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Iago's Soliloquies

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'Iago's soliloquies are the key to our understanding to both his motives and his methods'. How far do you agree with this? In your answer you should discuss the methods he employs and the motives he offers. Try also to demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which Shakespeare uses the soliloquies to present a character Of all the characters in Othello, Iago is the most complex and intriguing to the audience. His reasoning behind the cunning plot which he develops throughout the play is portrayed by Shakespeare primarily in Iago's soliloquies. By allowing the audience an insight into Iago's thought process regarding the 'web' he weaves, Shakespeare is able to convey the motives which Iago has for his deceit and also explores the motives which he develops and employs in order to 'ensnare' the other character, as well as showing what methods will be used for this. However, it is not Iago's soliloquies alone which allow the audience to realise his inner thoughts and plots, his interaction with other characters is also a factor which enable us to do this, along with Shakespeare's use of asides. ...read more.


However, another possible reason for Iago's want to cause conflict between Othello and his wife is presented by Shakespeare later in the scene in Iago's second soliloguy. He states about Desdemona 'Now I do love her too', although he states 'not out of absolute lust' it is possible that this is a minor motive in his mind although the most prominent motive remains 'to diet my revenge'. In the line 'whom I trace/ For his quick hunting' Shakespeare employs a hunting term, which highlights how Iago is treating the other characters as though they are animals. This could be viewed as one of his methods for putting his plan into action - by dissociating himself from the people he plans to exploit and putting himself in a superior position, Iago may be making it easier for himself to carry out such a dangerous plot. Yet another possible motive for Iago's behaviour is revealed in the line 'I fear Cassio with my nightcap too', Shakespeare is showing how he believes that not only Othello, but also Cassio may have slept with Emelia. ...read more.


The repletion of 'poison' in this line echoes the one before it, and can be seen to suggest that one of Iago's methods it to exploit Othello's jealousy in order to create his own 'poison' through which he will achieve what he wants. It can be seen that it is principally through Shakespeare's use of soliloquies for the character of Iago that Iago's methods and motives regarding his sinister plot are revealed to the audience. Throughout Iago's motives remain the same and it is only through his earlier soliloquies and interaction with characters that these are revealed, whereas his method in seeking to satisfy his motives is developed continuously over the play as the opportunities for exploitation are presented to him. Thus, as the majority of insight which the audience has comes from the soliloquies created by Shakespeare, it is to a large extent that the view 'Iago's soliloquies are key to our understanding to both our motives and his methods' can be agreed with. Word Count: 1,090 ?? ?? ?? ?? Faye Parkin ...read more.

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