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Analyse the dramatic effect of the devices Iago uses in Act III Scene 3 to convince Othello of his wife’s infidelity. Who is to blame for the tragedy?
Dramatic devices are chiefly for the audience rendering a play believable and understandable. It gives a play depth and makes the plot and interpretation of it more complex. Before dramatic devices the play has only the black and white outlines of a colouring book but after it is coloured in with all the colours in the pencil case of language. Dramatic devices can get an audience involved in the play, leaving them frustrated they cannot change the plot or forewarn a character of what is to come.
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Roderigo and Iago succeed in bringing it to Brabantio's attention and they decide to set out to destroy the marriage. However Iago does not join them. This is because Iago still wants to pretend his loyalty towards Othello: - "Farewell, for I must leave you. It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place, To be produced - as, if I stay, I shall - Against the Moor." (Act 1, Scene 1, Line 142-145) Even though Iago shows loyalty to Othello he still plots against him: - "I follow him to serve my turn upon him."
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It was Iago's main objective to ruin Cassio whilst ruining Othello. Ironically, his schemes result in Cassio becoming governor of Cyprus once it has been discovered what happened. Iago also appears to not believe in love but only in lust. He truly believes that Desdemona and Othello's marriage would have eventually ended even without his help because he assumes that after a while they will no longer lust after one another. He believes that they are just fulfilling an animal instinct that has little to do with love.
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Without Lady Macbeth he is lifeless and life "signifies nothing", this whole fire of wrath, envy and ambition" was conducted by her and now that she is gone it starts to burn out into nothing. Macbeth feels so abandoned so empty that it is in the monster of envy and ambition that is controlling his sadistic body to do what it does. We must remember that Macbeth never actually wanted this, he was just good in battle, he loved the king as he was essentially one of his good friends.
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However each emotion individually isn?t enough to motivate the characters, it is only once their many emotions are combined that their actions become extreme. The play has an emotional intensity as it has no real secondary plot, as is common in Shakespeare?s plays. So although the jealousy Iago feels is very powerful, it is when all of his emotions act together that they reach their strongest point as they become focused and intensified, as happens to every character. Iago is one of the most intriguing characters Shakespeare has ever devised; he is also possibly the most villainous (with the obvious exception of Richard 111 who was portrayed by Shakespeare to be entirely evil in order to please Elizabeth 1).
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He is angry with Othello because Othello did not give him the promotion he thought he deserved. Instead he gave it Cassio. Iago also believes his wife, Emilie, slept with Othello. "It is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets / He has done my office" (Shakespeare 1.3.369-370). The jealousy he suffers causes him to desire revenge. "Till I am even?d with him, wife for wife, /Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor / At least into a jealousy so strong / That judgment cannot cure" (Shakespeare 2.1.299-302). Iago becomes transfixed with revenge and he will not stop until he ruins Othello?s life.
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Describe how you think the actors should play this scene to bring out the evil of Iago and the weakness of Othello that will lead to his tragic downfall.
Othello plays into Iago?s hands as he pays too much attention to what Iago says and because of this believes him when he says Cassio is having an affair with his wife, Desdemona. At times he thinks Desdemona is cheating on him, at other times he thinks she loves him. He begins to lose his temper as shown by the way he shouts and become angry towards his wife, this shows Iago?s plan has worked. If he had trusted his wife more, he would have believed her when she said she was not having an affair therefore would not have killed her.
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In act 4 and 5 there is the catastrophe and the resolution of the plot. Othello also resolves his personal issues and is partially restored to his former self after the catastrophic events that occurred within and around him. Othello is a conventional tragic hero in this play. There is a clear transition from his position of authority to that of a broken man. At the onset of the play ?brave Othello? was a man of high power whom was respected by his superiors and the men he commanded.
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There are several motivational reasons as to why Iago would wish to destroy Othello and who he is. The most obvious reason would be that he has just been passed over for a promotion which has gone to Cassio. He confesses to Roderigo near the beginning of the play that this is the main reason for his absolute repugnance towards Othello: ?I hate the Moor; And it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets 'Has done my office. I know not if't be true; Yet I, for mere suspicion in that kind, Will do as if for surety.? Also I have a slight reason to believe that Iago hates the sweet innocent love between Desdemona and Othello and
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Emilia shows great loyalty to Iago, even though he shows none to her. In the end Emilia?s loyalty shifts from her husband Iago to her mistress Desdemona. Throughout the entire play, Iago is Othello?s enemy but also at the same time he is the one person Othello trusts. Othello thinks of Iago as, ?Honest Iago? and says ?A man he is of honesty and trust.? Whereas Iago uses Othello for his own benefit, ?In following him I follow but myself.? Iago is a manipulative and cunning man. He uses his supposed loyalty to betray Othello and to exact his revenge.
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How does Othellos language change and what does this show the audience about: the deterioration of his character and the effect that Iagos lies are having on him?
We soon see this affectionate attitude that Othello has for Desdemona change as Iago?s lies take begin to sink in. As Othello is seen as a noble and loyal man in Venice, he is automatically associated with being a man oh high morals and of kind nature, however, we see this change as the play goes on. In contrast to Othello?s good nature, Iago is portrayed as a character that is extremely two faced and an extreme liar. We can tell this from the first and second scene: in scene one, we see him talking to Roderigo, sharing his hate
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Iago?s deception leads Othello to think his honour has been damaged by Desdemona, even though his power has actually been degraded by Iago?s ability to deceive him and at the end of the play, Othello?s realisation of this results in him taking his own life. In 1:3, Othello is addressed as ?Valiant Othello? (48) by the Duke, who greets Othello before he greets Brabantio which indicates the high-level of respect given to Othello by senior figures. This contrasts the insults made by Iago in 1:1 calling Othello ?an old black ram? and ?a Barbary horse?, racist terms that are associated with barbarianism and savagery.
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as he alludes to in Act I. Iago’s blatant contempt for Othello causes him to think of a plan that will lead to the demise of Othello and all he sees around him and this is clearly shown in the extract. Iago hints to Othello about his wife, Desdemona’s, infidelity with circumstantial evidence about an affair with Cassio. “Disdst thou not see him paddle in the palm of her hand?? he asks Othello, indeed “lie? with her. Othello’s naïve trust in this person of “exceeding honesty…most bold?
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I have more in common with you than you think; I am a very cynic person. I believe things happen for a reason; and that behind every action is a selfish motive. I was once in your situation, the woman I loved and always had a soft spot for had chosen the man that I greatly disliked. I always caught them together and could not stand it, I was incredibly jealous. One day the jealousy in my body could not stay inside for any longer, I was out to ruin that man?s life.
- Word count: 565