• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In this scene, Iago successfully manages to convince Othello that both his wife and best friend have betrayed him.

Extracts from this document...


Every scene in a play has some dramatic significance otherwise the author wouldn't have included it. However, certain scenes have a greater significance than others. In this instance, Act 3, Scene 3 is fairly pivotal. We can quite easily split this chapter into several separate "pivot" points, each essential individually, and collectively. I am going to look at each of these points. In this scene, Iago successfully manages to convince Othello that both his wife and best friend have betrayed him. If we jump to the end of the scene, we can see how successful Iago was as at the end of the scene Othello is determined to take revenge, on his lover and right hand man as it were. This is brought about by Iago's intricate planning and manipulation that is at a Climax in this scene. This climax marks the 'point of no return'. The point, at which the tragic outcomes of the play have been set in stone and the following chain of events cannot be avoided. Going back to the front of the scene, we observe a clever use of dramatic irony. It is significant that this scene opens with a conversation between Desdemona and Cassio. This conversation, despite Iago's views, is based purely out of respect. Desdemona and Casio's relationship is defined purely by their mutual love of Othello. The cheerful optimism shown by Desdemona is soon to be darkened by Iago's scheming. ...read more.


Iago is no longer being implicit as Othello as already taken the bait and, sensing he is susceptible to doubt he reveals his 'fairs'. Iago suggests to Othello that he is only making these accusations out of duty and love for him. This combined with his earlier hesitancy implies what he has to say, has some truth in it. Iago's skilful delaying tactics have therefore laid the way for the false accusations and sensing Othello is vulnerable, Iago speaks 'with franker spirit' and eventually shifts vague generalisations to specific revelations. To protect his position, Iago says that he only has suspicions and no hard evidence. Despite this lack of evidence, he still cunningly convinces Othello to observe Desdemona's behaviour and actions when she is with Cassio. Iago, throughout the next section continues to tackle Othello's weakness. He knows Othello is not comfortable with his position in Venetian society, that he is insecure in the manners and customs of the court and that he constantly seeks reassurance that he is, indeed, worthy to be part of such a society. Iago implies that Desdemona's disloyalty is a common feature of Venetian society and Othello, inexperience in these matters is once again inclined to accept Iago's word. Iago also reminds Othello that Desdemona has broken a bond before with ease - that with her own father - and so is likely to break a bond with her husband with the same ease. ...read more.


While he did not know of his wife's indiscretion it did not hurt him, but now that he does know he feels that he has been robbed and can no longer function in his role as a solider. The dramatic significance arises when it appears Iago, for the first time in the play has lost control of the situation. His intention to awaken a violent jealousy in Othello has clearly worked, but at this point in the play, much of Othello's anger is directed towards Iago. In his utter rage, Othello calls Iago a "villain" and threatens that if his accusations prove slanderous, he will pay dearly. Othello asks for "ocular proof" before he will believe his wife's wrong doing. This critical moment in the play is full of dramatic tension. Othello touches on the truth: "If thou dost slander her, and torture me" and threatens Iago with death. Othello's anger is almost uncontrollable, similar to tragic hero's in other plays, such as King Lear. Iago's terrified speech is reduced to a series of short statements and rhetorical questions as Othello rages. Iago, at this decisive stage in the play responds with fury. His exclamations are forceful and he repents that he has been honest only to be repaid with mistrust and threats - the irony is rich, yet his outburst on lines 379-386 appear to curb Othello's anger, and once again Iago has control of the situation. The crudities of Iago's speech from lines 400-415, such as graphic references to sexual intercourse are effective in debilitating Othello. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Is Iago The Perfect Villain?

    5 star(s)

    The words "my fool" also imply that he is in complete control of the people he decides to manipulate, suggesting that he is in a "Godly" sort of position. He is also inferring that the latest fool that is "making his purse" is Othello, a man revered by others for his honest and noble nature.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Iago is fascinating for his most terrible characteristic: his utter lack of convincing motivation ...

    4 star(s)

    However at the same time, Iago, is always standing apart observing others and eventually falls prey to his own obsession with revenge. The characters can not live in isolation; the message of play seems to say that, self-isolation as an act of self-preservation leads ultimately to self-destruction.

  1. Is Othello a 'noble hero' brought down by 'a devil of motiveless malignity' or ...

    Rather, it is the very simple action of picking up a handkerchief and giving it to her husband (III, iii). She does this because of her loyalty to her husband. "And give `t Iago: what he will do with it/Heaven knows not I;/I nothing but to please his fantasy."

  2. Essay on 'Othello'

    He presents himself as a noble friend to Cassio, and in the best possible light. From discrediting Cassio, Iago is able to get close to Othello. This then means that he is able to corrupt and poison Othello's mind, with his crude words.

  1. How Does Iago Successfully Manipulate Othello in Shakespeare

    Barbanito checks where his daughter is and finds she is not present; he then calls Othello and Desdemona to him. He attempts to arrest Othello but Othello is instead summoned to the governor of Venice on official business. Othello is then brought before the Duke and accused by Barbanito of

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

    What tiding can you tell me of my Lord?' This shows her concern for Othello's safety and changes the subject straight away to reflect her urge to know how he is. Her character is presented as a loyal wife to Othello, and shows her thoughts are with him when they are not together.

  1. Othello - Examine the importance and effectiveness of Act III, scene 3, considering the ...

    This fits contemporary views of women because it shows that she will do anything to stay on the good side of her husband, even though it means hurting Desdemona. Iago can now use the handkerchief as proof that Cassio and Desdemona are having a secret relationship, even though this is a false statement.

  2. "Iago is the cunning villain of the play Othello; he cleverly manipulates the characters ...

    He uses carefully thought up vulgar, brash and words, which shock his listeners and the audience to be enraptured into his thoughts. All this makes Iago possibly the most interesting character of the play, which one would think unlikely since Othello is the hero, and Iago is the villain.

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