Manipulation. A skill people use to control someone or something. There are many movies, books, and TV shows that use manipulation for their plot. One example is Spider-man: Far From Home. In this movie, Peter Parker is mourning the death of his mentor or father figure, Tony Stark. He meets Fury, and Fury gives Peter Parker Stark’s glasses, which were meant for Tony Stark’s successor. He eventually meets Mysterio, a former holographic-illusions specialist at Stark Industries who was fired for his unstable nature. Mysterio tells Spider-man, that he is from an alternate reality within the Multiverse. He tells Peter Parker that his home was destroyed by the Elementals and that the Fire Elemental was coming. Mysterio uses drones to simulate the Fire Elemental to pretend that he is a hero. Peter Parker wants a father figure and sees Mysterio as a potential mentor, while Mysterio just wants Stark’s glasses, which has E.D.I.T.H. which has access to Stark’s databases. This allows Mysterio to manipulate Spider-man.
As we can see in the movie, when people desire something, it makes them more vulnerable to manipulation. In Spider-man: Far From Home’s case, Peter Parker desired a father figure, and this allowed Mysterio to control him. But, when I think of manipulation, I mainly think of Othello, one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays.
Othello’s plot is based around the manipulation of the antagonist, Iago. The reason Iago decides to manipulate people is because Othello, the main charcter, decides to choose, Michael Cassio, a man that he doesn’t know as well as Iago, as his lieutenant. This angers Iago because Iago believes that he should have been lieutenant. This leads Iago to manipulate many people including Othello himself, to get the position he desires. He uses his greatest weapon, his words.
He manipulates many people, but his first was Roderigo. He uses Roderigo to gain money. The reason Roderigo is able to be manipulated is because he desires something. He desires Desdemona. Desdemona is the love of Roderigo’s life. He wants to be with Desdomena with his life. The only problem is, is that Desdemona was just married with Othello secretly.
This is where we see Iago’s first pan. Iago tells Roderigo to wake up Brabantio, a very powerful man and the father of Desdeomna, and make him mad enough to send an army to kill Othello, to let Iago get promoted and allow Roderigo to marry Desdemona. We find out later on that this plan actually failed and Iago has another plan up his sleeve. Since Roderigo still desires Desdemona, he decides to tell Roderigo to sell everything to get money so that Iago can buy jewelry for Desdemona. Later on, Roderigo finds Iago and tells him that he doesn’t see Desdemona with the jewelry, so, he wants Iago to give him back the money. Instead, Iago asks Roderigo to kill Cassio and that he will help him kill Cassio. Once the fight happens, both Roderigo and Cassio are wounded, but Iago knows that Roderigo will demand money, so instead of killing Cassio, he kills Roderigo. Roderigo, betrayed, says, “Damned Iago! You inhuman dog!” He realizes that Iago has been using him the whole time.
The main person that he manipulates is Othello. Iago plans on making Othello think that Cassio was with Desdemona, making Othello kill Cassio, freeing up the job for lieutenant and making Othello break up with Desdemona and freeing Desdemona.
He has to first trick Cassio into being drunk to make him do stupid things. In order to do things, he makes himself look drunk so that no one suspects him. Eventually Cassio does stupid things, making Othello have to go out. Othello then decides to no longer make Cassio his officer, since he wasn’t able to consummate his marriage. Cassio spends a lot of time with Desdemona, but Iago will talk with Othello about why Cassio is spending so much time with Desdemona. Iago wants to make Desdemona talk a lot about Desdemona, to make him think that Desdemona loves Cassio. Iago talks to Othello and weaves truths into his lies. Iago keeps talking to Othello about Cassio and Desdemona and wants Othello to think about his own reputation. Iago plans to make Othello imagine what Othello’s life would be like if Desdemona cheated on him. Iago telling him about this angers and gets into him, making Iago’s plan successful. Othello gets so mad that he begins to choke Iago. Othello believed that he found a soulmate, but now his soulmate is gone. This makes Iago easily manipulate Othello, since Othello has now lost his reputation. Iago keeps putting images of Cassio and Desdemona together to make Othello lose his temper.
Overall, people can easily be vulnerable to manipulation. Once you desire something, people can take advantage of your desires and make you do things that you wouldn’t have wanted to do. Iago manipulated many more people, making him successfully carry his plan until the end. Just like Iago, people will manipulate people to get the things they desire. As Paulo Freire said, “One of the methods to manipulation is to inoculate individuals with the bourgeois appetite for personal success.”