How Does Shakespeare Use Representations of Speech and Other Dramatic Effects to Introduce Iago’s Character?

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Shakespeare portrays Iago’s character in the play ‘Othello’ with villainous content by using dramatic effects and specific representations of speech in order to engage the audience to witness this deceitful, dishonest and disturbing man. Iago portrays himself as an innocent and rejected man with the use of powerful and emotive language such as ‘despise me’ and ‘abhor me.’ The abrupt language used by Iago enables the audience to witness his disgust after Roderigo accuses him of withholding some information from him about his own finances. Iago acts the innocent and threatened character by stating ‘if ever I did dream of such a matter, / Abhor me.’ The phrase ‘abhor me’ is a use of hyperbole used by Iago, where he exaggerates the issue of not being trusted by Roderigo. Here, the audience is able to see how Iago exaggerates things to a great level and it allows them to believe Iago will behave in this way for the majority of the play. Connotations of jealousy are revealed frequently throughout the play, especially within Iago’s first speech between himself and Roderigo, of how he was dismissed as lieutenant in favour of ‘Michael Cassio, a Florentine-/ A fellow almost damned in a fair wife.’ Here, Iago claims that Cassio will have a wondering eye and is likely to stray from his job, proving how untrustworthy he is. He claims Cassio ‘nor the division of a battle knows/ More than a spinster, unless the bookish theoric.’ Shakespeare’s powerful use of imagery and asyndetic listing here, when Iago refers Cassio to a ‘spinster,’ reveals connotations of him being an inexperienced soldier as much as a spinster woman is inexperienced in love. The use of asyndetic listing also infers jealousy as Iago is listing the many reasons why Cassio should not have been promoted. The term ‘bookish theoric,’ refers Cassio to be an inexperienced and unknowledgeable man on the battlefield, except from the theory he learnt about war in books. Here, the audience can witness Iago’s jealousy,...
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