Examine the Presentation of Iago in Acts One and Two

Topics: Othello, Iago, Michael Cassio Pages: 2 (777 words) Published: December 11, 2010
Examine the presentation of Iago in acts one and two.

Shakespeare has created the character of Iago as the villain of the play. He drives the plot as he schemes and manipulated other characters. He fascinates and terrifies the audience with his revengeful plotting which he has no real motivation for.

In Iago’s first big speech he is already moaning about not being promoted giving of a negative feel to his character and declaring his hatred for Othello. Within his first ten lines of the play he tells the audience that this man who did not promote him loves his own pride and purposes. This highlights Iago’s unnecessary jealousy and resentment. After insulting this man he then moves onto Cassio, the man who was promoted instead of him. His bitterness is shown when he calls him a great arithmetician, and A fellow almost damned in a fair wife. So far Iago has not said a nice word about anyone but scornfully describes him as having no experience. In the first act his character is used to build suspense for the introduction to these two characters as from his descriptions the audience have already formed an opinion of them both. Iago’s big speeches are written in pros rather than verse because of his plotting. He explains to Roderigo, I follow him to serve my turn upon him which shows him to be very without good reason. We can also see from the first scene, Iago’s ability to manipulate others. For example he tells Roderigo to Rouse him, make after him, poison his delight. Roderigo follows Iago’s orders. Iago uses very crude and outrageous language showing his insensitivity for example you’ll have your daughter/ covered with a Barbary horse; you’ll have your nephews/ neigh to you; you’ll have coursers for cousins, and jennets/ for germans. Iago does not pretend to be pitiful or unhappy to tell Brabantio of such a horrible thing and he makes it sound as nasty as possible because he wants revenge. He also called a woman a Guinea-Hen implying a woman is just...
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