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

'Hell and Night must bring this Monstrous Birth into the World's Light.' How Successful is the Character Iago in fulfilling his Ambitions in Shakespeare's Othello?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Hell and Night must bring this Monstrous Birth into the World's Light.' How Successful is the Character Iago in fulfilling his Ambitions in Shakespeare's Othello? 'Hell and night must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light' (Act 1 sc. 3 L.385-6). This is said by the character Iago during a soliloquy at the end of Act 1 scene 3. This statement could take on many different meaning depending on how it is interpreted. I think that it means that whatever Iago has to do, he will tell everyone that Othello is an evil man. He thinks this because he believes that he has slept with Emilia, Iago's wife, "'twixt my sheets he's done my office," (Act 1, sc 3, line 369-370). However, it has many other subtle messages and meanings. Iago could be referring to his evil plan because "hell" tends to be used in the context of evil deeds. Also, Othello has previously been associated to a devil. His use of "night" could be hinting that he will perform his plan under the cover of darkness however, it also has racial connections, night-time being dark or black, and the colour of Othello's skin. When "monstrous" is said another connection with evil doings is established. It makes the plan seem extravagant and complicated and perhaps dangerous, I think it may be referring to danger because, in legend, monsters are always associated with danger. The use of "birth" could be showing that the birth of his plan draws parallel between the birth of Othello and Desdemona's love and Iago. The birth of a child brings blood and pain so Iago could be suggesting the nature of his plan, murder. ...read more.

Middle

and "white ewe" (act 1, sc 1 line 88). He does this so that the events are clearer to the audience and are easier to understand. Shakespeare uses figurative language and linguistic patterns to help to reinforce the themes and ideas that the dramatist wishes to explore. In Act 3 Scene 3, Iago is trying to convince Othello of Desdemona's infidelity. To do this Iago uses a large number of hints, arguments and insinuations in order to persuade him of a lie. Iago says, "Ha! I like that not." (Act 3, sc 3, line 35) where he is referring to Desdemona talking to Cassio. He does this to make Othello feel insecure about his relationship with Desdemona and to make Othello demote Cassio so that he is kept away from Desdemona in order for Iago to gain Cassio's position. He also says, "he would steal away so guilty-like seeing you coming." (Act 3, sc 3, line 43-44) This makes Othello suspicious of Cassio as well as angry with Desdemona for supposedly cheating on him. He then tries to convince Othello that he is an honest man and in no way jealous of anything, "My lord, you know I love you." (Act 3, sc 3, line 118). He does this so that Othello thinks he can believe all that Iago says as the truth. Iago then attempts to make Othello suspicious of Desdemona's every action so Othello decides to watch her constantly. He gets Emilia, Iago's wife, to do this for him, "Set on thy wife to observe", (act 3, sc 3, line 242). ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, if it is given away then their relationship would end and their love would take separate paths. Ultimately, the handkerchief marked the beginning and the end of the relationship because it gave Othello the proof that he needed to persecute Desdemona. Throughout the play Othello, more and more of Iago's ambitions appear to emerge. He did succeed in getting Cassio demoted, he did destroy Othello and Desdemona's relationship and he did gain money from Roderigo so overall his plan was a success. However, none of this occurred without personal losses, he killed his wife and was injured. To a certain extent this did lessen his success because in the end he sacrificed a lot and gained nothing. Othello died knowing that he was not betrayed by Desdemona, he could not gain Cassio's ranking because the job no longer existed and money is no use in prison, however he did ruin many lives. Iago mentions a variety of intentions openly however it is possible that he had darker ones that he did not expose to the audience. These may have included taking over Othello's ranking, being romantically linked to Desdemona or perhaps Othello himself considering the homosexual meaning of the play. Ultimately, it was jealousy that caused the bulk of Othello and Desdemona's misfortune however this jealousy was formed from thin air by Iago. If Othello had not been so troubled by jealousy then their relationship may have survived. In Shakespeare's Othello, the character Iago is fairly successful in fulfilling his ambitions however he did not do it purely himself. He played on others weaknesses so as to get what he wanted. His success would have been far greater if it had not caused so many casualties and fatalities. Hannah Smith March 05 1 ...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. Is Othello a 'noble hero' brought down by 'a devil of motiveless malignity' or ...

    Look to your house, your daughter and your bags! " Further on Iago comes to Brabantio's house and says to him that his daughter has been stolen, rather than saying she ran away with Othello, which reveals to us that he thinks women are the property of men.

  2. In Act III Scene III, what techniques and dramatic devices are used by Shakespeare ...

    Her name was as fresh/As Dian's visage is now begrimed and black/As mine own face". This mirrors Iago's language and comments, his language has disintegrated and is no longer decadent. It reveals that Othello confused as to whether believe Iago about his wife's adultery, however the violent tone indicates that Iago's spell is working.

  1. Examine the importance of Act 3: Scene 3 of Othello, considering its significance in ...

    This is morally but is shown physically. The handkerchief is a key symbol throughout act3/scene3; it is the symbol of adultery and soon becomes the key ingredient for Iago's plot. It produces dramatic irony, as we the reader/audience know of Iago's plans although Emilia doesn't so continues to fuel Iago.

  2. Should we blame Iago for all the events that occur in the play?

    measured manner of Othello has been destroyed, and the Duke is far away in Venice. The contrasts between the way things are and the way they seem to be, runs through many Shakespeare's plays: in Othello this exploration expands to encompass issues of conflict between good and evil which draw in almost all the characters.

  1. Othello - Examine the importance and effectiveness of Act III, scene 3, considering the ...

    When Iago and Othello enter, they just miss Cassio talking with Desdemona. Iago uses this opportunity to start working his evil on Othello and making him believe that something is going on between Cassio and Desdemona: "Iago - That he would not steal away so guilty-like, Seeing you coming.

  2. Consider the role of Iago in Act III Scene 3 and show how Shakespeare ...

    He next advises Othello to beware of jealousy; therefore he has cleverly planted the seed of jealousy in his mind. He adopts the same strategy when raising the suggestion of Desdemona's adultery, 'O beware, my lord, of jealousy: It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock The meat it feeds on.

  1. "Othello and Desdemona's marriage doesn't stand a chance." Discuss.

    flirtatious personality as shows the quote "What wouldst write of me, if thou shouldst praise me?", (2.1.116). Iago can now take advantage of Desdemona's character as well. His plot will now be more convincing as Othello knows this side of Desdemona because of the way in which she behaved on several acquaintances before their marriage.

  2. Othello and Iago - Who is the monster?

    'Cassio's a proper man... After some time, to abuse Othello's ear That he is too familiar with his wife;' (Act 1 Scene 3) By creating the idea that Cassio and Desdemona were having an affair, suited Iago's plan perfectly. If Othello was able to believe this Iago would be able to seek vengeance on both Cassio and Othello.

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