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In scene one, the reader is introduced to the unlikely pair, Iago - an ensign in the Venetian army - and Roderigo - a nobleman. Who are in furious discussion about the secret elopement of Othello and Desdemona, Iago

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Introduction

In the opening scene, the play's villain, Iago, openly declares his type of character, his intentions and his motivations. All of which then continue to underline each of his actions, as the plot continues to unfold. Through his careful twisting of the facts and opportunities that are presented to him, Imago is able to direct, position and influence each of the other characters in order to achieve his objective. In scene one, the reader is introduced to the unlikely pair, Iago - an ensign in the Venetian army - and Roderigo - a nobleman. Who are in furious discussion about the secret elopement of Othello and Desdemona, Iago is particularly very disgruntled about being passed over for promotion, in favour of Cassio, who played an important role in arranging the wedding. "[...] Despise me, if I do not. Three great ones of the city, In personal suit to make me his lieutenant, Off-capp'd him: and, by the faith of man, I know my price, I am worth no worse a place: But he; as loving his own pride and purposes, Evades them, with a bombast circumstance [...] Nonsuits my mediators; for, 'Certes,' says he, 'I have already chose my officer.' ...read more.

Middle

"Thus I do ever make my fool my purse, For I mine own gained knowledge should profane, if I would time expend with such a snipe, but for my sport and profit." - Iago (1.3.174-77) Once the party is established on Cypress, Iago appears to offer good and helpful advice to both Othello and Cassio, this advice while in itself good works against each character. For instance after being demoted, Cassio is desperately to repair the damage, which he has caused and under Iago's direction (2.3.303-314) he appeals to Desdemona for her assistance in regaining Othello's favour (3.3.1-2). This careful omission of certain information and distortion of events presents the opportunity for the others to create an allusion of the actual reality of the situation. By instilling the rift between Othello and Cassio, Iago ultimately sets the foundation of the collapse of Othello and Desdemona's relationship. "And by how much she strives to do him good, She shall undo her credit with the Moor." - Iago (2.3.346-7) Iago uses the handkerchief, which Othello gave Desdemona as the final device to embed doubt and suspicion in Othello's mind (3.3.320-9). ...read more.

Conclusion

Live Roderigo, He calls me to a restitution large Of gold and jewels that I bobbed from him As gifts to Desdemona. It must not be. If Cassio do remain, He hath a daily beauty that makes me ugly; and besides, the Moor May unfold me to him; there stand I in much peril. No, he must die. [...]" - Iago (5.1.10) Although the characters in the play each demonstrate their own individual intellect and rationality at various points, such as Roderigo comprehending that he had been played for a fool and used as a scapegoat, Emilia, becoming conscious her involvement in the outcome of events, Desdemona being apparently aware of her imminent death and Othello in hindsight clearly seeing his own undoing, mistakes and fault. The overall depth of the situation is not realized until too late. Iago's far greater skills in the art of pretense, manipulation, treachery, insinuation and scheme that allows him to so easily blind the other characters and control the situation. Combined with Roderigo's bungling of Cassio's murder and the way in which he tries to silence his own wife that he inadvertently reveals the full extent of his malicious actions. ENGL 101 Ali Walkley Page 1 21400 ...read more.

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