Analysis of Shakespeare’s Play Othello the Moor of Venice

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At the end of the play, Iago is transformed from director/writer and ‘state manager’ to actor when he carries out murders himself. It will be argued that his scheme falls apart when Rodrigo fails to kill Cassio, and this marks the transition from stage manager to the actor because he has to kill Rodrigo in order to prevent him from confessing, and this sets the precedent for his further act of killing his wife Emilia. The ‘truth’ represents Iago’s downfall because he moves from stage manager to actor in order to suppress it. The first Act and first scene of Othello establishes a lot of important themes carried throughout the balance of the plays. Notably, it can be argued that the idea of his resolve to manipulate for his own ends is announced at the outset, and moreover, this sets the very tone for his role as ‘stage manager’. The play opens with Iago conversing with Rodrigo, and mostly about Rodrigo’s failed pursuit of Desdemona who is to marry Othello. Iago, a soldier, was being paid by the wealthy Rodrigo to help him with his goal of obtaining Desdemona. Two-interests collide in this exchange as Iago instantly sets out manipulate both Rodrigo and Othello. Iago instructs Rodrigo to tell Desdemona’s father Brabantio that Othello has eloped: Call up her father, Rouse him: make after him, poison his delight (Shakespeare, I, i). In turn, Iago goes to Othello that Desdemona’s father is coming after him. The action or Iago’s play is essentially set into motion with these two manipulations, and there are important elements with his speech in the first Act and the first scene that likewise reinforce this theme. Iago begins the play by articulating his displeasure over being passed over for a military appointment made by Othello, which is given to Michael Cassio. Rather than having any military experience as Iago boasts of himself, Cassio’s background is that of an arithmetician and bookish theoric (Shakespeare I, i). In other words, Iago is motivated by losing a role or a part.