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How successful is the character Iago in fulfilling his ambitions in Shakespeare's Othello? Use evidence fro the text to support your answers

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Introduction

'Hell and night must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light' How successful is the character Iago in fulfilling his ambitions in Shakespeare's Othello? Use evidence fro the text to support your answers 'Hell and night must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light' (Act 1 sc. 3 L.358-6) Iago says this statement in a soliloquy at the end of act 1 sc. 3. It could mean several things. 'Hell and night' are both associated with evil in which Othello has been called before at the beginning of scene 1. 'The devil' (Act 1 sc.1 L.92). Therefore hell could be Othello, night is also associated with secrecy and how Iago will act to make his plan work. 'Monstrous' is also connected with evil, and a monster is seen as a large, frightening animal, but in the context of this text it is a large, frightening plan. 'Birth' is personification of Iago's plan, but it could also be taken as actually giving birth because birth involves pain. 'World's light' Both world and light are contrasts to hell and night. The World and light are good and Iago wants to use the opposite of them to turn them into evil. It can also be interpreted that Iago wants to control people's sphere of knowledge or power to make his plan work. ...read more.

Middle

'She did deceive her father' (Act 3 sc.3 L.206). This is another type of hint, using the truth against Othello, as he was there when Brabantio accused him of stealing his daughter, but Desdemona explained that her duties now lay with Othello. This is a fact and can be used effectively against Othello as he knows it's true. Another type of hint is the obvious hints. 'Observe her well with Cassio' (Act 3 sc.3 L.199). This is where Iago has told Othello plainly what he wants Othello to do, but says it as a suggestion making sure that Othello will do what Iago wants. Also using fake evidence that can't be denied to sway Othello's judgement. 'In sleep I heard him Cassio) say 'sweet Desdemona let us be wary and hide our loves'' (Act3 sc.3 L.420-10). This is evidence that cannot be denied by Cassio because it was supposedly in his sleep; it can be used very effectively against Othello as he believes everything that Iago says. Othello's response through Act 3 scene 3 change dramatically throughout the scene. 'I do not think but Desdemona's honest' (Act 3 sc.3 L. 227) When Iago had only just starting to put thoughts into Othello's head, Othello didn't believe Iago and replied to Iago with statements of her honesty. Iago replies either with another insinuation or with a statement of disbelief 'Long live she so, and long live you to think so!' ...read more.

Conclusion

Overall Iago was successful; he didn't get promoted to Cassio's job, but he did ruin Othello's life like he wanted to. He seemed to enjoy carrying out the plan, which is the main reason he did it. 'For my sport and profit' (Act 1 Sc.1 L.368). He created money out of it by using Roderigo and seemed to have fun using and manipulating people, making them believe things that they would never have thought of. His plan, though, could have been a lot darker then he put out to be. He could have been jealous of Othello and Desdemona and either wanted Othello or Desdemona for himself, he could be jealous of Desdemona for being so close to Othello and he knows he could never be unless he makes her out to be a deceitful whore, which he does. Iago is definitely to blame for all bad feelings between Othello and Desdemona as made sure everyone was where they were supposed to be to make Othello feel that Desdemona is deceitful. He also created the seeds of doubt and jealousy in Othello that carries the whole plan off. I don't think Iago being arrested makes Iago's plan unsuccessful, as he has done what he originally set out to do, he ruined many people's lives and now his bliss is death, which in his eyes cannot be as bad as living. Natasha Curley 10EBA Page 1 of 4 Othello ...read more.

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