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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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. Why Did Anti-Semitism Develop Between 1900 and 1941?

    During this scene, Iago also tries to defend Cassio by announcing: I had rather have this tongue out from my mouth That it should do offence to Michael Cassio. (line ) Othello believes that Iago's honesty has made him understate Cassio's offence, and therefore, Iago must be innocent and just wants to keep the peace.

  2. Why does Iago destroy the other characters in the play?

    He serves only himself; in the opening speech he has with Roderigo he says 'I follow him to serve my turn upon him' implying that he is a cold, self-centred man and only does things for his own benefit. In Iago's speech with Roderigo, in Act 1 Scene 3, he

  1. How Desdemona is presented as acharacter and perceived by others in Othello.

    in th'essential vesture of creature Does tire the ingener' Cassio describes her as possessing beauty beyond imagination, one that can not be described by even the most talented artists and writers. This reflects Cassio's fond feeling towards her, and when Iago notices this he uses it to back-up his accusations of them having an affair.

  2. Explore how Shakespeare Conveys the Charcter of Iago

    into pitch, and out of her own goodness make the net that shall enmesh them all." What he is saying here is that because of Desdemona trying to do good, everyone around her will be destroyed. It may be that we get to see a lot of Iago and hear

  1. Explore in detail how Iago has brought about the change in Othello's relationship with ...

    Desdemona is not a strong character, and lacks solidity in her persona, but, despite the fact of this, we see here that she is a huge weakness in Othello's character, even through his annoyance for her at this point. She is almost able to wrap him around her little finger

  2. Re-read 1.3.333-398 In what ways do this dialogue and soilquy develop your understanding ...

    Iago's view on love is again made clear; he thinks love will eventually burn out, it is not love Desdemona has for Othello so she will eventually become undesirable to him. In Iago's speech to Roderigo, he constantly makes the remark "put money in thy purse", this gives a great effect and empahasis.

  1. Discuss the dramatic impact of Act 1 Scene 3 and its importance to the ...

    Brabantio continues with these insults in Act 1, Scene 3 when he is telling the duke about Desdemona. Brabantio asks how it is possible for Desdemona "To fall in love with what she feared to look on?" But after all these insults made by Brabantio, Othello responds very calmly and explains how he won Desdemona.

  2. How does Othello's Character Develop throughout the course of the play and how would ...

    his spite: my services, which I have done the signory, shall out-tongue his complaints'. He then further goes on to say 'from men or royal siege, and my demerits may speak, unbonneted, to as proud a future as this that I have reached.

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