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A detailed commentary on both passages, with a discussion of different possible interpretations

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Introduction

A detailed commentary on both passages, with a discussion of different possible interpretations Word Count: 1194 words. This was submitted to us as a A-Level (Age 17-18) essay. Subject areas: Music, English : Literature In Act 1 Scene 3 of Othello, we have soliloquies from both Othello and Iago showing their inner feelings, and goes deeper into Iago's character. Firstly, we have Othello's soliloquy towards the Duke. This is prompted by Brabantio's accusation that Othello has stolen his daughter, Desdemona, by use of spells and potions bought from charlatans. The duke is initially eager to take Brabantio's side, but he becomes more sceptical when he learns that Othello is the man accused. The duke gives Othello the chance to speak for himself. Othello admits that he married Desdemona, but he denies having used magic to woo her and claims that Desdemona will support his story. He says that "her father loved me; oft invited me", explaining that Brabantio frequently invited him to his house. Othello then continues that Brabantio "still question'd me the story of my life from year to year", saying that Brabantio oft questioned him about his remarkable life story, full of harrowing battles, travels outside the civilized world, and dramatic reversals of fortune. ...read more.

Middle

Iago mocks Roderigo for threatening to drown himself (Drown thyself! Drown cats and blind puppies), and Roderigo protests that he can't help being tormented by love. Iago contradicts him, asserting that "I could never better stead thee than now", meaning that people can choose at will what they want to be. "Put but money in thy purse," Iago tells Roderigo repeatedly in the paragraph that spans lines 329-351, urging him to follow him to Cyprus. He tells Roderigo that "it cannot be that Desdemona should long continue her love to the Moor", again distancing himself from Othello, calling him "the Moor". Iago promises to work everything out from there. When Roderigo leaves, Iago delivers his first soliloquy, declaring his hatred for Othello (I hate the Moor) and his suspicion that Othello has slept with his wife, Emilia, saying "it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets he has done my office". His hatred towards Othello is strengthened by these false beliefs Iago holds. He says himself that "I know not if't be true; but I, for mere suspicion in that kind will do as if for surety", meaning that even though he admits it is just a suspicion, he will treat the situation as if it were true. ...read more.

Conclusion

Whilst talking to Roderigo, Bob Hoskins' manner was that of a personal friend, with his arm around Roderigo, constantly patting him on the back and even giving him money on the line "fill your purse". He sends Roderigo off on a high note, and is still jubilant after in his second soliloquy. But he then stops, and his attitude is that of an enraged man, and says "I hate the Moor" with spite. He speaks softly as he thinks, but his volume rises as he formulates his plan to blackmail Othello. But, whereas Iago seemed friendly, at least at the start of the BBC version, it is very different in the RSC version. Ian McKellern never treats Roderigo as a friend, treating him in the same threatening manner as Othello did towards the Duke. Then, as he delivers his second soliloquy, he directly addresses the audience, which makes him seem even more intimidating. He almost snarls his words, and then rises to a crescendo as he says "I HAAAAAAAAAAAATE the Moor!" But as he tells the audience of his plan at the end, his tone rises to an almost jubilant one. This brings across even more strongly the conniving ways of Iago. ...read more.

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