Iago Is Not Entirely to Blame for the Othello Tragedy - Controversial Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1186 Words
Date:  2021-03-03


The paper explores whether it would be a true conviction to claim that Iago is entirely responsible for the tragedy. Also, the paper seeks to answer the tragedy claim by looking at some aspects that would significantly contribute to the deaths and the predicaments that are witnessed in the play. For instance, the works of different scholars assert that Iago is actively responsible for the tragedy but does not consider him the sole cause of the effect. As Iago uses his lies to influence things, Othello is blamed for descending so as to allow himself to be deceived by Iago to participate in the killings (Zender, 327). He allowed himself to be overwhelmed by emotions thus suspending his reasoning. His love for Desdemona and his anger for the betrayal demonstrate his uncontrolled emotions. For example, the quote, “But, I pray you, sir, Are you fast married? Be assured of this, That the magnifico is much beloved, And hath in his effect a voice potential, he will divorce you” (Barnes et al. p. 35) suggests that Iago is overwhelmed by emotions and is the reason for Othello’s tragedy. The paper is separated into three reasons explaining whether Iago is not solely to blame for the Othello tragedy or not. The three reasoning include blind trust, uncontrolled emotions, and deception. The paper proceeds to make a conclusion by mentioning the self-interests from both Iago and Othello that led to disasters that were experienced herein.

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Why Does Othello Trust the Word of Iago Over Desdemona?

Speaking about Othello and Iago relationship, Othello trusts Iago so much that he is blinded to clearly distinguish what is worth and that which is baseless and that is the answer to question how does Iago manipulate Othello. Iago played an active role in causing the tragedy as depicted in the play as this is seen effectively in the first lines to the end when he devised plans to achieve blind trust tragedy. Iago's mission to bring down Othello is conspicuous when he reveals to Desdemona's father the love between her daughter and Othello. Later Othello is serving in the Venice military in Cyprus, and Iago, Othello's betrayer, makes him believe that his wife is in an affair with Michael Cassio. Iago convinces Othello using baseless proof. For instance, Iago claims that Cassio had a dream talking about his affection for Desdemona (Barnes et al. p. 25). The dream can be considered as baseless proof. When Iago realizes that Othello does not believe, he proceeds to provide more evidence indicating that the handkerchief that Cassio uses belongs to his wife. Besides, when Cassio talks about his girlfriend, Bianca, Othello takes this to mean Desdemona. Othello without any proof blinded by trust embedded in Iago irrationally believes that Cassio is seeing Desdemona. He becomes remorseful and finally stages vengeance as depicted in the quote "I'll not expostulate with her, lest her body and beauty unproved my mind again" (Kirshbaum, p. 287).

Why Do Othello and All the Other Characters Fall For Iago’s Deception and Manipulation?

Iago is an outright liar that never gives up. He sets his master in trouble by constructing lies that make him make inverted decisions and actions as depicted in the quote, "Look to your wife, observe her well with Cassio" (Rose, 122). He dominates Othello with untruthful claims and follows up to make him believe everything when he shows to be the skeptic. He instills his lies on Othello by collecting his scanty evidence and helps him make connections on the claims to make a false meaning. Iago utilizes every mechanism he has to make sure he scores on his mission. He made Cassio talk freely about his mistress so that Othello would make a meaning that he was talking about Desdemona. Othello later realized that he was blinded to believe what was untrue when Iago states that he only told him what he thought and no more.

What Effect on Tragedy That Othello Can't Control Emotions?

However, we can blame the two characters, Iago and Othello himself for his tragedy. Othello is a man of uncontrolled love coupled with jealousy. Iago manipulates his ego to believe the bitter lie as the bitter truth (Rose, 124), thus showing that Iago can be blamed for Othello's tragedy. Othello listened to the claims by Iago without seeking to prove the promise to Othello's wife, thus making us believe that Othello contributed to his tragedy. He never settles down to communicate the matter with his wife. He is unready to listen to anybody having comprehended his wife to be an infidel. Othello gives no room for his wife to defend herself. Desdemona's close servant makes an attempt to tell him that the claims are outright lies but he gives no room to listen to anyone by claiming that he knows his wife is seeing another man. After Othello kills Desdemona, his wife, he admits that the sole knower of the whole truth was Iago. He goes forth and says that any adultery was the words of Iago, "My friend, thy husband, honest, Iago" (Kirschbaum, 290). This is a demonstration of a man driven by emotion that leaves him with an empty soul to scrutinize what to believe. The paragraph depicts that we are not only supposed to blame Iago but also blame Othello for his tragedy.


From the three elements discussed above, we can agree that Iago was very aggressive and committed to making things happen in Othello play. That is true but he cannot be put on course to bear all the blames. Othello, who was used by him to cause tragedy, never consulted his rationality to make well-informed decisions. It is worth saying that Othello caused his predicaments. He allowed everything that was said by Iago to control him recklessly and depicted from the quote "I told him what I thought and told no more than what he found himself was apt and true" (Barnes, et al. 2011). He was blinded to reason and went ahead to kill his innocent wife. For this reason, Othello is to blame in his way. In conclusion, Iago has to be blamed alongside Othello for the tragedy. Iago was very selfish and egocentric while Othello was stupid and emotional. If Othello would be wise enough, he would see that Iago was in pursuit of something selfish rather than for his good. Iago was not to control him without having to investigate for himself. He would listen to his wife and anyone who would help him in finding the truth. The two are a portrayal of misguided feelings that lead to destruction in society. One should be selective on what to believe.

Works Cited

Barnes S, Coleman A., & Shakespeare W. Othello. An Insight Publications; Drama. 2011. Print.


Rose, Mark. "Othello's Occupation: The Shakespeare and the Romance of Chivalry." English Literary Renaissance 15.3 (1985): 293-311.

Zender, Karl F. "The humiliation of Iago." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 (1994): 323-339.

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Iago Is Not Entirely to Blame for the Othello Tragedy - Controversial Essay. (2021, Mar 03). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/iago-is-not-entirely-to-blame-for-the-othello-tragedy

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