Tragedy Vs. Tragic Flaw Essay

1340 words - 6 pages

The brain and mind is a delicate thing. When once someone may have everything they ever wanted, by changing their own views, whether influenced by others or not, they clutch onto anything or anyone in order to comfort themselves. They believe everything that comes their way, and even if it is far from the truth, they create illusions that are not made upon by their reasonable and logical thought of mind. In the case of Othello, Iago uses the flaws of many characters, for his own benefit. He is far from a genius, he just preys upon every error, and every fault made by characters, to advance his own plot. In spite of him being Othello’s “trustworthy” servant, his status is what assures him revenge against anyone that comes between him and his goal. Iago becomes the controller of Rodrigo by playing upon his obsession with Desdemona; he preys on Othello’s mind, using his jealousy against him, and he uses Cassio’s weak state, when he is fired from the position of lieutenant, which heavily ruins his pride and reputation. He uses each character’s flaw- obsession, jealousy, and pride- to get what he wants. It is these exact flaws, which leads to many characters downfall. This displays how the outlook of humans is controlled by the predicaments that they are challenged with, not by people.

The first of many people to fall under Iago’s influence is Roderigo. Roderigo’s obsession with Desdemona leads to him losing perception of reality. When he finds out about Desdemona’s marriage with Othello, he feels, “it is silliness to live when to live is torment; and then / have [he] a prescription to die when death is [his] physician” (Othello, 1.3.308-309). At this point, to make Roderigo believe that he will get Desdemona, Iago plays on Othello as a black and Desdemona as a woman, to say that both Othello and Desdemona would lose interest in the other when they are gratified with their lust. Roderigo, who is already feeling insecure, believes Iago in order to comfort himself. This way Iago gains Roderigo’s help to advance his own plot, and along the way gets wealth as he scams Roderigo into giving money for Iago’s “assistance”. We also see Roderigo’s blindness at the seaport in Cyprus when Iago tells Roderigo that Desdemona is in love with Cassio. Although Roderigo “cannot believe that in her; she’s full of most blessed / condition” (Othello, 2.1.242-243), his obsession with Desdemona blinds him to the facts. We also see Roderigo’s obsession again, when Iago tells Roderigo to kill Cassio. Even though “[Roderigo has] no great devotion to the deed” (Othello, 5.1.8), his undying hope of getting Desdemona keeps making him oblivious to Iago’s true character and plot, in which is a trap he is falling in. Roderigo’s obsession with Desdemona coupled with Iago “consoling” him, leads to him downfall. Roderigo is not senseless, shown with him challenging Iago and saying that he doesn’t believe that Desdemona will ever like him. However, Iago is always able to change...

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