Victimization in Shakespeare’s Othello
Frank Pogoda Ms. Colello English 1 H, Duration 8 February 22, 2010 Victimization in Shakespeare’s Othello Victims are those who have actually suffered since of the actions of others. They are subjected to difficulty given that they are regularly maltreated. Whether the damage done is physical or emotional, victims take in much abuse which frequently is shown in the course of their lives and personality. The scars left from mistreatment and bullying can be irreversible, and it typically has a severe and guaranteed impact on one’s life. In William Shakespeare’s Othello, several characters are made preyed on so that others can get what they desire.
In the play, the three characters that are most taken advantage of are Desdemona, Roderigo, and Cassio. To start, one character took advantage of throughout the play is Cassio. In one circumstances, Cassio is victimized when he is blamed for having an affair with Desdemona by Iago just so that Iago can get the Lieutenant position over him. After telling Othello a bunch of lies about how Cassio preferred Desdemona, Othello thinks him and says, “Within these three days let me hear thee say/ Than Cassio’s not alive” (Shakespeare III. ii. 473-474). Iago is an extremely persuading character, and readers can see that he has persuaded Othello into thinking that Cassio is an evildoer and Othello now wants him killed. Furthermore, Cassio is victimized when he is hurt in the fight by Iago. The tricky guy creeps up from behind him, wounds him, and Cassio states, “I am impaired permanently …” (V. i. 24). It is clear at this moment in the story that Cassio did absolutely nothing wrong, yet he is still ill-treated and nearly killed by Roderigo and Iago.
For these reasons, Cassio ends up being another character struggling with victimization in the play. Another character whose victimization is extremely clear in the play is Roderigo. Though his role is not that large in the story, he is made out to be an introverted individual who is constantly taken advantage of, generally by Iago. For example, Roderigo loves and wishes to be with Desdemona, and Iago tells him that he will be able to separate her from Othello so that Roderigo can be with her, however charges Roderigo unreasonable fines for the service he carries out.
Iago informs Roderigo, “Hence do I ever make a fool of my handbag” (I. iii. 363). Readers can clearly see that Iago is making Roderigo pay him fines for his services, and they are exceptionally unreasonable. Another example of Roderigo’s victimization is when he reluctantly accepts Iago’s orders for him to kill Cassio, because he knows that this will bring him closer to Desdemona. Iago even says, “Now, whether he eliminate Cassio,/ Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other,/ Every way makes my gain” (V. i. 12-14).
Readers learn through this monologue that Iago does not care what happens to Roderigo, and still is putting his friend out on the line to do him a favor in the end. All in all, it is evident that Roderigo is maltreated throughout the play. Finally, the character who is probably most preyed on is Desdemona. One example of this is when Othello, slaps her and wrongly implicates her of cheating on him. When asking why her spouse is mad, Desdemona states, “Why, sweet Othello?/ Devil!/ I have actually not deserved this” (Shakespeare IV. i. 223-225).
Though she really not did anything incorrect, Othello abuses and victimizes her because of what lies he had become aware of his better half. Another example of Desdemona’s victimization is when she is stabbed to her death by Othello. She knows that she had don’t nothing incorrect, and right before she dies says, “I pass away a spotless death” (V. ii. 125). Othello’s idea are too manipulated at the time he kills her, however when he understands the entire fact, he realizes that he victimized her and made a big error. It is clear to see that Desdemona was taken advantage of much in the play.
Consequently, victimization is continuously present in Shakespeare’s Othello. Desdemona is preyed on because of how Othello treated her based on the rumors he had heard from Iago about her unfaithful on him. In addition, Roderigo is maltreated since he is required to listen and comply with whatever Iago states and pay him big fines for the services he performs for Roderigo. Lastly, Cassio is mistreated since of how Iago frames him and nearly has him eliminated. Victimization is a horrible thing, and it is constantly present in our world, and as in the play, it exists side by side with jealousy, anguish, and vengeance.