Iago Act 3 Scene 3

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How does Iago manipulate Othello’s thoughts and feelings in Act 3 Scene 3?

Responses should demonstrate a close knowledge of the text, taking into consideration language choices, strategic thinking and the impact of the strategies on Othello

Act 3 Scene 3 is a key scene in the play whereby Iago’s deceptive nature is becoming not only more prominent, but more importantly, leading him to success in his plan. The readers are exposed to Iago’s duplicity but Othello is not – a heavy use of dramatic irony by Shakespeare which is demonstrated throughout the entire play.

[ Shakespeare’s play Othello is encompassed with a notable use of dramatic irony on Iago, which in return is shown to be the fuel of the conflict between Othello, Desdemona and Cassio. ]

Iago’s master plan is beginning to reach the climax as he schemingly takes advantage of Othello’s unstable state by successfully planting seeds of suspicion and doubt in Othello’s mind. This is executed through his language and hesitant behaviour.

In an extract of their conversation, Iago uses the technique of echoing Othello’s questions (lines 104-110), which appeared to be an innuendo of his loyalty to Cassio, therefore evoking any suspicions by Othello of his intentions of harm. This feigned reluctancy adds to the successfulness of Iago’s strategy and puts himself in good light.

“She that, so young, could give out such a seeming, to seel her father’s eyes up close as oak he thought twas witchcraft” - Iago reminds Othello of Desdemona’s deception to her father, hence planting another seed of suspicion and further opening up the idea of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness.

At this stage, Iago is distinctly being more concise rather than being subtle, but continues to apply a façade to mask his deception. “But I am much to blame, I humbly do beseech you of your pardon for too much loving you.” It is clear that Iago has won Othello’s trust, as he is often referred to as “honest Iago”. This manipulation on...
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