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To what extent does Act 3 Scene 3 represent a turning point in Shakespeare's 'Othello' ?

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Introduction

To what extent is Act 3 Scene 3 a turning point for the character of Iago in Shakespeare's 'Othello?' Act three scene three is a turning point for the character of Iago as his plan of re-gaining power is coming together and working to his expectations. The conflict between Iago and Othello reaches crisis point at this stage of the play and provides for an effective, intense scene. Iago's manipulation of Othello is subtle, yet effective. In no way does he himself say directly that Desdemona and Cassio are having an affair, or say a bad word about Cassio. Instead, he only insinuates it and uses his sense of tone to plant a seed of doubt in Othello's mind. ...read more.

Middle

The audience begin to see Othello as a jealous man and find out that this is his fatal flaw; his insecurity. As well as this, Othello is also very insecure within himself and his appearance and because of this he starts to doubt that Desdemona could ever love him and begins to believe that she is guilty of having an affair with Cassio and in doing so; betraying him. "Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her, damn her! Come, go with me apart, I will withdraw to furnish me with some swift means of death for the fair devil." Othello expresses his anger at Desdemona to Iago, who he believes is an honest man. ...read more.

Conclusion

The importance of this is that Iago's evil nature has shone through and showed the audience and readers his intentions to steal power from Othello and leave him weak. The conflict between Iago and Othello reaches crisis point when Iago mentions Desdemona's handkerchief; a handkerchief which was given to her by Othello himself. The fact that Iago tells Othello that he saw Cassio wipe his beard with it suggests to Othello that the love between Desdemona and him is lost and is the point where Othello truly believes Desdemona has cheated. For Desdemona, the handkerchief symbolises Othello's love for her so when she loses it Othello takes that to mean that she no longer loves him. Making it a symbol of Desdemona's betrayal. ...read more.

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