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Analyse the methods that Iago uses to persuade Othello to his point of view

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Introduction

Analyse the methods that Iago uses to persuade Othello to his point of view William Shakespeare wrote the play Othello. It has not been possible to correctly date the composition, but recent editors suggest that the play was written between September 1603 and the summer of the following year. Race is one of the major topics in Othello, as there are many references to this in the play. As we have seen in the play, the wealth of imagery of black and white, light and dark, heaven and hell suggest that colour is important in this play. Clearly these images are all related to the main protagonist; Othello who is 'far more fair than black' (1.3.288). Some say that the hero's race is irrelevant; but if this was the case, then why did Shakespeare bother to break the dramatic tradition and present a Moorish hero at all? However, before the time of Othello, black characters in Elizabethan drama were usually villains. Shakespeare knew that many of the Elizabethan audiences would be very biased and would associate his hero with cruelty, ignorance, and inequality. The character of Othello confirms and contradicts these expectations throughout the play. The Moor Othello, a noble and respected general has fallen in love with and married a wealthy Venetian, Desdemona. The Venetian council have been seeking Othello; they wish to send him on an urgent military mission to defend Cyprus from a Turkish invasion, Othello is then dispatched immediately. ...read more.

Middle

Iago uses his intellectuality as an advantage, e.g. convincing Othello that if Cassio has Desdemona's handkerchief (a present from her husband) then obviously they have a special relationship. Iago succeeds in persuading Othello that his wife, Desdemona is committing adultery with Cassio. He does this in a number of ways that make it more convincing. Firstly, he asked Emilia (his wife) who is also Desdemona's mistress, to bring back to him the handkerchief that Desdemona's beloved Othello gave to her and place it in Cassio's bedroom. Desdemona has always treasured this handkerchief and knows that she must not lose it, as it may offend her husband. Therefore, when Iago shares news with Othello that he found Cassio with the exact handkerchief he gave to his wife, he starts to get concerned that maybe his new spouse has already started cheating on him. Secondly, Iago says, 'She did deceive her father, marrying you; and when she seemed to shake and fear your looks, she loved them most.' Iago is trying to show Othello that Desdemona turned her back on her father by marrying him, and her father was her owner and she should not have gone against his wishes. Now that Othello owns her, he cannot be sure that she is not going to turn her back on her him and commit adultery. Othello increasingly begins to have doubts as to whether his wife is really committing adultery or not. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that Iago succeeds by being himself i.e. persuasive, reluctant to tell, intelligent, quick-witted and adroit. He succeeds by talking to each character alone and confirming to them what the other characters are doing and how. He would only be successful if none of the characters discussed with each other of what is happening, otherwise Iago would be in an extreme dilemma, which he would not be able to get out of. It would cause mayhem, as each character in turn would realise that Iago has been spinning them lies. Eventually his lies are thrown back in his face and he gets caught out. I think that what brings Iago to his downfall is that the characters he is lying to are bound to find out what Iago is up to, one time or another. Therefore, Iago prepares himself for this, and plans the biggest plan yet to come, to kill all the characters involved. This way all his lies would be kept safe and there would be nobody could deny them either. I think that this Shakespearean play evolves around Iago and everybody lives through his lies. Without Iago, there would be no Othello. My opinion of the success of Iago is that, where he got up without being caught out is admirable. I don't that any other character in the play would have been able to survive that, or have the talent to go on like that either. I think that a character would have to be mentally strong to be a character like Iago. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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