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How Iago manipulates Othello.

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Introduction

H/W 3/12/03 Susie Willmott How Iago manipulates Othello During act 3, scene 3 Othello undergoes a great change from his usual brave and valiant nature; Iago transforms him into an insane monster to whom everything is a suspicion. During this scene it is clear to the audience just who, and what Iago is; he doesn't aspire to be anyone but himself and that person is an incredibly envious spider, spinning invisible webs of loathing and jealousy. Characters in Othello are all blind of these webs so all epithets of Iago are all noble, this highly irritates the audience, so all through the scene, the audience's emotions strongly react with Iago's actions and his victim's reactions. In the first part of the scene, Desdemona tells Cassio that she will constantly nag Othello to give him back his job; this is incredibly lucky for Iago because not only will Othello be reminded of the affair from Iago but now also from Desdemona herself, hearing compliments and praise for Cassio constantly from Desdemona is sure to drive Iago's poison deeper than before possible. So as not to annoy Othello, Cassio politely hurries away when Othello and Iago approach them, Iago later draws attention to this and plants the first wave of mistrust in Othello's mind. ...read more.

Middle

On lines 168-172, for once Iago is telling the absolute truth and warning him of jealousy, however only the audience and Iago know that he is really talking about his hatred and jealousy for Othello, not what Othello is thinking, which is his own growing hatred and jealousy for Cassio. IAGO '...O beware my lord of jealousy which doth mock the meat it feeds on...' This advice really makes Othello uneasy, he begins to list Desdemona's virtues and because his own virtues seem so miniature to him, compared to hers, he begins to reassure himself and finally tells Iago he is false and that he has trust in Desdemona. Nevertheless, Iago notices Othello's weakness and begins to work on it. IAGO '...I speak not yet of proof...' This sentence is line 198, it begins Iago's true poison, by saying this, Iago is contradicting what Othello is basing his security on, by taking that away, Othello is prone to falling into uncertainty unless he can find a reply. IAGO '...She did deceive her father marrying you.' In this quotation, line 206, Iago presses further to prove his thought, which he finally told to Othello 10 lines before this. Iago begins to unearth some of Othello's anxieties however; Othello's heart stays true to Desdemona and he insists that he is not moved by Iago's sly words. ...read more.

Conclusion

During this soliloquy, the audience is enthused with anger from Iago's lies. The play structure is really quite absurd up until now when it would seem that Othello has become completely vulnerable from an incredibly noble general. In this soliloquy, Othello also mentions that he is a bad public speaker, this is completely untrue as the audience know, this proves just how vulnerable Othello is feeling, he is completely unsure of himself and just to make things worse, he is in love with Desdemona. To be in love and to be hurt by that person is most probably the worst thing that could ever happen to you, and so the audience is once again irritated. Later, there is clear evidence of hostility in Othello. He is completely convinced of Desdemona's infidelity. He bids farewell to not only his nobility but also everything that makes him a man. OTHELLO 'Farewell! Othello's occupation gone.' There is a huge repetition of farewell, which shows his despair and his becoming a barbarian. However he is incredibly aggressive towards Iago, he wants proof! Iago's position is becoming a spiral of which at the end it is clear he will die unless he does something drastic to undo the spiral. As is typical of Iago, he attempts to truly break Othello down by asking for what kind of 'proof' and speaking aloud incredibly rude images: IAGO '...Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys... ...read more.

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