Why is Iago most responsible for the tragic events of Othello?please give me list reasons why!

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wannam's profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Iago was the one most responsible for the tragic events in the play Othello, because he manipulated the other characters in order to bring about these tragic situations. He hated Michael Cassio and was the cause of his demise. He got him drunk when he knew it would cause him to lose favor with Othello. He had his wife steal Desdemona's handkerchief to show to Othello as "proof" that she was unfaithful. He encouraged Othello to take revenge on Desdemona and eventually to kill her. Iago's goal was to ultimately ruin Othello, but he ruined many others along the way. We must allow the other characters to share some of the responisibility. After all, Iago didn't kill Desdemona himself; Othello did. But, it was Iago that manipulated Othello and the others into creating many of the tragic events which occur throughout the play.
gregghebert's profile pic

gregghebert | Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Iago is most responsible for the tragic events of the play because he poisons Othello with words. Of course, it is Othello who commits the misdeeds but it is Iago which propels him to do so.

Had Iago not laid so many "traps" for Othello, he would have simply continued to live life as he had. Iago thrusts him into a jealous, murderous rage and is therefore the most responsible for the events of the play.

One could argue that Othello should have kept himself in line and not resorted to violence, but one must sometimes blame the person who lights the dynamite, not the dynamite itself.

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