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

How does Iago convince Othello of Desdemona's Infidelity?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Friday 23/11/01 How does Iago convince Othello of Desdemona's Infidelity? Iago's ability to manipulate people and convince Othello of Desdemona's infidelity is shown in Act III iii. Iago uses his knowledge and power in succeeding to convince Othello that his wife is having an affair with Michael Cassio. Iago is a very passionate character and uses the events that occur in Othello to his advantage, however it is not all down to Iago's actions that he is able to manipulate Othello; the behaviour of other characters in the play helps Iago prove to Othello that Desdemona has been deceitful. Iago's jealousy is generally unstated to anyone, but the audience and his fellow characters have no reason to mistrust him, and so he is able to use them more effectively. The potential problems of Othello and Desdemona's relationship are exploited fully by Iago, who plays on Othello's fears - his insecure position in a white society with a white wife. Iago uses words to twist reality and to create mental images for people, "Behold her topped," III.iii.397 and then he persuades them to accept these as true. ...read more.

Middle

Iago's quick thinking allows him to always be one step ahead. Throughout Othello, we see Iago continuously plotting and scheming "I have use for it," III.iii.321. By using just a handkerchief he gets what he wants. That is why Iago is so clever, whatever he does results in something disastrous and for him to achieve it, is all very simple. Now that Iago has the full trust of Othello, he now has power over him. Othello believes Iago to be his friend, when in fact he is his enemy. However this is part of Iago's monstrous plan to destroy Othello. Iago expresses his need to serve Othello but more importantly it is an expression of Iago's love-hate relationship with Othello. He sees straight away that the only way he can be close to Othello is by destroying those who Othello loves: Cassio and Desdemona. Othello does not return Iago's love and this forces Iago to be goaded into destroying Othello. One of Iago's main advantages is that he knows people and therefore knows their weaknesses. ...read more.

Conclusion

Iago uses Othello's race and age to turn people against him therefore making him less popular in the already racist Venetian society. Othello and Cassio are opposite which is why Othello made Cassio his lieutenant. The bond between Othello and Cassio is symbolized by the way in which Othello makes Cassio his second wife. Othello feels a double injury in his belief in Cassio's deception, for Cassio has both violated Desdemona's purity and violated the bond between himself and Othello. Iago's ability to ingratiate himself with people makes him appear to be the innocent party. Iago's feelings towards Othello contain an erotic component as can be seen in Act III iii, which is when Iago convinces Othello of Desdemona's unfaithfulness and Othello vows revenge. For Othello and Iago love becomes hate, and hate becomes love and the distinction between these two feelings are constantly being blurred. This is shown when Othello symbolically breaks his vows with Desdemona and Iago forms a vow with Othello saying, "I am your own forever," III.iii.480 Iago's use of language is a primary weapon in manipulating Othello. By "pouring this pestilence into his ear," Iago contaminates his thoughts. ...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. Dramatic Impact in Othello

    Immediately, a Messenger comes in who confirms this: the Turks have collected further reinforcements near Rhodes and have turned around and begun to sail to Cyprus. Within a very short space of time, Shakespeare shows the seriousness of the threat against the Duke's interests in Cyprus.

  2. How Does Iago Successfully Manipulate Othello in Shakespeare

    Othello replies that he was told that Desdemona had cheated on him with Cassio. Iago, Gratiano, and Montano enter the chamber, when Emilia turns on Iago and accuses him of lying to Othello. Gladly Iago seems to admit this and Othello backs up his so called friend by telling Emilia how the missing handkerchief that Cassio had was proof.

  1. How Desdemona is presented as acharacter and perceived by others in Othello.

    He turns the people that love and admire her the most into jealous and hateful people, and so successfully transmits his negativity on them. The tragedy of this play centres on Desdemona and her good intentions, and her death shows the evil that has triumphed over good.

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

    is the most consistent in the play. She does not change (even to her dying moments), symbolising the values of helpless good and wronged innocence throughout the whole play. Although she is spoken of as a girl and is at first thought even by her own father to have innocently

  1. how iago convinces othello of desdemona's infidelity

    Despite this Othello does respect and honour Iago and does refer to him as 'honest Iago'. This shows Othello trusts Iago and believes he is honest, thus Iago's lying is working, and he begins to pull the wool over Othello's eyes.

  2. How Does Iago Manipulate the other characters in the play To Destroy Othello

    Othello says "Oh brave Iago, honest and just, That has such noble sense of thy friends wrong!" he is completely fooled by Iago. If no one trusted Iago then it would be a lot harder for him to manipulate them and he relies on this for the success of his plan.

  1. Evaluate the Iago/Othello dynamic in Act III scene iii - Why is it so ...

    "...Iago invokes the cultural suspicions that all woman are whores. (Valerie Traub Desire and Anxiety 1992 feminist critic.) Othello tries to resist Iago's accusations about his wife. "Nor from mine own weak merits will I draw The smallest fear or doubt of her revolt."

  2. Examine scene 3 Act III so as to explain how Iago convinces Othello of ...

    The fact that Iago says: " I cannot think it " makes it sound as if it is some terrible deed and he is so reluctant to say anything that it seems as if Cassio is doing something so out of character that Iago is shocked and cannot believe his

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