In two of Shakespeare’s most well-known tragedies, Hamlet and Othello, potency and impotency are attended to through characters actions and schemes. To be potent is to wield power, to be mighty, influential, persuasive, and sound. One in a high position, one whom lots of admired, would likely hold characteristics of potency.
Contrastingly an impotent character would be one of a lower position, and appropriately among lesser position and influence. The first of these plays, Hamlet, speaks of a boy, Hamlet, seeking revenge on his uncle for the murder of his daddy and the taking of his dad’s throne and other half.
The 2nd play, Othello, demonstrates Iago, the antagonist, to be in desire of Othello or Cassio’s greater position and his determination to get these through murder, deceptiveness, or any other vile mechanism. Young Hamlet from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and Iago from Othello provide blatant contrast in the effectiveness of their actions throughout the course of each play. Hamlet represents an impotent character through his lack of communication and actions, and Iago depicts a powerful character through his deceptive interaction and definitive action.
However, they show no matter one’s influence or ability to wield power, similar intentions will draw parallel conclusions. Throughout the course of the play Hamlet, the audience watches young Hamlet establish from a character that has no effect on the rest of his home to one who dramatically changes its comprise. In the beginning, he is compared to a passing away king of another kingdom, one “who [is] impotent and bed-rid” by his uncle Claudius, and is seen to have little impact on anybody around him. (I. ii. 9) The speaker draws this comparison to place emphasis on the weak nature of Hamlet. Within the first acts, his character is not revealed through his interaction with others, but through his asides and soliloquies. Upon an encounter with the ghost of his late daddy and the intro to his mission to eliminate Claudius for revenge; Hamlet speaks in a soliloquy filled with perplexity over his subsequent actions.
He chooses that “break, [his] heart, for [he] need to hold [his] tongue”, and hence not to talk to anyone concerning the matter, but seek the proper actions for himself (I. i. 159). Hamlet in this way designates his vengeance to be social and impotent for the time as he determines his course of action, instead of doing something about it and speaking to others immediately. As he has a hard time within himself over the actions he will take, questions develop through experiencing more feeling depicted in a play that takes place on the King’s Court than he feels within him. Hamlet asks in an aside, “had [the gamer] the motive and cue for passion/That I have?” (II. ii. 564-565).
Despite Hamlet’s guaranteed purpose for revenge, he struggles with his inability to take action and advises himself for being unable to even show the feeling a player displayed in a phony situation. In this way, impotency of Hamlet is considerably highlighted through his soliloquies and affirmation that” [he is] pigeon-livered, and lacks gall” towards enacting revenge for his daddy upon his uncle (II. ii. 581). In addition, he discusses how “the kid of a dear daddy murder ‘d/ Prompted to [his] vengeance by paradise and hell,/ Must, like a whore, unload [his] heart with words” rather of being able to take any figuring out action against Claudius (II. i. 587-590).
At this moment, Hamlet’s impotency has reached its highest potential. His function has actually been explained, and the general course that his actions ought to take was dictated to him through the ghost; all that is left is for him to be decisive and take action. Nevertheless, each action he takes is stagnant, and created to identify his final step of action instead complete it. From this point forward nevertheless, the actions of Hamlet and his strategy concerning revenge slowly start to play out.
Since his call to action, he had remained in search of a method to prove Claudius’ regret, and when this is complete Hamlet will “take the ghost’s word” and total revenge upon Claudius. Unfortunately, due to his indecisiveness over what path to require to identify the king’s regret, his final actions are made after Claudius knows the danger Hamlet provides to him. Hence the only possibility Hamlet has to finish his last action is made as he is dying from being poisoned by the king through a “potent poison [which] rather o’er-crows [his] spirit” (V. ii. 357).
In this method his surpassing impotence throughout most of the play resulted in his own murder, due to Claudius’ discovery of Hamlet’s revengeful intentions. In Shakespeare’s Othello, a really various personality and approach for completing a task is seen within Iago than has actually been seen in Hamlet. His soliloquies consist not of combating with himself, determining the right and incorrect actions, however they show his very potency in taking actions and controling others. Instead of toying with his own emotions Iago uses many different characters to finish his will throughout Othello, even those as small as Roderigo.
Roderigo is discovered throughout his death to be made the most of by Iago, and even mentions Iago as one “hast had my purse/As if the strings were [his] and had the ability to steer him into actions and words which he would not generally have actually taken (I. i. 2-3). Iago does not hang out pondering and combating within himself throughout actions as Hamlet does, but speaks out. Nevertheless, although Iago does speak to others, like Hamlet he never exposes his plan to the public. He instead operates in trick through adjustment and devious actions.
As Iago spends his time working through others and slyly taking vital actions, he speaks saying “Aye, that’s the method./ Dull not device by cold and hold-up” (II. iii. 345-346). This very line, as well as the claim of Roderigo makes of Iago’s capability to control and navigate people, shows the strength that Iago brings. He has the ability to take every opportunity present and use it to his own advantage. In order to compromise the position of Othello, he who holds Iago’s wanted position; Iago convinces Othello his wife has actually betrayed.
He figures out “if [he] gave [his] wife a handkerchief–” she should have the ability to offer it to whomever she pleases as a token of affection (IV. i. 10). Hence, if Desdemona, Othello’s partner, no longer has the scarf it is a sure indication of her unfaithfulness due to the possibility of her offering it to a lover. By chance, Iago knew that Desdemona could not find the scarf, and is able to utilize this to persuade Othello that Desdemona is adulterous. As this part of Iago’s strategy unfolds, Cassio and Desdemona– things of Iago’s intent– are blindly drawn into his adjustment, yet Iago still appears to be innocent.
He uses every possibility he is presented with, and develops his strategies to gain status as each brand-new opportunity develops, instead of identifying a complete strategy prior to proceeding as Hamlet did. Nevertheless, due to the immediate action that Iago takes, he is not able to completely comprehend the consequences of them, as Hamlet had the ability to do. In the end, this recklessness resulted in his downfall when he was unable to kill Cassio. Cassio’s death would have meant all the lies that Iago had actually been feeding to Othello and his peers would have appeared to be reality, and he would have been raised to a higher status as he wished.
Nevertheless, with Cassio still alive the truth of who Iago is and his intentions become apparent. He is viewed as an “inhuman dog” for all of the manipulation and scheming that he had done (V. i. 61). Therefore he is sent out to satisfy the exact same fate that he led others to fulfill, and “the censure of this hellish bad guy (Iago)” and ultimate death, is left in the hands of a staying federal government authorities (V. ii. 366-367). In the exact same manner that Hamlet was reversed by his severe impotency throughout the play, Iago was likewise taken by the reverse extreme, potency.
Each character found a remarkable spectrum with seemingly no middle ground to act on, and were each given a comparable effect for such extremes. Throughout the course of each tragedy, comparisons and contrasting components can be drawn from both Hamlets’ Hamlet, and Othello’s Iago. Each has a direct objective in mind, and though they are various in information, they are comparable in how they are to be caused. Though Hamlet and Iago have comparable goals, their approach for obtaining each differ considerably.
Hamlet speaks within himself; he wishes to be sure of his actions and the consequences of them prior to performing his strategy. In this method he is viewed as an impotent character, one without impact and who does not control his power in order to achieve his goal of vengeance. On the other hand, Iago directly controls people through his usage of words and his own actions. He is deemed a powerful character for the method he uses power to attain his goal of a greater standing, and carries out actions without appearing to think about the implications of each of them.
In the end however, both Hamlet and Iago find themselves facing inevitable death due to their actions. Each character was an extreme of effectiveness, either high strength, or none at all, and eventually this led to their failure. The idea of extremes resulting in one’s downfall can be seen not just in Hamlet and Othello, but in numerous other cases too. Passiveness versus enthusiasm is an example of 2 extremes that if discovered in a marital relationship and even relationship, might cause the end of the relationship.
Were there such enthusiasm within man he could not manage himself, it could end in the opposing celebration being disapproving, and ending the relationship at that point. Also were one to be very apathetic in a relationship; it might end suddenly through lack of interaction, or the opposing party renouncing the relationship due to lack of any feeling. In this way, everyone with a severe position will be resulted in his/her failure through the excessive nature of it, just as Hamlet and Iago were resulted in their death through extremes in effectiveness.