Compare and Contrast Othello and Iago's Soliloquy

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Compare and Contrast Othello and Iago’s Soliloquy.

Both soliloquies which occur in Act I Scene III are given different approaches in the way they are delivered by Shakespeare’s selected language, style and content. I will distinguish how Shakespeare does this to bring out both Iago’s and Othello’s traits out.

Othello and Iago’s soliloquies are both set in verse and both begin the first few lines with iambic pentameter. This sets the rhythm of natural speech making the reader think it is spontaneously more lyrical with the use of anaphora’s, ‘of...’ the repletion of ‘of’ at the beginning of the line may make the audience feel his justification is ongoing. This is also apparent with the use of parison also included in the soliloquy, ‘twas strange, twas passing strange.’ Shakespeare includes refutation in both of the soliloquies but for contrasting purpose. Firstly, Othello says, ‘this only is the witchcraft I use’ this is answering Brabantio’s accusations against him in a polite manner. Iago on the other hand is scheming and plotting a plan of revenge on Othello so uses refutation when he says, ‘How? How? let’s see’, here is interrogating himself and considering what the best outcome will be for his sake. Othello uses to play in his advantage a rule of three several times, ‘From year to year: battles, sieges, fortunes’. He is making the people he is surrounding aware of all the good he has done, proving that he did not poison Desdemona. In addition the embedded clauses before the rule of three further heightens the amount he has done for the Duke – working in his advantage.

Both of the soliloquies uses the possessive pronoun, ‘my’ throughout to show they are focussing on their themselves to portray a point across. Iago never speaks of Othello’s name and only uses third person ‘he’ to illustrate him. This shows how he cannot even manage to speak of his name. Similarly, when Othello speaks of Desdemona he also uses mainly third person, ‘her’ or ‘she’,...
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