soldier and a worthy leader. Othello's breakdown results
in the muder of his wife Desdemona. Desdemona is representative of
the good in nature. Good can be defined as forgiving, honest,
innocent and unsuspecting. The evil contained within Othello is by no
means magical or mythical yet is represented by the character Iago.
Iago is cunning, untrustworthy, selfish, and plotting. He uses these
traits to his advantage by slowly planning his own triumph while
watching the demise of others. It is this that is Iago's motivation.
The ultimate defeat of good by the wrath of evil. Not only is it in
his own nature of evil that he suceeds but also in the weaknesses of
the other characters. Iago uses the weaknesses of Othello,
specifically jealousy and his devotion to things as they seem, to
conquer his opposite in Desdemona. From the start of the play, Iago's
scheming ability is shown when he convinces Roderigo to tell about
Othello and Desdemonda's elopement to Desdemona's father, Brabantio.
Confidentally Iago continues his plot successfully, making fools of
others, and himself being rewarded. Except Roderigo, no one is aware
of Iago's plans. This is because Iago pretends to be an honest man
loyal to his superiors. The fact that Othello himself views Iago as
trustworthy and honest gives the evil within Iago a perfect
unsuspecting victim for his schemes. The opportunity to get to
Desdemona through Othello is one temptation that Iago cannot refuse.
He creates the impression that Desdemona is having an affair with
Cassio in order to stir the jealousy within Othello. It is this
jealousy and the ignorance of Othello that lead to the downfall of
Desdemona; the one truely good natured character in the play.

As the play opens we are...

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Uploaded by:   kevinwebb

Date:   01/13/2012

Category:   Shakespeare

Length:   7 pages (1,597 words)

Views:   2364

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