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Discuss the phrases "honest Iago" and "thrice gentle Cassio" in reference to the whole play. Throughout the entire play, we capture Othello's perception of Iago, as an honest, loyal man

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Introduction

ENGLISH AS LEVEL COURSWORK BY NADA ISSA 12C MS HAMMERSTON Discuss the phrases "honest Iago" and "thrice gentle Cassio" in reference to the whole play. Throughout the entire play, we capture Othello's perception of Iago, as an honest, loyal man who admires and respects Othello greatly, but this impression is recognized as an ironic view. For the reason that he is an evil, manipulative man who seeks every possible opportunity to destroy Othello's life as well as Cassio's and Desdemona's. Cassio, who is portrayed as a better person, almost acting as a foil to Iago's character, displays a gentle and kind nature to most of the characters within the play. Cassio truly admires and respects Othello; but Othello misinterprets his actions and behaviour due to Iago's wickedness. At the start of the first scene, we become aware of Iago's dishonesty and his wicked intentions and thirst for revenge over Othello, following from the statement: "I follow him to serve my Turn upon him" He strives for power and believes the only way to gain this is by exploiting Othello in every possible way disregarding the consequences and giving no consideration of the outcome that may affect others around him. This behaviour does not appear in Cassio's character, as he shows true affection towards Othello and refers to him as a man with great power and honour. The statement illustrated below supports the phrase "thrice gentle Cassio". "Great Jove, Othello guard, And swell his sail with the thine own powerful breath That he may bless this day with his tall ship" However, in act two scene three we identify some of Cassio's weaknesses. ...read more.

Middle

The second point is that he believes the only way to achieve his goal and fulfil his ego is by appearing to others, in the play, how humble and loyal he is to them, but as we have captured his real character, we know that this is not true. Immediately after Iago's vow to drive Othello "even to madness", Othello tells Cassio that "Iago is most honest". This particular phrase demonstrates a dramatic irony, which contradicts the "honest Iago" statement, as we are already aware of Iago's true intentions and how well he manipulated Othello, hence portraying more of his dishonesty. Furthermore, in act three scene three, Iago throws false accusation in a conversation with Othello concerning his marriage to Desdemona. He does this very cunningly and advices Othello to "observe her well with Cassio"; implying that the two may be committing adultery, which we know is a complete fabrication of an innocent and platonic relationship between them. Iago tries harder to make Othello doubt his wife's innocence by pointing out Othello's lack of knowledge about Venetian women. He does this by convincing him that because he is an outsider, it is harder for him to understand and grasp their culture and their perception of life: "I know our country disposition well- In Venice, they do let God see the pranks They do not dare show their husbands" Once again, we are confronted with another statement, which clearly highlights the irony of the term "honest Iago". ...read more.

Conclusion

All these were for one cause only, which was to fulfil his malicious and revengeful desires. Ironically, he is far from being an honest man, as was referred to in the play. He is a manipulative, deceitful, and an untrustworthy person, who fooled many of the characters to get to what he wants. Cassio, on the other hand, is not entirely a true gentleman as was first perceived, although he treats the other characters with respect, as highlighted throughout the play. As well as his loyalty and love, which he holds for Othello. Nevertheless, an unpleasant quality appears in him, which is apparent in his attitude towards Bianca contradicting the phrase "thrice gentle Cassio" . Cassio looks down at her yet he makes sure he does not hurt her, but later when engaged in a conversation with Iago laughs at her: "I marry! what a customer! Prithee bear some charity To my wit, do not think It so unwholesome Ha, ha, ha!" Here, Cassio finds the idea of marrying Bianca amusing, and describes himself as being her customer. Evidently, this should not be coming from a person who is regarded to be a true gentleman. Therefore, not entirely fulfilling the term "thrice gentle Cassio", hence, contradicting the phrase and making it sound ironic. Unfortunately, Othello misinterprets Cassio's respect and affection for Desdemona due to Iago poisoning his mind with false thoughts. In contrast, Iago cannot be described as "honest Iago" as his duplicitous actions where highlighted throughout the entire play and so one can establish the irony of such reference, due to the contradiction-taking place. ...read more.

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