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With close reference to the text, show how Shakespeare introduces the audience to the character of Iago in Act I.

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Introduction

With close reference to the text, show how Shakespeare introduces the audience to the character of Iago in Act I. 'Sblood, but you'll not hear me! If ever did I dream of such a matter, abhor me.' The line above is the very first thing that Iago says in the play. This line occurs right in the beginning of the plot. This gives the audience a sense of the future of the play and also they enter the very world and character of Iago. Without a doubt, this first line reveals that he is the villain of the play and he has a sort of conflict or something that has angered him. Shakespeare uses the line very wisely, because through Iago's cruel and harsh speech ('Sblood' was a swear word in Shakespearian time), it opens the play very well. The audience is presented with a conflict that gives the opening a bit of an edge and also makes the audience have a 'greedy ear'. Act 1- Scene 1 starts off with Iago and Roderigo on the street while it is dark out. This also adds to the effect of Iago's cruel character and also provides the audience of the sense that these two characters are plotting up an evil plan. ...read more.

Middle

It is the syntax of Iago's lines that make his speech very interesting. 'In following him, I but follow myself.' and 'I am not what I am.' Throughout the first act Iago, it is obvious that Iago is also a source of comic relief in the play. He uses a number of sexual innuendoes and this reveals to the audience what kind of a villain Iago is. Iago is not a character that is demonized, Shakespeare uses Iago to provide the audience with laughs, and he isn't all serious like typical villains are portrayed. For example, when Iago and Roderigo call on Brabantio to tell him that his daughter has snuck out to marry Othello, Iago is very rude to Brabantio. His speech to him is very blunt and crude. The catch is, that Brabantio cannot see his face and doesn't know how is talking. This also proves Roderigo's stupidity, because he isn't hiding his face. This also proves how Iago is using Roderigo to fulfill his evil plan. Notice how in the following quotation, Iago uses animal imagery when referring to women or sex. '...an old black ram is tupping your white ewe.' and Brabantio: 'Thou art a villain' Iago: 'Thou art- a senator' The matter in which Iago talks to Brabantio is indeed very interesting. ...read more.

Conclusion

In a way, this also gives the feeling for Iago tempting him and through this Iago can fulfill his plan. As the speech goes on, Shakespeare uses lines such as: 'Make all the money thou canst.' This is very effective, because it also builds up the audience and really plays with their emotions and keeps them very interested. What is also very ironic about this speech is that previously when Othello was confronted by the council and Brabantio, he was being accused to intoxicating Desdemona with some sort of witch craft or hypnosis; when it is really Iago who uses such thing to get people to follow him and to get is own way. Iago is not a typical villain. He is different, because he provides comic relief, but yet at the same time is evil. In a way it is a sort of a contradiction, but at the same time it adds more to his evilness, it gives him a sort of sadistic flare. Shakespeare often makes the 'good', 'intelligent' or 'powerful' characters speak in rhyme; even though Iago only speaks in prose, he says things that are also very literarily artistic. Shakespeare does this in a very interesting way and it not only makes Iago a truly unique villain, this edge makes him seem like a more truly evil one. Daniela Germano Year12- AS English Lit. 19/03/03 ...read more.

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