• 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...


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.


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.


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

    He exists as a person with two distinctly opposite identities, one an evil, plotting, vengeful mastermind and secondly a loving, trustworthy, loyal friend. Iago gains trust from people by acting in a very friendly manner towards them whilst repeatedly emphasising the fact that he is trustworthy and loyal to his

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

    Iago's malicious manipulation was entirely conceived and conducted by him alone, the total opposite to Desdemona as he descends into a dishonest and evil character. Throughout this she maintains her good nature and does not once fall to his level The behaviour of Iago can be seen as jealousy towards

  2. 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.

  1. Analyse the dramatic effect of the devices Iago uses in Act III Scene 3 ...

    Desdemona also speaks of her love for Othello in an open and mature manner. Brabantio speaks the words "Look to her Moor, if thou has eyes to see, she has deceived her father and may thee". These words will come to feature prominently in Act III Scene 3 when Iago employs Brabantio's warning to make Othello doubt Desdemona's allegiance.

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

    In the first act of the play Iago and Rodrigo go and rouse Barbantio in the middle of the night to tell him of the elopement of Desdemona and Othello. Iago uses Rodrigo as a spokesman to manipulate Barbantio into thinking that the elopement is a betrayal.

  1. How and why does Iago convince Othello of Desdmona’s infidelity?

    He wants to sleep with Desdemona for revenge not just for pleasure. He appears to be sexually frustrated as he also presumes that Cassio has also slept with Emilia, "I fear Cassio with me nightcap too". Throughout the play he often refers to sex as lustful and nothing to do with love.

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

    out for his best interests, "I would not have your free and noble nature / Out of self-bounty be abused." This is exactly what Iago, himself, is doing. Othello is made to feel like an outsider up against an insider (Iago).

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