Iago’s Tactics

Iago is someone who doesn’t have much power inherently, but knows how to use Machiavellian tactics with a second nature; the epitome of Shakespeare’s villains. The device he uses to deceive Othello into jealousy is quite ingenious. He observes that his wife is quite friendly with Cassio, the one that got the promotion he wanted; he then gets him dispossessed of that promotion, by getting him drunk, knowing his weakness of alcohol to turn him violent. Cassio inebriated, then attacks a noblemen and as a punishment loses his title. Iago then has Cassio petition Desdemona to importune Othello for Cassio’s reinstatement. Desdemona then zealously pleads for Cassio, as she is his good friend, which adds to Othello’s belief of Desdemona’s infidelity. Desdemona indirectly damns herself by trying to help her friend—all aspects of which was orchestrated by someone that was always cordial and pleasant towards her [Iago]. This malevolent influence of Iago over others all stems from getting other people to be his pawns and do his dirty work through his own machinations. Law seven from Robert Greene’s “The 48 Laws of Power” is to Get Others To Do The Work For You, But Always Take The Credit and Iago basks inwardly at his own pleasure for his success in evil. “And by how much she strives to do him [Cassio] good she shall undo her credit with the Moor—So will I turn her virtue into pitch and out of her own goodness make the net that shall enmesh them all.”

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2 thoughts on “Iago’s Tactics

  1. Pingback: Friday Two Cents: The Play’s The Thing | Paul Gauchi

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