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Explore the Methods Iago uses in Act 3 Scene 3 to Persuade Othello of Desdemona's Supposed Infidelity with Cassio: What do we learn about Othello and Iago throughout the Process of this Scene?

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Explore the Methods Iago uses in Act 3 Scene 3 to Persuade Othello of Desdemona's Supposed Infidelity with Cassio: What do we learn about Othello and Iago throughout the Process of this Scene? Demonstrating Shakespeare's depiction of Iago's masterly manipulation of language in order to seek his sworn revenge on Othello, Act 3 Scene 3 is the longest scene of 'Othello' and occurs in the middle of the play. This scene is the first instance throughout the play that illustrates Iago putting his plan to manipulate Othello's thoughts and feelings about his wife's innocence and fidelity into execution. It is essential that the audience find Iago's performance here to be convincing, so that they are able to believe that Othello's trust in Iago would not be doubted before that in his wife, and consequently do not lose interest in the play emotionally. Subtly introducing Iago's manipulative behaviour to this scene, Shakespeare conveys how the villain begins the process of arousing Othello's suspicions initially via indirect methods, such as his implicit introduction of the topic of the suspicious nature of Desdemona's relationship with Cassio; 'Ha? ...read more.


The evidence of the effectiveness of these techniques is conveyed through Othello's words; '...thou echo'st me;/As if there were some monster in thy thought...And when I told thee, he was of my counsel...thou criedst, Indeed?...as if thou then had shut up in thy brain/Some horrible conceit.' This is the first indication that Iago's attempts at manipulating Othello's thoughts have been successful, and again prove Shakespeare's success at depicting Iago as a wily, calculating villain. Once commanded by Othello to 'give thy worst of words/The worst of thoughts', Iago has recognised the effect he is having on the protagonist, and so exploits the control he has gained to a further degree, by withholding information much more openly; 'I am not bound to that: All slaves are free:/Utter my thoughts? Why say, they are vile, and false?' Here, Iago distorts Othello's rational thinking process further, by openly suggesting that he's having doubts about Desdemona's faithfulness. Shakespeare illustrates Iago's masterly manipulation of syntax throughout this scene also, in order to plant the idea of jealousy in Othello's mind. ...read more.


This success is also conveyed through the introduction of words belonging to the semantic field commonly found in Iago's words, into Othello's language, which previously has been poetic and extravagant. For instance, Othello states, 'Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace/Shall ne'er look back'. Shakespeare's introduction of language typically associated with Iago into Othello's speech symbolises the success of Iago's manipulation of Othello's thoughts and emotions. Language associated with 'blood', 'poison' and 'death' is typical of Othello's speech towards the end of this scene, as it has been of Iago's throughout the duration of the play, therefore conveying that Othello now harbours the same natured thoughts as Iago. Iago's intelligence and incredible ability to manipulate Othello emotionally is demonstrated by Shakespeare in Othello's declaration that he wishes to find 'some swift means of death/For the fair Devil' at the end of this scene. This statement alone conveys Othello's altered thinking process, due to the dark language used such as 'death' and 'Devil', and due to the nature of what he is actually stating: he wishes to kill his wife. ?? ?? ?? ?? Bethany Weston ...read more.

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