Roderigo: Shakespeare's Tool To Advance Iago's Dastardly Plot

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Roderigo as a character is little more than a tool, created by Shakespeare to advance Iago’s dastardly plot. It is made apparent that his one true goal is simply the object of his desires, Desdemona; his obvious and overpowering love for her tragically leads to his pitiful end. He becomes a puppet to Iago, enslaving himself to the villain’s schemes in pursuit of Desdemona’s acknowledgement and affections. However, what if his willingness to become part of Iago’s plan may not be indicative of a powerful love, but of a lazy infatuation? What if the fact that he is entirely willing to listen to what somebody else says shows a disinterest in trying for himself? Roderigo shows that he is incapable of wooing her himself, perhaps not because …show more content…
He is so weak of will that he will cling to any logic Iago puts forth, regardless of how farfetched or impractical it may seem to the reader. This can trick the casual reader into thinking that Roderigo is simply a fool chasing a doomed love; that he is nothing more than a plot device used by Shakespeare to advance Iago’s dastardly concoctions. This could entirely be the case, but it’s also possible that what people understand about Roderigo is not a fault of design, but of interpretation. The issue with Roderigo is that we never actually see how much effort he’s put into his chase for Desdemona, his ultimate motivation. The point of view in Othello being what it is, all we see of Roderigo are his conversations with Iago consisting entirely of his bending to Iago’s will. We know that he had been attempting to woo her prior to the events of the play, as evidenced by Brabantio’s statement “I have charged thee (Roderigo) not to haunt about my doors./In honest plainness thou hast heard me say/My daughter is not for thee” (I.i.95-97). A Romeo and Juliet romance this is not: it sounds as if Roderigo has not even attempted to contact Desdemona herself, instead choosing to go through the traditional methods of appealing to the father. He seems to trust Iago to get him on the fast track to success, believing that all he needs to do is beat up a man he doesn’t even know and leave

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