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Analyse The Techniques Iago Uses To Plant Suspicion In Othello's Mind

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Amy Clark Analyse The Techniques Iago Uses To Plant Suspicion In Othello's Mind The techniques Iago uses enable the reader to appreciate his full wickedness. It also gives the audience an insight into the hysterical jealousy of Othello, which rapidly gets out of control - an emotion based entirely upon Iago's potent influence and manipulation. The famous corruption scene in Othello is Act III Scene III. It reveals most of the techniques Iago uses to encourage Othello's suspicions. The scene revolves around the skilful manner in which Iago insinuates that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair, ultimately making Othello mad with jealousy. Iago sees Cassio leaving Desdemona and says, "Ha! I like not that"(l.34). By saying this Iago is planting a seed of doubt in Othello's mind, he then nurtures this throughout the rest of the scene. Othello then questions Iago but he pretends it's nothing. Othello asks if it was Cassio that was leaving and Iago replies by stating the figure he saw leaving could not have been Cassio as he is a honourable man who wouldn't stoop to such sneaking, dishonest behaviour. Iago cleverly appears to be reluctant to speak ill against others. This is a technique Iago uses so that in Othello's eyes he is seen to be of good and honest nature, someone who doesn't speak about other people behind their backs. ...read more.


Iago adopts a sympathetic tone towards Othello yet it is false sympathy. This is an effective technique as Othello believes that Iago is a true genuine friend who is concerned about his master's welfare. But of course he is not, he is only pretending to make Othello think this. Iago also offers guidance but again it is false as he is pretending. "...I fear it has. / I hope you will consider what is spoke / Comes from my love. But I do see you're moved..."(l.214/215) Here Iago is offering false concern which is all part of his act, he is being very sycophantic. He is using flattery to win favour from Othello to gain influence. It is apparent the power shift that takes place, Othello looks to Iago and believes every word he says and goes as far as saying, "I am bound to thee for ever."(l.212). Iago also advises Othello; he says to be aware of jealousy and refers to it as 'the green-eyed monster' (l.164). This cleverly plants the idea of being jealous in his mind. To fuel Othello's suspicions further Iago fabricates and tells outright lies. Iago realises that he has awakened Othello's wrath and that if he cannot support his suggestions of Desdemona's infidelity he will pay dearly for it. So Iago tells Othello that Cassio has been talking in his sleep about Desdemona: "...In sleep I heard him say: 'Sweet Desdemona, / Let us be wary, let us hide our loves'..."(l.416/417) ...read more.


In Act VI Scene he describes Desdemona and Cassio in bed together and this poison's Othello's mind, he then attempts to persuade him that it may only be innocent pleasure. "...To be naked with her friend in bed / An hour or more, not meaning any harm?"(l.4/5) Othello finds this suggestion ludicrous and we see how skilfully Iago allows Othello's imagination to do his dirty work for him. Othello pictures Desdemona with Cassio and it inflames his passions. Also we see how much bolder Iago is, since he has passed the dangerous moment when Othello swayed between trust in his wife's infidelity and suspicion of her honour. This means he can be even cruder than he normally is to infuriate Othello. Iago has a masterful use of psychology. He uses Othello's reactions and inborn insecurities against him. All of the techniques Iago uses are extremely successful and all work in his favour. Act III Scene III is dramatically effective because it starts almost harmlessly and then builds up to a terrifying climax. It symbolises the war between good and evil that seems to be at the heart of the play. We see how Iago is gradually filling Othello's mind with foul thoughts, to such a degree that he doesn't know how to deal with it, until eventually we see his downfall at the end. Even though he is certain about his wife's infidelity he is still confused. Although Iago's plan may have succeeded he ultimately didn't triumph as he failed to destroy Desdemona and Othello's love for each other. 1 ...read more.

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