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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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. "How does Shakespeare engage the audience through character and action in the first Act?"

    It is almost as though Iago cannot help himself from becoming involved in intrigue. Does he really wish to become the governor of Cyprus, or is he simply addicted to causing mischief? "Even now, now, very now an old black ram/Is tupping your white ewe."

  2. How does Shakespeare show conflict and tension-the-in-the first act?

    Iago refers to Othello as "His Moorship," showing the racial difference between himself and Othello. Roderigo shows his hate for Othello "By heaven...his hangman," we see jealousy within Roderigo over Othello about Desdemona. We also see jealously within Iago about Cassio's position as lieutenant.

  1. Othello - Critical Study of Text.

    Iago describes women as "Players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds" (2, 1, 110-111). He also uses strong imagery with animals, and so do the other men, including Othello. The women in the play do try to bring about some power and independence for themselves.

  2. With particular reference to Act Four Scene One, explore the ways in which the ...

    In an early conversation between Iago and Roderigo in Act I Scene I, the two men abuse "The Moor" and his "thick lips" and later liken him to an "old black ram". To a modern audience, these racist metaphors would appear extremely harsh and unjust.

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