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Othello - both general and lieutenant believe that "honest" Iago is both reliable and capable

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Introduction

Literature Homework - Theo Georgiades / 7 In the beginning of this scene we move to the castle, where Othello instructs Cassio to ensure that the festivities remain under control. Cassio confidently tells him that Iago is in charge; both general and lieutenant believe that "honest" Iago is both reliable and capable. Desdemona and Othello leave to consummate their marriage. When Iago enters Cassio immediately wishes to set out to the watch, but Iago persuades him that there is still time to enjoy the festivities. The two men discuss Desdemona. Iago urges Cassio to drink some more wine but out of courtesy Cassio reluctantly agrees; he says he has a poor head for drink and has already taken enough. In this isolated extract upto line 57, Iago and Cassio are clearly established as individuals and the audience is further enlightened to their temperaments and character. Cassio in this extract makes it clear that he is a true gentleman by his remarks on Desdemona's character, whereas Iago yet another time shows himself to be a narrow-minded wretch; nevertheless his lyrical style and ...read more.

Middle

Line 26 literally made me laugh - "Well happiness to their sheets!" - look at how the ensign views Othello's and Desdemona's relationship. Where Othello considers it a union in holly matrimony, Iago sees an animalistic affair - as all affairs are ofcourse according to him - where the only thing binding them are fleshly pleasures - hence his funny remark on the sheets. Iago's persuasion skills then come into play when Cassio refuses to drink more exclaiming that "I have very poor and unhappy brains for drinking". "What, man!" and "O, they are our friends" are Iago's replies to Cassio's refusals to drink, with the purpose of making the latter feel guilty for not engaging in the revels. At this point Cassio is furthermore established as a dutiful lieutenant to his general, striving to follow orders; but Iago's is no easy man to "escape" from and Cassio gives in. This also shows Cassio to be quite a weak individual - but that is debatable because he is dealing with the likes of Iago; practically the devil's advocate himself! ...read more.

Conclusion

The occurrences of certain events in this scene have a prophetic ring to them. Iago for starters needs no introduction on the matter as his boat of schemes is on its comfortable way to a destination of chaos as we will see later in the play. Cassio being exposed as an irresponsible drunk in this scene is followed through later on in Iago's slandering and recalling of Cassio's unbecoming behaviour to Othello. This scene is but merely the beginning of Iago's quest to destroy Othello mercilessly where Cassio is the prime and catalytic factor to it all. At the end of the day, Iago is making Othello look bad just as much as Cassio to the gentlemen and Montano, because it is he that chose Cassio to be the lieutenant over "honest Iago". The beginning of this scene to lines 57 certainly draws immense boundaries and contrasts between Cassio and Iago. The former is a loyal, obedient servant to his master, whereas the latter is just a seeming loyal, obedient servant to his master whom clearly has other plans in mind. ...read more.

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