Adjustment Leads to Self Destruction in Othello
In Shakespeare’s Othello, isolation is displayed in all aspects of the play. Most of the play takes place on the island of Cyprus. Secured by military fortifications in addition to by the forces of nature, external forces seem to provide little danger to the island. Although the island does seem to secure them from the outside, it likewise leaves the characters with nothing to do but prey upon one another. This style certainly rollovers to the play’s awful hero. One would believe that being the most effective general in the land and having the most lovely female in the land Othello would not have such a hard time staying on top.
The issue is that there is just room for one at the top of the mountain. The largest driver of Othello’s seclusion, Iago, the play’s most paradoxical character, drives Othello to question everything he understands. Iago’s weapon is his ability to drive the other characters into a personal conflict, which leads the characters to have both an external and inner life. Although Iago and Othello’s duality is more clearly shown, the majority of the characters in the play display a personal inner dispute. Being a terrible hero, Othello comes down with the isolation and seclusion that Iago drives him to.
Practically all of the play’s major character’s ended up being torn in between themselves, and even Iago falls victim to his own fixation with revenge. The isolation also serves as a foreshadowing of the characters impending doom. Iago’s outer and inner self is what brings the other characters to seclusion and duality. It has actually been said that Iago is the most honest character in the play. This may most certainly hold true. His outside personality definitely recommends a contradiction that the audience understands. Every character in the play feels as though Iago is an honest male.
It is this public understanding that permits him to do what he does. His own sincerity is confirmed by Othello on numerous events. For example, “A man he is of honesty and trust.” He also says, “My life upon her faith! Honest Iago.” An important word to notice is the faith that Othello utilizes there. The reader will come to see that faith is later revealed to be the awful defect of Othello. What makes Iago so paradoxical is that he is truthful about his dishonesty. “I am not what I am.” He remains in such great standing that he can state that he is deceiving and is not what he seems and the other characters do not see his games.
It is Iago’s outer personality that permits him to do the things that he does to all of the other characters. Very much like a parasite, Iago lives off of the other people. His lifestyle is through the manipulation and control over other individuals. Iago states, “I follow him to serve my turn upon him.” He is a leech. He is using his rationality and great persuasion abilities to get from others loss. What Iago did not anticipate though, was that while he was driving all of the other characters into seclusion, he was likewise separating himself, which ultimately resulted in his failure.
Othello’s duality is the most prolific in the play. Called the “noble moor,” Othello is almost tossed into inner turmoil from the very beginning. Being a black male, amongst a white society, however having power over that society strikes an effective contrast in the play. It is through this success that he acquired so much pride that it ends up being a weakness of his. Shakespeare might be saying here that he has no right to his pride due to the fact that he is an outsider in this play. However Othello’s a lot of awful flaw was his own willingness to rely on other people. Iago explains Othello: “That thinks males truthful that however seem to be so. His inner self is telling him that he ought to believe Iago because of his unusually large quantity of pride. Earlier in the play Othello’s usage of the word faith most plainly shows his desire to put himself out for other people to stroll on. He has an inherent quality of having the ability to put his faith in individuals. It appears that Shakespeare is saying that his faith is his undoing. This inner faith hinders him in two methods. Since of his faith that Iago is sincere he believes everything that he says. On the other hand though, his faith is not shown with his own love and partner, Desdemona.
He appears to also be a bad judge of character due to the fact that he thinks another over the lady he likes. Being a bad judge of character and having too much faith is the mix of qualities that bring his downfall. It was clear at the start of the play that he was a prideful and powerful male and it was clear that he was also delighted. Iago’s function in his destruction was that of doubt. He placed the doubt into the mind of Othello. This doubt is what drove him to his polar personality. The contrast of his inner chaos and his outer prideful appearance is what is so compelling about the play.
The reader sees his pain and feels it with him, while the other characters, each dealing with their own split, still see him as a powerful guy. The play seems to say that the other characters may aim to Othello for some sort of peace or calmness, while ironically he is the most struggling of them all. Othello’s outward appearances are what made him a hero. However it is his inner chaos that makes him awful. Both Cassio and Desdemona’s deaths are an outcome of the manipulations of Iago. A reader of the play would see that it appears as though both of these characters are rather innocent in all this.
Yes naturally one might make the argument that all the characters, with the exception of Iago, were innocent but there is something various about these two. Cassio and Desdemona both were not out for any significant personal gain. These two characters are victims in the truest sense. Desdemona is never even affected by Iago straight. It is through Iago’s transactions that individuals around her impact her. Both Desdemona and Cassio do display the double nature, but there inner chaos is less respected. The characters of Othello succumb to first Iago, but then become victims of themselves.
Iago is the master manipulator that results in the destruction of every significant character in the play, including himself. The inner struggle that Iago instills leads each character to question whatever. This doubt leads the characters to show something while really feeling another. The most extensive thing that this play says lies in its seclusion theme. The island setting is the most subtle yet powerful idea in the play. The characters can not be islands, suggesting that they can not cut themselves off. This play seems to say that the self isolation of each character so as to cause self conservation leads eventually to self destruction.