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A critical analysis of Iago's second soliloquy.

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Introduction

Othello - Gobbet Question - Iago's Second Soliloquy Iago's second soliloquy is very revealing. It shows him shaping a plan out of the confusion of his emotionally charged thoughts. Iago examines his own thoughts, especially his hatred for Othello: "The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not" He is also suffering from the "poisonous mineral" of jealousy that still swirls around the rumour that Othello has slept with Emilia. Iago could get his revenge by seducing Desdemona: "Now I do love her too ... But partly led to diet my revenge, for that I do suspect the lusty Moor Hath leaped into my seat, the thought whereof doth like a poisonous mineral gnaw my inwards". ...read more.

Middle

It is as though Iago mocks the audience for attempting to determine his motives; he treats the audience as he does Othello and Roderigo, leading his listeners "by th' nose as asses are [led]". For each of Iago's actions within the play, he creates a momentary and unimportant justification possibly to please the audience. The fifth (and last) appearance of "love" in Iago's soliloquy is most surprising. He will report Cassio's designs toward Othello's wife to Othello so that the Moor will "thank me, love me, and reward me." The word "love" as used in a non-sexual sense is even more powerful. The fact is that Iago loved Desdemona, not just out of "absolute lust". ...read more.

Conclusion

It reveals more of the plans of his wicked plot and shows the tragic flaw in the character of Othello; Iago will use his jealousy to bring about his downfall. Finally, the scene ends the emphasis on Iago and switches attention to the mind and soul of Othello, which are put into torment by the evil Iago. In a final passage, spoken by Iago, he takes stock of the present situation and comes to the conclusion that two things are to be done. First he will make Emilia urge Desdemona to help Cassio, and then he will ensure that Othello sees his wife and Cassio together to spark the jealously of Othello, doubting the loyalty of Desdemona. He thinks that she may be sleeping with Cassio because he is young, handsome, charming and white, greatly contrasting with Othello. ...read more.

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