• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare the presentation of Othello and Iago in the first two acts of the play

Extracts from this document...


Compare the presentation of Othello and Iago in the first two acts of the play In Act 1 scene 1 we are introduced to the character of Iago who is bitter at being passed up as Othello's lieutenant for Michael Cassio whom, according to Iago, has no experience in battle and is just a man of strategy. Here we see how bitter the character of Iago is and the real reason why he is follows Othello "I follow him to serve my turn upon him"; he wants to get revenge on Othello. This shows that Iago is two-faced to Othello and although he looks to Othello like he is being loyal he isn't and just wants to get his revenge on Othello for not promoting him. This is further shown when Iago tells Rodrigo "I am not what I am". The audience would be able to see this from Iago and would be able to see that he is two-faced and calculating. In comparison when Othello is first on stage he is calm and dignified when hearing that Brabantio had found out that he has married Desdemona. ...read more.


By "pour[ing] this pestilence into his ear", Iago contaminates and poisons Othello's thoughts and is able to manipulate him. Iago also uses bestial imagery, especially in his cynical view of Othello and Desdemona's elopement. Iago crudely tells Brabantio in Act 1 Scene 1 that his "daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs." Another theme of imagery that Iago uses is his imagery of heaven and hell. Iago, who is Machiavellian in nature and revels in the tormenting of others, can be perceived as the devil personified or at least is the closest thing to the devil in this play. Iago can see this himself as he acknowledges this when he says "devils will the blackest sins put on...suggest at first with heavenly shows / As I do now." Any references made to heaven and hell by Iago or other characters is then ironic as they unknowingly are unable to see what Iago is really up to and see how manipulating he is being. Several references to heaven and hell include "hell and night must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light." ...read more.


All of the other characters in the play refer to Iago as "honest" as that is what they believe he is. They don't see him for the manipulative and deceiving man he is as he is careful not to slip up and give anything of his schemes away. Othello is seen as the respectful commander who is brilliant at his job and to be depended on if Venice wants to win the war against Turkey. Iago very often gets to have the last say in most scenes, usually with a soliloquy. A reason for this could be to show the power that Iago has over the other unknowing characters and how he is able to manipulate them all so much that he is able to sit at the end of some scenes telling the audience what he is plotting. Although Othello is the high commander in the army and Iago's boss he still doesn't get to have the last say in most scenes as he himself is being lied to and manipulated by Iago so although he is more important than Iago he can not see what he is doing and is ultimately at Iago's mercy. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Othello section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Othello essays

  1. 'Hell and Night must bring this Monstrous Birth into the World's Light.' How Successful ...

    These revelations have, inevitably, changed Othello's attitude towards Desdemona. Their intimate relationship has vanished and Othello can no longer stand having her near him. This is shown when she tries to mop his brow with her handkerchief but he pushes her away saying, "Your napkin is too little. Let it alone," (Act 3, sc 3, l 289-299).

  2. Discuss Shakespeare's portrayal of Iago in the first two acts of the play.

    He shouts out to Brabantio that "Even now, now, very now, an old black ram / Is tupping your white ewe". Moments later, he yells to Brabantio, "you'll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse; you'll have your nephews neigh to you; you'll have coursers for cousins and gennets for germans".

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work