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Othello – Notions of Powerplay


Othello– Concepts of Powerplay

How efficiently does Othello offer insight into the concept of Powerplay? Othello welcomes numerous circumstances involving the dynamic of Powerplay. This can be examined through the relationships of characters: being Othello, Iago, Roderigo and Desdemona. Iago’s relationship with Othello is where the clearest examples of Powerplay can be viewed. Iago preserves an overarching power over Othello in the play. Iago succeeds in manipulating both the fact and Othello, explaining Casio’s departure from his conference with Desdemona: “that he would steal away so guilty like, seeing you coming”.

Iago’s tremendous gift with language enables him to keep power over Othello by essentially planting doubt in his mind. Throughout the play, Iago achieves success in manipulating Othello through his artificial language which represents himself as an ‘sincere’ good friend who is there for support. This is restated throughout the have fun with continuous repetition of the word ‘honest’ when describing Iago and this is extremely paradoxical as he is clearly the most dishonest character in Othello.

Iago is typically seen infuriating Othello by supplying additional, unnecessary details about Desdemona’s expected betrayal. Whilst attempting to remain innocent and of a moral high ground, Iago’s gift with language allows this control to have a higher effect on his victim, Othello. This is clearly communicated when he explains Desdemona’s unfaithfulness with Cassio where he lies “with her, on her, what you will”. This has an astronomical impact on the Moor who’s action is furious and vicious.

Iago’s control is additional explored when he estimates after Othello has a epileptic fit “my medication, work! “. This allows the audience to understand Iago’s ideas and provides them insight as he acknowledges that his medicine, being his language is having a huge effect on Othello. He is now in complete control and possesses total power. Powerplay can be noteworthy seen through the relationship of Othello and Desdemona as she is innocent of all his accusations and just lives to serve him.

Provided the context, being Venice and Cyprus in the 16th century the men are the more effective and capable whereas ladies serve a stereotypical purpose. This is also seen in Othello where Desdemona is totally loyal to her hubby the Moor as he is in control of the relationship. Typically, nevertheless the powerplay is reversed as Desdemona can encouraging Othello with her fragile voice and he becomes her victim. Ultimately, the both fall victim to Iago, the supreme manipulator and this is clear when he goes to Desdemona, asking “Can he be upset? after she confides in him about Othello’s belief in her unfaithfulness which originated from Iago. This is extremely paradoxical and makes clear the extent of Iago’s power and control over all the characters. The relationship of Iago and Roderigo is based upon power and manipulation as Iago utilizes him for financial gain. Roderigo is blurred in his ways by his love and desire for Desdemona and Iago recognises and capitalises on the opportunity he sees by this.

This is plainly seen when Roderigo informs Iago that he will “incontinently drown myself” as he thinks he will never have Othello’s spouse and after only minutes, Iago is able to convince him to “offer all my land” in order to supply Iago with financial support. Right away, Roderigo then leaves and the audience is confronted with a soliloquy by Iago, referring to Roderigo as a “snipe” and describing he has no emotional connection with Roderigo and he only uses him for his cash.

This uses insight into Iago, his wicked train of idea and his manipulative qualities. Therefore it can be seen that Othello plainly offers forward examples of Powerplay which can be taken a look at through relationships within the play. Eventually, at the centre of all Powerplay is Iago who is capable of remarkable adjustment due to his strong ability with language, with his most obvious examples being Othello, Desdemona and Roderigo. The powerplay is so clear between the characters that is becomes really clear that control is among the structures of powerplay.

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