Power in Othello- Character Analysis
Power in Othello: Othello: Othello, the concept character, at the start seems to have power- whether it is physical, psychological, political or military. He is depicted to the audience as a sign of power and strength. As a skilled soldier, a General to be exact, Othello has had little experience with females. Even though he is a high ranking military official, he is less highly regarded because of his dark skin and being an immigrant. His stature and intonation, in addition to his self-confidence and belief, lead the audience to think about Othello as the primary representation of power in the play.
However, even more into the play, Othello’s power appears to diminish, revealing his insecurity and vulnerability. He is very naive and strongly thinks those close to him are sincere- even deeper in the play when Iago’s behaviors make Othello abhor those around him, he still believes Iago. Mentally, Othello also appears to have power, primarily a result of his military rank. Between his soldiers and his good friends, he is also really highly appreciated, this too being a type of power. Desdemona: Desdemona is Othello’s partner and the child of Brabantio.
Desdemona privately wed Othello, versus her dad’s dreams. Throughout the play, Desdemona’s power is not plainly conveyed to the audience, but her existence has a result. Roderigo is in love with her and her presence has an impact on him- he wants Othello out of the way, so to speak, so he can as soon as again try to win Desdemona’s love. As the play unfolds, different aspects of Desdemona’s character are revealed, and blend into a distinct personality. Throughout the play, Desdemona is faithful to her hubby, but once again, her existence (with Cassio) leads Othello to think that she is disloyal to him.
Her handkerchief plays a critical role in the play- by Desdemona dropping it, Emilia offers it to Iago, who then stealthily provides it to Cassio. Othello sees Cassio with the scarf and believes Desdemona offered it to him, supposedly proving Iago’s claims to Othello of Desdemona being an adultress. Iago: Iago is an ensign to Othello, and likewise a soldier in his army. Iago is the antagonist of the play, and among the most wicked Shakespearean villains. Iago is incredibly creative in the method he utilizes unwary power- specifically psychological power.
He enters individuals’s heads in lots of unethical ways- by spreading out incorrect rumours, informing lies and emotionally fooling people and secretly controlling certain situations. His power to control is a key point in the play, as it leads to significant effects and the deaths of some primary characters. Iago’s schemes are multi-levelled- he conspires with roderigo, and makes him think that Desdemona will take him back. On another level, he leads Othello to believe his spouse is having an affair with Cassio. He utilizes his better half Emilia (unidentified to her), to restore the scarf he utilizes to trick Othello.
Iago is an incredibly resourceful and talented man, however he utilizes these resources and talents in harmful ways. Iago is constantly referred to by various characters as ‘honest’. He himself also refers to sincerity. Numerous characters think that they understand and rely on Iago and that he would not lie, nor trick them. Iago’s soliloquies also supply indispensable insight into his wicked mind and wicked plans and strategies. Emilia: Emilia is the spouse of Iago and Desdemona’s maidservant. Emilia, much like Desdemona, does not have much power once again her existence has an effect.
Her role in the play, apart from being Desdemona’s housemaid, is to fetch Desdemona’s scarf for Iago, so that he can use it as proof to Othello (unidentified to Emilia) that Desdemona betrays to him. Emilia’s character reveals greater development in the fourth scene, where she states that she would betray in marital relationship in the best scenarios, which reveals less naivety than Desdemona who barely even believes adulterous individuals even exist. In the final act, Emilia reveals her true commitment by mentioning that she offered Iago the handkerchief, a discovery of evidence that Desdemona is not unfaithful.
For doing so, Emilia is stabbed by her spouse Iago, and with her dying breath she sings the song Desdemona informed her, “Willow”. Michael Cassio: Cassio is Othello’s lieutenant- he was selected as lieutenant over Iago, much to Iago’s dissatisfaction. Cassio’s power is revealed more as an intellectual sort of power, instead of a physical or mental power. Nevertheless, Cassio is quickly controlled and frequently the victim of Iago’s plans. In act 2, he becomes intoxicated at the sneaky hands of Iago, and starts a fight with roderigo, in which he injures him and Montano, and loses his ‘power’ as Othello’s lieutenant.
To the audience, Cassio does not appear like a significant source of power, but rather a source of understanding maybe- that is until his intoxicated brawl, nevertheless. Iago then later on manipulates him to discuss his mistress Bianca, understanding that Othello was covertly listening. However, Othello thought Cassio was talking about his affairs with Desdemona. This, again reveals Cassio’s vulnerability. “Keep up your brilliant swords, for the dew will rust them.” “O! Beware, my lord, of jealousy: It is the green-ey ‘d monster which doth mock the meat it feeds upon.” “Who would not make her spouse a cuckold to make him a king? “