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Close reading of Iagos soliloquy, 1.3

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´╗┐Drummond A Student English 10 Period 3 March 14, 2010 Dr. Drummond Close reading of Iago?s soliloquy, 1.3 This soliloquy brings Act One of Othello to a rousing and ominous close. The whole first Act we have been made aware of Iago?s feelings of animosity towards ?the Moor? (Shakespeare l.368) but it is here where we finally see, unmasked, his utter disgust for Othello, and Iago?s need to gain revenge. Shakespeare?s language ? its sounds, images and diction ? works to impress on the audience various elements of Iago?s state of mind, not least his feelings of hatred and an insight into the mind of evil. Shakespeare works particularly with at least two kinds of sound in this piece. ...read more.


What shall I do? Such hesitancy is expressed through the many caesurae in the first section of the speech, such as ?Cassio?s a proper man; let me see now;? (374) and of course ?How? How? Let?s see ? (376). All these stops make us feel Iago thinking through the problem, stopping and starting along the way. By the end of the speech, through rhyme and (finally) a fluid, non-broken line, Iago has his plan worked out: ?Hell and night / Must bring this monstrous birth to the world?s light? (385-6). As an argument-laden passage, Shakespeare?s words do not contain many images, but those that are here are powerful in their expression of ideas. ...read more.


Iago works through things in a start-stop way, perhaps, but he still does so logically. Notice, therefore, his use of logical markers among his words: ?For,? But,? ?And,? ?Yet,? ?for,? ?After,? and so on. He takes us with him through his argument. Knowledge and evidence also seem to be on Iago?s mind; notice, at the start of the speech, ?mine own gained knowledge? (366) and later ?I know not if?t be true? (370). Knowledge is important to Iago, of course; he needs it in the play to be able to manipulate people, principally Othello, Rodrigo and Cassio. But as a manipulator, Iago is clearly not a hero-figure, and his diction generally reflects this. While his ideas might be devilishly clever, his words are not particularly difficult or laden with imagery, like his nemesis, Othello. ...read more.

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