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Othello Lecture Transcript

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Othello Transcript Today, I am here to enlighten you on how Shakespeare effectively dramatises Iago's character in the play 'Othello'. Like any typical Shakespearean tragedy, 'Othello' is the fall of a black general Othello from his own passions and jealousy. Yet, it is Iago who supplies the external influence to undermine Othello's virtuous qualities. Iago is a cunning character, able to fool the other characters in 'Othello'. Iago has a political mind, and has a way of manipulating the characters in believing him while not suspecting him. The ignorance of the characters in 'Othello' to Iago's true intentions can be seen in the juxtaposition of the descriptions of Iago. Othello calls Iago "honest Iago" while Iago refers to himself as "Knavery's plain face". Quite obviously Iago has fooled Othello and others in trusting him, allowing him to plant the first seeds of doubt in their minds. Iago's soliloquies play an important role in dramatising the character of Iago as they allow an insight into his true attentions. ...read more.


In the third soliloquy in Act 2 Scene 3 the last parts of Iago's plan fall into place. This is achieved by ultimately deceiving Othello by turning Desdemona's "virtue into pitch". Yet, the manipulative mind of Iago is best seen in Act 3 Scene 3 where Iago's plan is set in full motion. By undermining Othello's confidence, step by step, Iago is able to turn the valiant general into a raving potential murderer in merely a scene. Iago starts to undermine Othello in Act 3 Scene 3 by awakening Othello's curiosity through small meaningless lines such as "I like not that". By making seemingly innocent comments such as that, it seems to Othello that Iago is refraining from telling him his true thoughts and by warning Othello of "the green-eyed monster" that is jealousy, his words become more honest than they really are. Iago helps spark doubt further in Othello's mind, reminding him of Desdemona's deceitful nature, such as "She did deceive her father". ...read more.


While Othello is on stage though, Iago's character is totally different. On stage Iago is normally portrayed as bowing and grovelling to Othello, always looking up to him. The audience though are not fooled, and the dramatic irony comes from the fact that during Iago's soliloquies, where his character is dramatised as a megalomaniac, he says "will as tenderly be led by the nose as asses are" showing that even though Othello believes himself in control, it is really Iago that is in control. To finally show the power of Iago over Othello, Shakespeare creates a role reversal in Act 3 Scene 3. By making Othello kneel, while Iago stands, he is showing Iago's success in manipulating Othello. Iago is a complex character, yet Shakespeare effectively dramatises him to show how Iago is the external influence that creates the tragedy in 'Othello'. Through his soliloquies, words and timing as well as the stage actions, Iago is dramatised effectively to show he can manipulate all characters around him and to create a "net" to "enmesh them all". Dean Exikanas ...read more.

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