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how iago convinces othello of desdemona's infidelity

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Shakespeare Coursework - Othello How does Iago convince Othello of Desdemona's infidelity? Throughout the play Iago uses many different techniques and methods to win character's over, get them thinking about things they would not have otherwise and generally fool them. Iago does this to such an extent that he can get other characters to even commit murder. Iago is able to fool people to such an extent largely due to his intelligence, his acting, his way with words and his opportunism. To be able to convince a man of his wife's infidelity you have to have a strong relationship with him, which is what Iago does. Their relationship is very interesting, it starts as Iago being Othello's ancient, but he soon becomes his best friend and influences him greatly. From the beginning we know that Iago has no problem lying to Othello. In Act 1 Scene 2, Othello's first appearance, Iago Is feigning concern that Othello might be punished for the marriage: 'The magnifico... He will divorce you.' This shows the audience that Iago does not like Othello and is already trying to fool him and make him wary of things he need not be wary of. ...read more.


In Act 3 Scene 2 Othello has not yet been introduced to the idea of his wife's infidelity, thus he is still in control. In this scene he is giving out orders to Iago and treating him more in a professional rather than friendly sense. Othello states 'These letters give, Iago, to the pilot... do my duties to the senate... repair there to me.' In the following scene Iago first suggests to Othello of Desdemona's infidelity. He doesn't just burst out and accuse Desdemona and Cassio; instead he slyly plants the seed in Othello's head by suggesting Cassio's departure, on sight of Othello, to be 'guilty-like'. Just this mere comment immediately changes Othello's behaviour and language. He no longer speaks in fluent verse; instead he asks Desdemona lots of short sharp questions and is very hurried and aggressive. Othello states 'Who is't you mean?... Went he hence now?' Also he no longer greets his wife with the same glee and goes on to refuse to come to dinner with her, 'not now, some other time... No, not tonight... I shall not dine at home.' This immediate change in Othello's whole persona suggests that he took Iago's bait and instantly believed him; Iago's seed had started to grow. ...read more.


As Iago's plan succeeds Othello's language and behaviour deteriorates also, in almost parallel. Othello starts to use the most brutal language to describe Desdemona's supposed activities; he also becomes very angry and aggressive. Towards the end of Act 3 Scene 3 Othello states 'Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore... Thou hadst better have been born a dog than answer my naked wrath!' This quotation shows that Othello is no longer content with sitting back and doing nothing he wants to act fast but needs some proof. This is also the first time in the play that Othello has become aggressive and started using threats this shows deterioration from his previous rather mellow behaviour and his mental state is becoming unstable. These changes coincide with Iago's plan coming together. Othello's increasing loss of control is reflected also in his language in Act 3 Scene 4, with short, sharp sentences 'Ha? Wherefore? ... Say you? ... How?' These abrupt sentences reflect his mental state and show he is very tense, on edge and generally unstable/out of control. In the same piece of speech Othello makes several references to the handkerchief, which Iago has got and is using in his plan, Othello states 'Fetch't, let me see it... fetch me the handkerchief! ... ...read more.

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