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Othello Analysis - Act III, scene iii.

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Introduction

Othello Analysis - Act III, scene iii In this scene, Desdemona tells Cassio she will do everything she can to persuade Othello to reinstate him as his lieutenant. Othello approves but Iago makes it clear to him that he has something on his mind about Cassio he would rather no speak about. Othello asks him to tell him but before he leaves, Iago cunningly steers Othello's feeling towards jealousy about Cassio's relationships with his wife. When his wife and Emilia appear, Desdemona thinks Othello is ill. During this time, Othello's first present, a handkerchief, is dropped unknowingly. Emilia gives it to Iago and says he will leave it with Cassio to make Othello more suspicious of Cassio as he already is. Othello when returning nearly convinced of his adulterous wife wants more proof. Iago says Cassio has talked in his sleep about his love for his wife and Iago has seen him wiping his beard with the handkerchief. ...read more.

Middle

Iago's fakery reaches a point when he speaks of how "good name is the immediate jewel" that people possess. Othello takes the statement to mean that Iago is protecting Cassio's good name by not telling Othello the whole story. Iago here is not saying more than his statements suggest, and all the connections are done by Othello's common sense. In this scene, we notice jealousy is a major theme; especially with Othello. Specifically Iago soon addresses this. "It is the green-eyed monster," Iago tells him, in that now-famous statement; the "green-eyed monster" becomes a symbol representing Othello's dark feelings, a thought in his mind and beginning to make him think differently. Othello has no idea if there is any truth in these statements, and doesn't choose to believe them. Othello then begins to say that he believes his wife is not an adulterer. Othello here uses his black skin as a symbol for how poorly spoken and unattractive he thinks he is. ...read more.

Conclusion

Othello trusts Iago's words as proof, and is doesn't know that Iago is being dishonest yet in the play. Until this point in the play, Othello has spoken with beautiful images, convincing rhetoric, and used his language to express the beauty in his soul. From this point forward, we notice how Othello's use of imagery and story become less and less frequent, and how he begins to rely upon Iago for explanation. Othello is reduced by Iago and his own jealousy to single lines of speech, monosyllabic utterings of "O!" also. Othello begins to lose his power over himself, and over others, when he loses his beautiful language and this marks a huge shift in the balance of power between Othello and Iago, as Iago becomes control the turn taking and begins to steer Othello. Iago's assumption of Othello's image-filled powers of language, and the beginning of being in control of Othello, is shown by the story he tells of Cassio talking in his sleep. He describes in detail Cassio's actions, making them all too graphic for Othello to forget. ...read more.

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