Cassio, the Lieutenant, in Othello Essay

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Cassio, the Lieutenant, in Othello

Michael Cassio, the lieutenant who supposedly stole away Iago’s coveted promotion in Shakespeare’s Othello, is a strange sort of character. He shows great appreciation of other people; he is radiant with truth and honor; and yet he patronizes a prostitute, Bianca. This essay will delve into the character of Cassio.

Blanche Coles in Shakespeare’s Four Giants comments on the character of Cassio:

In a casual reading of Othello, it may seem that the character of Cassio is not sufficiently well drawn, because, for reasons connected with his portrayal of Iago, Shakespeare delays the full characterization of Cassio until almost the end of the play. However, we have a number of
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You may relish him more in the soldier than in the scholar.” And when the lieutenant takes the lady by her hand, Iago’s warped mind sees in this Cassio’s downfall: “With as little a web as this will I ensnare as great a fly s Cassio.” Following Othello’s disembarkation, a herald proclaims the time of “feasting,” “celebration,” and “triumph.” It is on this occasion that the general bestows guard-duty upon Cassio: “Good Michael, look you to the guard tonight.” En route to his guard post, Cassio meets Iago who lures the officer into lewd speech regarding Desdemona, but Cassio honorably compliments her: “She is a most exquisite lady,” and “Indeed, she’s a most fresh and delicate creature,” and “She is indeed perfection.”

Iago is fully intent upon entrapping the lieutenant in drunkenness, but Cassio resists the offer of drink: “Not tonight, good Iago. I have very poor and unhappy brains for drinking,” and “I am unfortunate in the infirmity and dare not task my weakness with any more.” When the “gallants” arrive Cassio yields to peer pressure and has a cup of wine, and offers a toast, “To the health of our general!” but then ends his involvement when he comes to a realization that he is getting tipsy: “Let’s no more of this; let’s to our affairs.” Later, in his drunkenness he strikes Roderigo and wounds

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