Get help from the best in academic writing.

Iago as Puppet Master of Shakespeare’s Othello

Iago as Puppet Master of Othello

In act 3, scene 3 of Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago works in stages to convince Othello that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio, Othello’s right-hand lieutenant. The strategy Iago implements to attain his goal can be compared with a person who is about to undergo a lethal injection. In this instance Iago is the doctor who administers the poison and Othello is the convicted prisoner. However, there is a distinct difference. In the case of death by lethal injection, the administering of the dose usually takes place within a matter of minutes, thus rendering the victim dead. In the case of Othello’s ‘death,’ Iago administers the poison drop by painful drop, until the old Othello is no more and a new one emerges like a phoenix from a fire: Othello is caught by Iago when the handkerchief is introduced as evidence. Nonetheless, this is not to say that the whole plot unfolds in the way Iago initially plans it because this is certainly not the case. But what is clear is that it is Iago who initiates the notion of an ‘affair’ having taken place and who transforms Othello into a puppet of which he is the puppet master.

Iago begins to plant the seed of doubt in Othello’s mind when they return to Othello’s quarters and see Cassio leaving Desdemona. Iago exclaims: “Ha! I like not that” (35). When Othello asks him what he said, Iago plays it off and insists that it was nothing. Then Othello wonders if he indeed saw Cassio leave his wife. Meticulously, Iago defends Cassio by saying he would not be the type to sneak away from Othello’s quarters in such a manner. Iago’s words begin to puts questions in Othello’s mind since Othello made no connection between the way in which Cassio left Desdemona …

… middle of paper …

…for Iago and his loyalty, Othello makes Iago his lieutenant (475).

Iago has a very elaborate strategy when it comes to seducing Othello into thinking that his wife is having an affair with his lieutenant. Though the final result is successful toward the end of the scene, it is throughout the scene itself that Iago marks himself as a very smart person with lots of manipulative power up his sleeve. He brings down the regaled general while at the same time bringing himself to the power and prestige he so long wanted (but it is still not at the level he desires). He figures that since he can never be the general Othello is he can bring Othello down to his level. With Othello’s transformation, Iago inarguably succeeds to that end.

Work Cited

Shakespeare, William. Othello. Ed. Kenneth Muir. The New Penguin Shakespeare. London: Penguin Books, 1996.

Plato, Sir Francis Bacon, and Albert Camus: What is knowledge?

Knowledge, that certain indescribable thing that everyone thinks they have a little bit of, is an elusive concept that nearly every philosopher from ancient Greece to the modern day has given at least a nod to. How, after all, can we know that we are right in something if we don’t know what knowing is? This question, and the sometimes futile attempt to answer it, is called epistemology. More specifically, it is the study of how we know and what that knowledge actually is. Is knowledge objective, subjective, something else, or even possible?

In ancient Greece, a group of men who came to be known as the Sophists sold their

“knowledge” without ever believing absolute knowledge was possible. According to them, the only things that could be known were skills that were subjective to the user. Skepticism of this variety was encountered by one of the great minds of philosophy, Socrates, who spent much of his life, as we know it through Plato, arguing against sophism and its many forms in his pursuit of attempting to actually discover what could be known and if anyone actually did know anything. Knowledge, to Socrates, was a thing called arete’ or virtue, and the only thing Socrates knew was that he knew nothing which made him, ironically, the most knowledgeable man in

Athens, at least if one is to believe his account of visiting the Oracle at Delphi. Whether Socrates was ever successful in establishing what knowledge is or is not is arguable, but his pupil and follower, Plato, takes up Socrates’ cause in The Republic and, with a combination of Socrates’ ideas and some of his own, attempts to show in “The Allegory of the Cave” what different kinds of knowledge are possible and how we come about them.


Plato’s work,…

… middle of paper …

…des a journey of discovery for me to approach a sun, if not the sun. Like they have, I started with


something, a desire, and, being freed from my chains, I painstakingly made my way through my own cave in search of whatever I could call real. Whether or not there is a universal real becomes unimportant because at the end of the day, it’s all about the seemingly unending journey itself and, like Camus, an appreciation that the journey is mine to make what I will of it.


Works Cited

Neuleib, Janice, Kathleen Shine Cain, and Stephen Ruffus, eds. The Mercury Reader: Advancing Composition, English 103. Boston: Pearson, 2013. Print.

Bacon, Francis.“Of Studies.”Neuleib, Cain, and Ruffus 7-10.

Camus, Albert. “The Myth of Sisyphus.” Neulieb, Cain, and Ruffus 11-15.

Plato. “The Allegory of the Cave.” Neulieb, Cain, and Ruffus 1-6.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.