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'Iago was a brilliant opportunist who had plenty of motives to prompt his schemes, and heaven-sent human material with which to develop them.' Discuss this in relation to acts 1 and 2 of Othello.

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Introduction

'Iago was a brilliant opportunist who had plenty of motives to prompt his schemes, and heaven-sent human material with which to develop them.' Discuss this in relation to acts 1 and 2 of Othello. E. E Stoll comments that 'Iago is one of Shakespeare's most consistent characters; unlike most of them he has a philosophy.' This 'philosophy' of Iago's is one of broad ambiguity - perhaps it is in his nature to constantly evoke dibasic imagery in challenging, manipulating, narrating the will of the cast; or is it his 'philosophy' to be simply evil? This is a question that Shakespeare leaves unanswered in Othello, allowing it to carry through the narrative, rebuking our inability to comprehend a character as complex as Iago. Far from being 'consistent', Iago remains never static in the play - instead, he is a dynamic force, able to understand and essentially control the desires of those around him. ...read more.

Middle

The question of Iago's motives is a challenging one. Perhaps Othello's appointing of 'one Michael Cassio' as his lieutenant spurs on his 'hatred [of] the Moor.' Equally, it could be argued that Iago's doubts of Othello 'do[ing]' Iago's 'office', in this case, Emilia, is enough a motive to lead onto the latter action of the play. Iago himself comments 'I know not if't be true, but I for mere suspicion in that kind will do as if for surety.' Here, we are quick to learn of the destructive power of 'thoughts' and Iago's tainting of them. Though he is suspicious of Othello's adultery, Iago unravels his every doubt as being truthful - highlighting the constant struggle of appearance versus reality within the play, with Iago caught between this dichotomy. Expanding on this further, another of Iago's motives may well be his own inability to love. Perhaps motives for Iago do not exist at all - but it is instead he who creates them. ...read more.

Conclusion

Here, .................... Iago declares: 'hell and night must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light.' The hellish, derogatory imagery that his lexis exudes is all too prevalent here; he himself sets up the opposition between 'night' and 'light', with the contrast and antitheses that Iago brings to Othello being portrayed as 'monstrous'. His diction is markedly reductive and evocative throughout the play. Indeed, he cries: 'an old black ram is tupping your white ewe'; with his speech here littered with enjambment, evoking this sense of flow, embodying perhaps the concept of him being able to connect all of his ideas and merge them into this river of uninterrupted thought that literally, and symbolically, breaks up Brabantio's lamenting with frequent dashes and caesura, disrupting the pentameter, forcing his thoughts to become disjointed and thus enabling Iago to penetrate through this broken narrative and thought and effectively manipulate Brabantio's will to his own advantage. 1Corinthians 15.10 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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