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Explore the way Iago manipulates his victims in the first three acts of William Shakespeare's "Othello".

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Explore the way Iago manipulates his victims in the first three acts of William Shakespeare's "Othello" Othello is a play about an army general who was born and raised as a black slave in Africa. This man has many good friends that he thinks he can trust, the "honest" Iago being the closest to him. In the play Iago, who wants to become Lieutenant to Othello plays up to and deceives many characters he comes across. Iago is a very skillful man he is swift with his sword and sly with his mouth. His most popular technique is to use subtle phrases and hints to put that person in to a false sense of security. Brabantio is Iago's first victim in the opening scene of the play. Iago starts this when he realises that Roderigo, his friend, is in love with Brabantio's daughter Desdemona. They both call up to Brabantio and explain that Othello is secretly married to Desdemona. "You'll have your daughter cover'd with a Barbary horse". The phrase that Iago says is repellent and wrong. It makes Brabantio worried, and curious to know what they are talking about. Iago carries on "you'll have your nephews neigh to you, you'll have coursers for cousins: and jennets for germans." ...read more.


Iago knows this and his plan begins to unfold. Cassio goes out but comes back in a few minutes later accompanied by members of the watch. While Cassio is out, "Honest" Iago speaks to the audience "If I can but fasten but on cup upon him...he'll be as full of quarrel...as my Mistress' dog." By Iago comparing Cassio with his wife's dog, he is giving a good image of Cassio and you can see what he wants to do. When Cassio has returned from outside Iago starts a song as the men have been drinking and Cassio could not turn down the offer. "The canakin clink, clink" This is sung to get the men into a good mood. The effect of the song makes the men happy but Iago sings it because he wants to make Cassio insecure and over excited so he becomes aggressive. A fight is started between Montano and Cassio. Othello comes and Cassio is told off. Iago now pretends that he has nothing to do with it, Othello believes him but only because Iago has a false reputation of being honest. Iago's plan works and Cassio gets the main blame. ...read more.


Iago can then pick this up, "and long live you think so". Here Iago takes Othello's words and manipulates them into his own forcing Othello to doubt himself even more. At the end of the play Othello starts to believe Iago and suffocates Desdemona and then commits suicide when he realises he has been set up. Iago's motive is that he was jealous of Cassio because Othello had chosen him as Lieutenant. He wanted to get rid of Cassio by framing him and accusing him of having an affair with Desdemona. Iago wanted to get Othello angry and fore him to dump Desdemona so, the plan would work. This way it would seem that she had left Othello for Cassio. It only starts to wrong when Othello over reacts and kills Desdemona. Shakespeare's characters have very deep emotions and some of them even have hidden morals. Othello a black slave most of his life has the image of the odd one out in the predominantly white community of that time. Iago renound for his modesty and honesty but it is only in the play that you see his true side. From the characters and the methods used by Shakespeare, you can truly see the acidity of the time and how close his work represents real life. English Essay Edward Mathews 1 ...read more.

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