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Compare Richard Iii to Iago

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Both Richard iii and Othello have two of Shakespeare strongest villains. Iago from Othello shows his strength of manipulation from the very beginning of the play Shakespeare shows how strong this character is and that without his strength and power throughout the play Shakespeare would have had trouble portraying a story. Also it would have been the same throughout Richard iii, due to his power of making people do exactly what he wants them to do.

Iago is introduced and he is portrayed as an evil manipulative man this is taken to an extreme extent through put the play. From the very beginning Iago referred to as ‘honest’. Othello, and virtually all of the other characters, refer to him as ‘honest Iago’ which prepares the audience for the over dramatized scenes at the end of the play. Critic A.C. Bradley claims that ‘when people think of Iago the word ‘honest’ pops to mind’ emphasising this. In no other play is a character so associated with a single word. It is this impression of Iago as incredibly honest that allows him to trick and fool the other characters with such ease. All the way through Iago shows his great manipulate skill- He controls the characters around him like puppets in his attempt to get his revenge on the Moor.

Similarly in Richard iii, Richard (duke of Gloucester) is the character that manipulates and bullies people in to doing what he wants in order to gain absolute power. From the beginning of the play, Richard makes no secret of his motivation. He is determined to become King and will let nothing get in his way- he even goes to the extent of killing his innocent nephews, the Princes in the tower. He continues this throughout the play even though people know that he has manipulated people so he could get into the position he is in. But despite his open allegiance to evil, he is such a charismatic and fascinating figure that, for much of the play the audience (at least to begin with) sympathise with him, or are impressed with him.

Critics sometimes compare Richard to the medieval character of the Vice, who was a flat and one-sided embodiment of evil. Opportunity to get some context in here- He certainly lives up to this, at least in the initial stages of the play where he murders anyone who gets in his way. Are just some of his victims that he manipulated or killed to get the feeling of having power over the powers in the country which many of these people are members of his family which makes it harder for the audience to believe because it is unbelievable to what extent Richard is willing to go to so that he gets the thrill of having the power he has never been able to get hold of until now . However, especially in the later scenes of the play, Richard proves to be highly self-reflective and more complicated. Here, you should look at the final scenes and his reaction to the dreams- the last soliloquy where he seems to break down- REALLY ANALYSE the language and what it reveals about his character. If you could find what the critics say about this even better!

Shakespeare’s plays rely largely on irony and Othello is no exception to this. There are three kinds of irony presented in this play; they include: situational, verbal, and dramatic. It creates suspense, and adds interest to the story. There numerous examples of situational irony, where something that is expected does not actually happen, in this play. It is ironic that both Othello and Iago treat their wives similarly; even though it is for very different reasons both end up killing them. Iago kills Emilia because she is about to expose his plan. Othello, on the other hand, kills his wife because he has been convinced by Iago that she has been unfaithful and he cannot bear to let her lives.

Iago’s actions show the extent that Iago will go to to make sure that he destroys Othello. Critic A.C Bradley comments on why Iago has done this: ‘Iago’s ego, wounded by the denial of promotion, demands satisfaction, and his schemes and manipulations allow him to re-establish his sense of power and dominance over others’. This emphasises the view that Iago seeks ultimate power- EXPLAIN with examples

On the other hand the irony, in Richard iii, is that physically, Richard is feeble and revolting. Richard shows his strength and attractiveness through his rhetorical skills instead of through his physical attributes. He has mastered the use of language and he uses that skill to manipulate people to his will and draw them to him. When Richard is talking about his physical features it really affects his confidence with the women in the play for example in his first monologue when he is trying to woo Lady Anne he says ‘Not shaped for sported tricks’ which relates back to his physical disabilities and then he uses ‘That dogs bark at me as I halt by them’ which also suggests that his physical disabilities could be worse than the audience could imagine which again could make them feel sorry for him.

Also other people insult Richard and the way he look for example when lady Anne is confronting Richard about the murder of her husband she says ‘Whose ugly and unnatural aspect May fright the hopeful mother at the view’ but he seems to just shrug the insult because he is so used to being seen as the mishap in the royal family. But even though Richard gets all of this mistreating from people Richard still treats women with respect but he does make them feel sorry for him in the way that he talks to them. He is good at manipulating the women like when he is talking to Lady Anne he turns around and says ‘Lo, here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword, Which if thou please to hide in this true breast’ he is telling lady Anne to kill him so that he does not have to go through the pain of not being able to have her for himself, this is manipulating her because he knows that her good nature would prevent her from hurting anybody, Richard does this all the way through the play but to different characters.

Women, human of a villain( doesn’t react, only needs himself) Richard does want attention of people. In human dog slanderous fiend. Compare iago and Richard. Talk about context ( vice). Conclusion who do I prefer.

Othello: The play’s protagonist and hero. A Christian Moor and general of the armies of Venice, Othello is an eloquent and physically powerful figure, respected by all those around him. In spite of his elevated status, he is nevertheless easy prey to insecurities because of his age, his life as a soldier, and his race. At the beginning of the play

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