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What does this passage add to your understanding of the relationship between Othello and Iago?

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What does this passage add to your understanding of the relationship between Othello and Iago? In this scene Iago persuades Cassio, who is on watch, to drink, knowing that he is not a drinker and that he will be easy to antagonise. Roderigo provokes Cassio into a fight and Othello, hearing the disturbance, arrives to find the nobleman Montano seriously injured. Cassio gives no explanation, Montano pleads self-defence, and say that Iago knows best, so Iago is ordered to speak, 'Iago, who began't?" This passage starts with Othello, who appears to have interrupted someone, as there is a line break. This along with the language Othello uses shows his frustration and annoyance at this encounter. This is seen when he relates religiously to the situation, 'by heaven'. Othello's language starts to deteriorate in this section, from that of a commanding general, to the similar uses of imagery used by Iago. His 'blood begins safer guide to rule', he is ruled by his blood, his 'passion', not his rational thinking brain, as if he is thinking in an instinctive fashion. ...read more.


This reminds us of the "Chivalric Code', stated by Tennyson, 'Do right, speak truth, and follow Christ the King'. The ironic thing is that Iago does not tell the truth, but in the latter parts of the play he is still a soldier, and even gets the high rank that he thinks he deserves. Iago makes a long speech, or description here. In this section we see many typical Iago-type language, crude, violent, even sexual at times. 'Tongue cut from my mouth' is a vivid image, suggesting pain, blood and a loss of an important organ of the human body. It also suggests torture, which is proleptic of Iago's torturing at the end of the play. Alliteration is seen also in his speech, 'fall in fright', which shows that Iago does have some clever use at language at important times when what he says affects his plan to get promoted. The onomatopoeic phrase 'clink...of swords' gives the reader a sense of atmosphere, and also suggests that Iago is telling the truth. ...read more.


On a further note, later on in the play, Othello does not know what even he is doing, as he starts having fits and seizures. Othello seems to be very emotive in this passage as well. He uses ploce, to emphasise Cassio's name, as he truly is friends with him, not just an officer. But Othello's egocentric nature is brought to light, 'never more be an officer of mine'. He sees the army as his army and Cassio as an object of his belongings. He is direct in his approach, somewhat showing his authoritative nature, but one would think that he is over-reacting, and has a deep and personal view of the world. Othello has played up to Iago's ego. Iago is very successful in his actions and we understand that he is actually extremely clever. Iago understands every aspect of the characters involved of the play, and he knows just the right things to sway decisions and actions his way. A quote from A.C Bradley that supports Iago's actions throughout this play is, 'The world is "travailing for perfection" in spite of evil and chaos.' ...read more.

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