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Act 3 scene iii is a turning point in the play. How does Iago reduce Othello to desperation?

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Introduction

Act 3 scene iii is a turning point in the play. How does Iago reduce Othello to desperation? Othello is about Othello, a black general in the service of the Duke of Venice, who is manipulated by Iago, Othello's ensign. Iago tells Othello that he has seen and heard that Desdemona, Othello's wife, and Cassio, Othello's lieutenant, having an affair. Iago, the villain, plants ideas that lead to Othello loosing his mind from the very first scene. The audience's first sight of Othello is in Act 1 scene ii. In the first, the audience see Iago and Roderigo talking, Iago confessing about his hatred for Othello. Up until Act 5 scene I line 36, Iago is always placing ideas in Othello's mind, but still managing to make himself seem honest to Othello and everybody else. It isn't just Othello's mind Iago plays with, but nearly everybody else's, directly or indirectly: For example, he plays directly with Othello's mind by telling him about Desdemona and Cassio; but in doing that he indirectly plays with Desdemona's, because she becomes confused and concerned about how Othello is acting. ...read more.

Middle

the start of the scene he calls his wife, "excellent wretch", the middle of the scene he calls her a "whore" and by the end of the scene he wants to "tear her all to pieces". In line 349 Othello uses a rhetorical question showing that what Iago has done has made him doubt himself as well as Desdemona; he also uses parallel sentences "I think my wife be honest, and think she is not;/I think thou art just, and think thou art not", line 385/6, showing that in his mind he is very confused about what to think of what Iago has told him, Othello's double negative on line 227, shows again his state of mind: confused and disoriented, but in lines 359 and 364 Iago asks Othello about these questions to try and reassure him and possible to comfort himself. Othello uses war imagery because it is something he can relate to, being a General himself; but, on the other hand, Iago's language pretty much stayed the same throughout. ...read more.

Conclusion

Cassio, Desdemona and Roderigo all see Iago as a friend, Roderigo also sees him as a leader and Iago persuades him to murder Cassio near the end of the play, but he fails, so Iago kills him. Iago gains reactions from Othello through his speech: what he says and how he says it play very important roles in Iago's battle to manipulate Othello, even though sometimes he hardly says anything; when he says very little Othello wants to know more and by line 215 Othello completely trusts Iago. I think Iago is very clever in the way he manipulated Othello; the way he made him believe Desdemona and Cassio were having an affair with no real hard proof, but also how he makes sure that no-one finds out about him lying. Iain McKellen plays Iago, in Trevor Nunn's RSC 1989 production, excellently; he mutters in the right places, shouts in the right places, is offensive and defensive towards Othello in the right places, etc. McKellen is probably, in my opinion, the perfect actor for the role. ?? ?? ?? ?? Tom Nicholls 10S ...read more.

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