Othello Act 5 Summary Response Redo
Summary: William Shakespeare’s Othello act 5, indicates that manipulation fuels betrayal. Iago, who uses manipulation to control his “peers” all throughout the story, is up to his old tricks once again in act 5. He truly does not care for anyone but himself, and a plethora of masks are used to disguise Iago’s true evil spirit. The overabundance of masks that Iago uses all create manipulation, which ultimately leads to acts of betrayals. Othello act 5, by Shakespeare, reveals how manipulation is the fuel of ultimate betrayal.
Claim: Othello act 5, by William Shakespeare, correctly portrays how manipulation fuels betrayal because Iago’s manipulative ways fuel his acts of betrayal upon Roderigo. In act 5, Iago ends up being the one who kills Roderigo. Roderigo was “friends” with Iago all along, yet it is Iago who impales Roderigo in the end. Iago was constantly using Roderigo as his pawn, always getting him to do what he wants. Iago comforts his friend, and supports him as well. This is all part of Iago’s master plan, and betrayal ends up being the tragic outcome of this cruel plan. After Cassio and Roderigo both were wounded, Iago comes in and stabs Roderigo. Roderigo is absolutely livid, and yells, “O damned Iago! O inhuman dog!” (Shakespeare 5.1 229). Roderigo is shocked and angry at Iago, for he has been stabbed in the chest by a man he knew dearly, and it ends up being lethal. Roderigo accuses of Iago of being a manipulative man, and Roderigo is basically solving Iago’s puzzle, but only to die a few moments later. Roderigo is the first man to see Iago’s plan, and understands that he has been used like a pawn’s. Iago’s constant betrayal is being fed by his own manipulative tricks. Iago’s tool of manipulation is the most powerful thing in Othello, and one can see that Iago’s dominant tool is powering his betrayal.
Counterclaim: However, while one might think that Iago uses manipulation for betrayal on Roderigo, the reader can actually see that Iago is a caring man who commits acts because of friendship and love. After Cassio and Roderigo’s brawl had started, Iago was the man to murder Roderigo in the end. Iago does this act out of care for Cassio, and one can see that Iago is actually a hero. Othello also notes of Iago’s noble acts, and kindly compliments Iago by saying, “‘Tis he! Oh, brave Iago, honest and just, That hast such noble sense of thy friend’s wrong! Thou teachest me” (Shakespeare 5.1 225). Now that Othello believes that Cassio is dead, he thanks Iago and states that this is how he himself should act. Iago’s acts are not ignoble, and Othello certainly notices this enduring quality that Iago withholds. Betrayal is the antithesis of what Iago is doing, and manipulation isn’t the tool that he uses to obtain his goals. Iago gushes with honesty and care, and one can see that betrayal isn’t the cause of manipulation in act 5 of Othello.
Rebuttal: At first glance, one might think that Iago is a noble man, who engages in murder only to help his dear friend Cassio. This is a compelling point because even Othello himself exclaims that he himself should act like Iago, and Othello also thanks Iago for what he has done. In addition, one can see that Iago is a hero by avenging Cassio. This is a very helpful interpretation, but it misses an important point. As a matter of fact, Iago is actually a cruel, evil man who feasts upon his friends with the power of his manipulation. Roderigo, Othello among others, are all just objects in relation to Iago, and Iago certainly uses each and every one of them. Roderigo’s death is the result of betrayal and manipulation, and it is Emilia who eventually spills the truth about Iago. Throughout the book, the reader can see that Iago is just a boor who uses manipulation to fuel his betrayal.
Conclusion: In the end, manipulation is the fuel of betrayal, and Shakespeare’s Othello act 5 definitely signifies this.