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Outline the various methods, which Iago uses to convince Othello that his wife is being unfaithful

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Introduction

Chris Smith Othello essay - Outline the various methods, which Iago uses to convince Othello that his wife is being unfaithful Iago is a very strange character with unclear motivations. Once he had made Cassio loose his job I believed he would stop, however on the contrary he decided to carry on and punish Othello and his wife for no apparent reason. Act 3 Scene 3 is the pinnacle of Iago's devious, underhanded behaviour and he starts to convince Othello that his beautiful and virtuous wife has been unfaithful. This scene is the centre of the play in two ways. It is literally the middle of the play, and metaphorically it is the turning point and end of the calm. This "hellish villain" uses many techniques to persuade "the moor" of his wife's cheating. He carries these strategies out amazingly and is so convincing. Othello is na�ve and gullible to Iago's lying and does not once suspect him of lying. The "worthy" and "brave" soldier considers his loyal comrade to be an "honest creature", as does every other major character in the play. ...read more.

Middle

Iago constantly back tracks and switches from attacking Cassio to defending him. He also relentlessly describes his motives for telling Othello what he has seen. He constantly returns to the fact that he is only revealing these fears is because of his "love" for Othello. It is ironic that these painful, lies and deceit "come from his love". Iago at one point in this scene even suggests that he may be exaggerating these accusations because he loves him so much. This creates a lot of dramatic irony. It would have annoyed the audience that this fraudulent man is leading Othello blindly astray and slowly wrecking his marriage. Language is also a key aspect of Iago's false portrayal of Desdemona. Throughout the scene the words "honest" and "think" are constantly repeated. He does this to put the ideas into Othello's head so he is persistently questioning his wife's honesty. Iago's Machiavellian qualities are also seen when he answers Othello's questions with another question. This annoys him and builds up his tension levels. It also appears that Iago knows something that he does not want to tell Othello. ...read more.

Conclusion

Iago is suggesting that Desdemona could quite easily dupe her husband, and he be none the wiser. Othello believes the liar and is "bound to thee for ever". This short phrase gives us the sense that Othello's fate is now tragically sealed. This is one of the main turning points of the play. The general now starts to believe Iago and become disheartened. His speech after this short section begins to become diminished and negative. Emilia also plays a key role in the downfall of Othello's marriage. She discovers the handkerchief that Othello gave to Desdemona as a symbol of their love. This is just what Iago needed as this will provide Othello with the evidence that he requires to fully believe him. He then places the proof in "Cassio's lodgings" to frame him. He then tells Othello how he saw "Cassio wipe his beard with" it. This shows how devious Iago is and how he will turn any situation to his favour. Overall Iago is brilliant in this scene. This is the scene where he is at the height of his persuasive powers. He manages to skilfully convince Othello, by suggestion and inference, that Desdemona has been unfaithful. ...read more.

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