Already corrupted as friends exploit and betray each

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already corrupted as friends exploit and betray each other. AsOthellobegins, romantic lovealready dominates, but friendship is reasserted in perverted form. Iago's hypocritical friendshipfor all of the men, which aims to gratify his own will and gain power over them, is the model formale friendship in the play. Brabantio's "love" for Othello evaporates when his friend marries hisdaughter. Roderigo intends to use Iago though he is worse used by him. Othello has no hesitationin cashiering Cassio and ordering his death. The men's vanity and rivalry, their preoccupation
with rank and reputation, and their cowardice render them as incapable of friendship as they areof love.The women, in contrast, are indifferent to reputation and partially free of vanity, jealousy, andcompetitiveness. Desdemona's willingness "to incur a general mock" is evident in her elopementand her defense of it, and in her request to go to Cyprus. Emilia braves scorn to defend hermistress, "Let heaven, and men, and devils, let 'em all, / All, all cry shame against me, yet I'llspeak" (5.2.222–23). If Cassio's description of Bianca corresponds at all to fact, she too ignoresreputation, comically, to pursue him—"she haunts me in every place … she falls thus about myneck; … so hangs, and lolls, and weeps upon me" (4.1.131–36)—and we see her brave theconfusion of the night and the ugliness of Iago's insinuations to come to Cassio's side when he iswounded. Bianca's jealousy is also in contrast to the men's; instead of corroding within, it isquicklyventedanddissipates,leavingheraffectionforCassioessentiallyunchanged.Furthermore, she makes no effort to discover her rival, to obtain "proof," or to get revenge.Likewise Emilia, though expert at noting and analyzing jealousy, seems untouched by it herself.Even her argument for the single standard is good-natured; it contains little hatred of men and nopersonal animosity toward Iago.Desdemona is neither jealous nor envious nor suspicious. She is not suspicious or possessiveabout Othello's job, his intimacy with Iago, or his "love" for Cassio, but supports all three. Sheseems entirely lacking in the sense of class, race, rank, and hierarchy that concerns the men andis shared by Emilia, who refuses to be identified with Bianca. She treats her father, the Duke,Othello, Cassio, Iago, Emilia, even the clown, with precisely the same combination of politeness,generosity, openness, and firmness. Emilia's and Desdemona's lack of competitiveness, jealousy,and class consciousness facilitates their growing intimacy, which culminates in the willow scene.The scene, sandwiched between two exchanges of Iago and Roderigo, sharply contrasts thegenuine intimacy of the women with the hypocritical friendship of the men, while underliningthe women's isolation and powerlessness. Emilia's concern for Desdemona is real, and her advicewell meant, whereas Iago's concern for Roderigo is feigned, his advice deadly—"whether he killCassio, / Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other, / Every way makes my game" (5.1.12–14).
RoderigoacceptsIago's"satisfyingreasons,"findingthemsufficienttojustify murder;

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