• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Shakespeare presents Iago as a manipulative deceitful villain in act III scene III. Do you think he has intended Othello to be seen by audiences as being as much to blame for his demise as Iago?

Extracts from this document...


Shakespeare presents Iago as a manipulative, deceitful villain in Act 3 Scene 3: Do you think that he intended Othello to be seen as audiences as being as much to blame as Iago? In Shakespeare's play: Othello, the character Iago, Othello's ancient, seeks revenge for not being promoted. Indeed, Othello has chosen Cassio over Iago, although there are other reasons and theories as to why he wanted revenge. Some examples are feelings for Othello's wife Desdemona, racist ideas and his hatred for him. Act One is Shakespeare's way of immersing the audience into the lives of the characters, and shows Iago's true colours before we even meet Othello. It starts with him and his pawn, Roderigo, having an argument. Roderigo accuses him of cheating him: "I take it much unkindly / That thou, Iago, who hast stole my purse / As if the strings were thine, shouldst". Iago is more concerned with Cassio's promotion, showing a strong streak of jealousy. He whines: "says he, 'I have already chosen my officer.' / And what was he? / Forsooth, a great arithmetician, / One Michael Cassio, a Florentine". The character he mentions is the one he later claims is sleeping with Desdemona, thus getting his revenge on more than one of his enemies. ...read more.


as a great friend: "This fellow's of exceeding honesty, / And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit, / Of human dealings." By saying this he appears as slightly weak and paranoid so Othello would empathize with him, while also praising him so Othello thinks of him as devoted. Now Iago's words have started to take hold, and this is reflected in Othello's manner towards Desdemona. She goes to wipe his brow with a handkerchief, but then drops it accidentally. Emilia, who is also trapped in Iago's tangled web, takes it to him. She has been instructed to do so, but doesn't know why: "what he will do with it / Heaven knows, not I; / I nothing but to please his fantasy." The handkerchief actually acts as a symbol for the relationship between Desdemona and Othello, from the moment it drops to the floor. Her tells her how the handkerchief was vital for his parents to stay together: "'Twould make her amiable and subdue my father / Entirely to her love, but if she lost it / Or made gift of it, my father's eye / Should hold her loathed and his spirits should hunt after new fancies". It's almost like a threat, claiming if she was to be disloyal he would hate her and get revenge. ...read more.


But Iago only has to lie and claim that in his sleep Cassio was sleep-talking: "I heard him say 'Sweet Desdemona, / Let us be wary, let us hide our loves;' / And then, sir, would he gripe and wring my hand, / Cry 'O sweet creature!' and then kiss me hard". Othello is then suddenly crying "O monstrous! monstrous!" and as Iago's lies again with Cassio and the handkerchief, thus providing the ocular proof, he cries "O, blood, blood, blood!" This is the climax of the scene, as Othello is now in a very unstable state of mind and is so angry and distraught he is mentally able to murder his own wife. I think that it is impossible to blame just one person in this play. Although it is Iago who plans Othello's downfall, in a tragedy like this it is always a hidden fault of flaw which inevitably brings the hero to his ruin. In this rare case, however, there is something other than characters that Shakespeare has used to create this tragedy unfold: society. If it were not for Othello's insecurity that he has developed from being a slave, he may not have fallen for Iago's tricks so easily. It seems as if Shakespeare has shown sympathy for the black community in his time, and written a play in which racism and jealously constructs the disaster ending. ?? ?? ?? ?? Anna Puddephatt English Coursework ...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. Peer reviewed

    How does Shakespeare create an effective villain through his presentation of Iago in the ...

    3 star(s)

    Desdemona, so as to help him exploit Othello and his fatal flaw, "The inclining Desdemona to subdue." Because Iago has noticed that Desdemona is weak and easy to mould to do his will, it will be easy for him to exploit Othello's fatal flaw, or his "weak function" as Iago calls it.

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

    The second fact is her defending of Cassio during the handkerchief interrogation and her refusal to discuss the handkerchief issue makes it appear to Othello, with Iago's seeds of doubt, that Desdemona cares more for Cassio then she does for Othello.


    The roles of woman are still seen as possession as it is evident in the cultures of Asian society as men are seem more superior to women therefore they control them (own them). Evil still exists with us murders, war are a cause of evil, evil doings by the action of others.

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

    For instance, Othello at the beginning of the scene 'truly loves' Desdemona and trusts her judgement but he then begins to 'loathe her' at the end of the scene. Iago's status at the beginning is quite low, as he is only a Venetian soldier preying on Othello's 'thoughts'.

  1. Should we blame Iago for all the events that occur in the play?

    When Roderigo asks why Iago continues to serve Othello, in spite of how the general has treated him, Iago replies, "I follow him to serve my turn upon him." He goes on to give an example of how he intends to serve him, by acting like the perfect servant, while

  2. Othello is a black man in a white society. How does his status as ...

    Also, Brabantio felt that Desdemona not only deceived her father, but also betrayed her own race by marrying such a man. Othello was described to be a "bondslave" and "pagan", which Brabantio could not stand as his daughter was married to a man whose colour and personality was mistakenly associated with Satan.

  1. Othello for 16th and 21st century audiences

    Half away through the scene, a group of men with Cassio enter carrying torches asking for Othello immediately as the general requires his "haste-post-haste appearance. Even on the instant." Othello has only been on stage for a few moments and he's already needed.

  2. How Desdemona is presented as acharacter and perceived by others in Othello.

    Desdemona proves herself in this role of mending the broken relationship of Othello and Cassio, and cares enough to try and restore there friendship. Her methods of doing this are not a passing suggestion to Othello to perhaps give Cassio another chance, but to forcefully carry out her promise to Cassio.

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