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For all that Iago is acting out of hatred, there is much for the audience to enjoy in the cleverness of the manipulations of Othello. Discuss

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"For all that Iago is acting out of hatred, there is much for the audience to enjoy in the cleverness of the manipulations of Othello. Discuss." We first meet the character of Iago during conversation with his associate Roderigo; from which, we interpret him to be unethical in the manner of his speech. We can determine that Iago is heated by Cassio's promotion as Othello's deputy from the use of language and punctuation used. "'Sblood, but you will not hear me. If ever I did dream of such a matter, Abhor me." The first impression of Iago is important as throughout the play 'Othello', we witness more outbursts of this malicious nature from Iago, which he in turn uses cunningly to influence certain people and their actions. I feel that without the character of Iago and his spiteful ways, there would be no tension or interest in the play. He is the catalyst to every fabricated accusation; only the audience has knowledge of this, keeping Iago the most captivating character within 'Othello'. Critics have also stated the character of Iago to be Shakespeare's finest, yet others consider him to be subordinate to others. Although Iago has the ability to alter other character's opinions and thoughts, he often leaves the matter with them to deal with, and so it can be argued that Iago plays no role in issues such as Desdemona's death as Iago doesn't carry out the deed himself. ...read more.


He uses even his closest and loyal friends in such a way that means no good, but why? Perhaps Iago does so for the intention of building opinions of himself from other people, by this I mean that people consider him to be liable and truthful as often named 'honest Iago'. After all, Iago is trying to gain respect, pushing towards his enrolment as Othello's deputy. My opinion of Roderigo is that he definitely does not deserve such treatment from Iago as he is perhaps most honest, considerate and full of faith in human laws. "In simple and pure soul..."wilt thou be fast to my hopes, if I depend on the issue?" I think it has to be said that Roderigo lacks self-esteem, enabling him to be misled easily by such characters as Iago when misinterpreting cunning plans for honest advice. An example of this can be seen when Roderigo asks Iago, his alleged friend, for advice on how to deal with his attraction and love for Desdemona. Iago wastes no time when it comes to sharing his opinions and plots against people with the audience, as shown in act 1 scene 3 in his soliloquy, "Thus so I ever make my fool my purse..." He goes on to explain that he is indeed using Roderigo for his own benefits and repeatedly calls him a "fool". ...read more.


At first, Othello does not believe Iago, but is further pushed to consider the actions of Cassio in Desdemona's company, "That he would sneak away so guilty-like, Seeing you coming." Iago uses other characters' words and actions, twisting them to his fancy, perhaps to show that he has better observation of people to better convince others. Othello becomes angry and shows a different side to his character than previously seen, intriguing the audience as his rage continues to enfold. Emilia, Iago's wife, is also used as shown in this scene for a simple yet devious task. She has been repeatedly asked to snatch the precious handkerchief belonging to her lady Desdemona, by none other than her own husband, Iago. "My wayward husband hath a hundred times wooed me to steal it." Emilia hesitates to snatch the prize as she has a conscience, unlike Iago, but believes it to be her duty to serve her husband, like Desdemona. Throughout the play, Shakspeare shows different techniques in portraying a villain using language to show double meaning and decietfullness. Iago steals, deceives, lies and kills to gain hierarchy. He constantly abuses his friends' and wife's trust, showing amorality as opposed to extreme evilness. Iago lacks a conscience, but must have a trace of one, as he would be an unbelievable character otherwise. I think Shakespeare has excelled at creating a villain believable to modern laws as well as those passed. Iago as a villain has depth and character, keeping the audience engrossed as the play evolves Hayley Edridge 12sn ...read more.

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