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Character Analysis: Othello

By ckatsaros Jan 23, 2013 575 Words
Extract from Text| My response |
ACT 1IAGO I hate the Moor: And it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my sheets He has done my office: I know not if't be true; But I, for mere suspicion in that kind, Will do as if for surety. (1.3.12)| Initially, Iago tells us of his hatred for the Moor is because Othello chose to promote Cassio to Lieutenant, instead of his, thus leaving the audience to thinks that Iagos reason for wanting to destroy Othello is because of that. However later on in the play, in Act 1, Scene 3, Iago reveals another possible motive for wanting to take down Othello. Here he says that “ ‘twix my sheets/ he has done my office”. Iago insinuates here that he hates Othello because he’s heard a rumour that Othello has committed adultery with his wife, Emilia. Iago states that isn’t positive if its true, yet he will go along with the plan to ruin Othello’s life nonetheless. | ACT 2IAGO“ If I can fasten but one cup upon him, with that which he hath drunk to-night already, he’ll be as full of quarrel and offence as my young mistress’ dog(manipulation)| Here we see just how manipulative and scheming Iago truly is. Iago knows that Cassio is an angry drunk, thus will likely get into a brawl, and this is exactly why Iago plans to get Cassio drunk, despite Cassio refusing multiple times. Iago wants Cassio to get on the bad side of Othello, because he knows that Desdemona will intervene, and help Cassio. Iago has already planted a seed of doubt in Othello’s mind about Desdemona being unfaithful, and he knows that when Desdemona stands up for Cassio, that it will just add to Othello’s jealousy and suspicion.| Act 3IAGO“ Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio; wear your eye thus, not jealous nor secure: I would not have your free and noble nature, out of self-bounty be abused; look to’t. I know our country disposition well” In Venice they do let heaven see the pranks They dare not show their husbands; their best conscience Is not to leave't undone, but keep't unknown.| Iago here is verbalising his views on the unfaithfulness of Venetian women. He insinuates to Othello, that the women of Venetia are promiscuous and disloyal. By saying this, Iago is able to further manipulate and convince Othello of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness| Act 4Othello“Lie with her? Lie on her? We say lie on her when they belie her. Lie with her! Zounds, that’s fulsome! Handkercheif-confessions-handerchief”| In the beginning of Othello, Othello comes across as a well spoken gentlemen, as in his speeches he speaks eloquently and fluently. However once Iago has successfully toyed with his sanity, we see Othello’s speech change dramatically. In this instance his speech is somewhat stunted, and he utters strange phrases, “Zounds”. We see his sanity slowly deteriorating, as he becomes increasingly confused. This is all a direct result of Iago.|

However
Act 5Emilia“ Good gentlemen, let me have leave to speak. ‘Tis proper I obey him, but not now” | In the beginning of Othello, the female characters are portrayed as being submissive and obedient towards the males in their lives, in particular to their husbands. With this being said, Emilia’s obedience to Iago is now gone as eh not only stands up to him but risks her safety to save the honour of Desdemona. |

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