In England, during the renaissance,
the most remarkable out pouring of literary creativity took place in the
theatre treatment of “love” and “death” which is the main theme of “Othello”.
IN View of the conflicting opinions elaborated by Bradley and Levis, Shakespeare crafted the character of Lago in a complex
way when interpreting the role he plays in the tragedy “Othello”.The behavior of Lago in the play was shown
clearly in many quotes.”I am
not what I am “he said; which
announces the kind of personality he is .He is a “manipulator”, He refers to
his army superior as “Moorship”, a pun on “his worship” which highlights his disdain.
He seems to be presented as a bluff, cynical soldier, and a manipulator. He
says “Were I the Moor, I would not be Lago. In following him, I follow but myself”.
We understand that he does not respect his superior and he is going to plan a
conspiracy to disturb Othello’s life, when he says “Heaven is my judge not I
for love and duty”. Ago shows that his outwork behavior is a reflection of his
inner feelings and intentions by saying “the native act and figure of my heart,
in compliment extreme,’tis not long after, but I will wear my heart upon my sleeve”.
He uses a metaphor “non-literal way” to convey how it feels when someone opens
his heart to others .All of these quotes presents the deceitful behavior of
Lago played out in the play.
other different characters in the play view his actions and behaviors. For
instance, Rodrigo and Brabantio take it for granted that marriage between black
African and a white Venetian woman is deeply unnatural. Brabantio thinks that
his daughter had been witched by black magic.
With everyone else gone, Iago and Roderigo (who have traveled there together)
are left to start scheming again. Lago says men in love are known to be
more beastly than their natures usually allow, and he plans to take advantage
Iago tells Roderigo that Desdemona is already over Othello and interested in
Cassio. He then gives his long winded speech, again, about how passions
tend to cool. He says that as Desdemona got over Othello, Cassio stepped right
in, since he’s handsome and charming and valiant. Iago offers as proof the fact
that Desdemona held Cassio’s hand while they greeted each other, which is no evidence
at all, unless you’re a jealous, murder-plotting lover. Conveniently, Cassio
will be on the night-watch this evening, so Lago suggests that perhaps Roderigo
would like to pick a fight with him, get him demoted, and then have less
competition for Desdemona.Roderigo
agrees. After he exits, Iago gloats to the audience about the success of his
scheming. He has actually convinced himself that it’s perfectly possible that
Desdemona and Cassio might
have an affair.
shown above, Most of the characters are fooled by his manipulative character;
He uses Cassio’s drunken rage to destroy the man’s position and reputation.
When Othello first comes in, we notice how forceful and commanding he is,
shaming his brawling men by exclaiming “Are we turn Trucks” which is ironic. He
orders them to put by their behavior ten he turns to: honest Lago”, It is
ironic as his trust the man whom we know is behind it all. Othello’s reveals
little more of himself; after listening to Lego’s report, he gives orders to
demote his lieutenant immediately. As a general, he should understand the whole
situation and collect evidence from more than one person. He allows lago to
identify his weakness and exploit them to destroy Othello’s life.Cassio also
fooled by Lago as he feels shame with his awful mistake of being drunk and
losing his reputation. Lago comes again and suggests him to go to Desdemona and
ask her to plead to Othello on his behalf.Cassio swallows the bait and departs.
We can see from this section that lago the bluff and confident soldier who is
shown to be devious and controlling towards other characters. He dominates the
play and forms characters according to his devilish plan.
to F.R Leavis interpretation “Lago is subordinate and merely an celery” and his
power, infact, in the temptation scene is that he represents something that is
in Othello the husband of Desdemona.Leavis’s focus on the: temptation scene” is
helpful, since it is the turning point of the action. He believes that Othello
is “Anti-Othello “not a hero and he is responsible for his downfall. Moreover,
he suggests that Lago is not “external evil “that is responsible and not to
blame wholly. The tragic flow of Othello can be his jealousy, his anger, and
irrational decision, feeling less than others, his insecurities about his race
and age and lack of experience with women. On the other hand, A.C Bradley
blames the society and lago because they transformed Othello from a noble and a
pure person to a monster.
is thought that, Lago is driven by his pure destructive wickedness and that his
purposes are not justifiable at all. Lago, who works in the army thinks that he
deserves the promotion to be a lieutenant instead of Cassio, but he has passed
over this promotion because of the general Othello’s orders. He believes that
Othello is only a moor and he doesn’t worth to be a general in Venice because
of his colour and race. Therefore, Lago starts to make a plot to push Othello
on to remove Cassio from his new position, and to disturb Othello’s marriage.
He prepares an evil conspiracy to get rid of both of them “Othello and Cassio”.No
one can deny that Lago’s behavior echoes the venetian prejudice and intolerance
towards Othello ,the moor who managed to occupy a very prestigious and critical
place in their society. They consider anyone who is dark and outsider as an
uprooted person; homeless and from a low class. They don’t accept the fact that
Othello is a hero that has achieved victories and faces dangers and obstacles
to be able to be a general in the Venetian army. Unfortunately, the Venetian
society has a large part contributed to Othello’s demise.Othello’s race is
connected to the imagery of darkness and evil; he is described as “old black ram”,
while his wife is compared to a “white ewe”. Love is associated with lust,
racism, and evil in the Venetian society.
is believed that shakespare intended the character of “Lago “to represent the
external conflict of the society racism .He presented the debates about choice
defying authority and considerations of race and class that led to tragic ends.
He stressed that marriage was related to economoic and political purposes.
stage is a conflict between a remarkable individual “the tragic hero “and some
other powerful shaping force represented by “lago” character in “Othello”.
Othello is a tragic play that concerned with domestic tragedy. It has a tragic
hero with a tragic flaw, and his tragedy concerned with sexual desire which
plays a crucial part and challenges the social norms .That’s why it can be