• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11

"Othello" act 3, scene 3.

Extracts from this document...


"Othello" During act 3, scene 3, the full extent of Iago's evil flourish is realised as he proceeds to have a malignant and cancerous effect on Othello and his relationship with Desdemona. During this time, he also builds bridges with many of the other characters, before deceiving and betraying them. All of this makes him one of the most evil and wicked characters Shakespeare has ever created, but also, one of the most fascinating and intriguing. Act 3, scene 3 opens with Desdemona making a promise to Cassio who has jus lost his position as lieutenant because of Iago: "But I will have my Lord, and you again As friendly as you were." This statement shows the audience that Desdemona is a loyal and dedicated friend, but it is also signing her own death warrant. When Iago hears of her plans to reunite her husband and Cassio in the army after Cassio's street brawl, his evil and devilish plan begins to take form and unfold as he corrupts Desdemona's loyalty, and causes her friendship with Cassio to become immeasurably distorted. Not only does Iago ruin the lives of Othello and Desdemona, but he also tampers with people's thoughts and feelings. He does this in a number of ways throughout the scene. The main and most calculated is by taking short sentences and phrases and distorting and corrupting them, to give a totally different meaning. Desdemona's dedication is persistently portrayed by Shakespeare during her time on stage. He does this to show how good a person, Desdemona is: "I'll perform it To the last article." With this, the audience begin to realise the true extent of Desdemona's loyalty in her duty. Over time she will begin to "intermingle" everything her husband does and says, with Michael Cassio. This is only the start of Othello's immense jealousy and suspicion. The way Iago begins his annihilation of Othello, is by putting on a false face, deceiving his wife Emilia: "I warrant it grieves my husband, As if the cause were his." ...read more.


Suddenly, Iago throws in the words, 'jealousy' and, 'cuckhold'. He is saying it is better to know your wife is having an affair, than being eaten away by suspicious thoughts and fears that she is with another man. This is also superficially preparing Othello for the bomb-shell that Iago will drop into his life and love for Desdemona, but Othello makes a come back, which completely throws Iago off track. Following his short statements, Othello regains confidence and hits back at Iago, saying that he does not doubt his wife's faithfulness because she chose him, although she could have had anyone she wanted. This momentarily fills Othello with hope and puts a dampener on Iago's plan. This is a very testing time for Iago and will prove to the audience whether or not he can carry out his plan right to the last article, and he does. Just as the audience thought he would, he bounces back at Othello by admitting he has no proof of Desdemona's affair. He does advise him though, to take note of how Desdemona acts regarding Michael Cassio. At this point, Iago once again gains the upper hand by focusing on Othello's origin and background: "I know our country disposition well: In Venice, they do let God see the pranks They dare not show their husbands." He is African and Iago is Italian, so he claims that he knows more about Venetian women than Othello does. This would make him feel very vulnerable and as if he is an outsider. After temporarily regaining his confidence in Desdemona, Othello once again begins to doubt his wife, imagining that she is taking pride in hiding her temptations and affairs. This is yet another example of dramatic irony used continuously throughout the play. Only the audience know that Desdemona is totally in love with her husband and would never deceive him by having an affair. ...read more.


The scene, that has been pivotal to the whole play, ends in an evil way: "Oh blood, blood, blood." At the time this is being said, Othello is knelt down. Not praying to the gods, but to Satan and the underworld. Then Iago joins him by kneeling down too. This is a mocking parody as ostensibly he is agreeing with Othello with a sense of sympathy and consideration, but within, he is laughing at Othello. Only the audience can see this at the moment. They are the only ones who know how Iago really is. It has been a very ironic scene as Iago has played the honest, faithful, caring friend and to great effect. This putting on of a false face has earned him what he wanted all along: Cassio is wanted dead by Othello, and so too is Desdemona, his fair wife whom he loved so much only a few moments earlier on stage, but Iago has one last chance to show no one but the audience his immense powers of manipulation, opportunism and judge of character: "But let her live." Once again, Iago says this in complete confidence that Othello will strongly disagree, and he does. It is a mere sign for Othello that Iago has been completely reliable and trustworthy and most important of all, Othello now feels that Iago is suffering from guilt that because of his honesty, two people will die. The ending is bitterly ironic, ending with Iago's promotion to Lieutenant, which is what he would treasure most and Othello will soon lose the thing he treasures most, Desdemona. Iago exits the stage whilst in the ascendancy, but there will be consequences...... It is therefore obvious, that Iago is a hugely malignant force upon Othello, who has played him just as he wanted and eventually, after overcoming many obstacles, he has left the stage with total domination and authority over everything that happens and is to happen in later scenes throughout the duration of the play. 1 ...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)

    He is a master of language in a similar way that the Devil is the master of temptation. Shakespeare also uses an oxymoron, "Divinity of Hell!" to represent Iago's conflicting personality. The phrase also somewhat represents Iago, as he is the slick, controlled face of evil, able to deceive and manipulate others, making him such an affective villain.

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

    Othello wondered if Desdemona really loved him, or if she was just using him to rebel against her father. With Iago constantly putting these ideas in his head, Othello's trust was eaten away until, in his own mind, the killing of Desdemona was justifiable and true.


    Both of their speeches contain rhyming couplets. Nevertheless the Duke's final speech is the most important. The tone of the speech changes from rhyming couplets to prose, which is an indication of the subject changing. The Duke makes it clear that he has confidence in Othello, which is contradictory to the ending.

  2. Analyse the style and structure of Othello, Act 3 scene 3, showing what it ...

    The 'napkin' is a dramatic device as it changes the whole genre of the playas it becomes 'ocular proof' of Desdemona's infidelity. Also the audience should become captivated by the napkin's movements as it plunders to floor when Desdemona drops it.

  1. Essay on 'Othello'

    In this scene Iago disrupts Othello's wedding night, and Iago turns Othello against the people he trusted and loved. Act 3 scene 3 is the pivotal scene where Iago puts his Machiavellian plans into operation. Iago wants Othello to perceive that Cassio is having an affair with Cassio.

  2. How Does Shakespeare Present Desdemona in Acts One to Four

    Lodovico questions Othello about the strike, and hopes that he will apologize, but he doesn't. In fact, he accuses Desdemona of faking crying. This scene shows the audience how much Othello has lost it, and how full of all different emotions he is, and also how he is taking it all out on Desdemona.

  1. Focusing on Act 3 scene 3, how responsible is Othello for Desdemona's death?

    he cites his hurt pride over the lost promotion and Othello's alleged infidelity with Iago's wife Emilia as being reasons for his actions, he is without reasons. He is immoral, but very perceptive, keen, and able to manipulate people into falling for the traps he sets without them being aware.

  2. ' To the Shakerspearean audience, the notion of mixed marriages was not just unnatural, ...

    However, Iago removes logic, and uses crudity and basic animal imagery to bring out the primal side of others. Iago shows how it is easey to manipulate people with a moment of crisis, and a good choice of words. Act 1 intoduces us to how manipulative Iago is, and he

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