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How does Iago gain power over othello

By athena-green Mar 23, 2014 563 Words

How does Iago gain power over Othello in Act 3 Scene 3?

Within Act 3 scene 3 of Othello , the reader see’s a dramatic change within Othello. Othello goes from being the powerful military leader that he is in the previous acts to a man wrought with jealousy due to Iago’s influence. William Shakespeare shows how Iago’s achieves power over Othello through the use of emotive language, short sentences, dialogue and stage directions.

In the beginning of the Act 3 scene 3, Iago plants the seed of jealousy and suspicion in Othello’s mind. Iago does this through his dialogue. Iago uses short but definite sentences to plant the doubt in Othello’s mind. “Ha! I like not that!”-Line 35. Iago pretends to be reluctant about telling Othello the information he supposedly knows. This causes Othello’s demeanor to change, as he becomes aggressive. This shows Iago’s power over Othello, as Iago easily influences and changes Othello’s mind. Through Othello’s Dialogue, Iago is seen to have power over Othello, as Othello uses violent imagery when he speaks. “Death and Damnation! O!” -Line 397. This shows that Iago has successfully convinced Othello of Desdemona and Cassio’s love.

Throughout this scene, Othello’s sentences slowly become short and uneasy, specifically after Iago reminds him that Desdemona deceived her own father by going off with Othello. “Not a jot, not a jot” -Line 217. This suggests Othello’s powerlessness in the situation, compared to Iago, who has complete control of the situation. Othello also uses short sentences when replying to Desdemona after Iago has planted the doubt in his mind. “I am to blame” -Line 284. This shows that Iago has slowly managed to gain power over Othello by planting doubt in Othello’s mind.

Within Act 3 Scene 3 of Othello, stage directions are also used to show Iago’s gain of power. After Iago has successfully polluted Othello’s mind, Othello becomes distraught and kneels whilst Iago remains standing. “He kneels”- Page 77. Shakespeare does this to show Othello as being low whilst Iago is standing above him. This shows Othello’s fall form power whilst Iago gains power over Othello. Later, Iago also kneels with Othello and the rise together. “he kneels” and “they rise” -Page 78. This symbolizes how Iago has managed to bring Othello down to his own level by making Othello an angry and jealous man.

Emotive language plays a large part in Othello’s downfall. Iago tears Othello’s mind apart by giving ideas that prove that Desdemona and Cassio’s love but then reaffirms his Love for Othello but them reassures Othello that he is there for him and that he loves him. “my nobel lord”-Line 94 “honest my lord” -Line 103 and “I humbly do beseech you of your pardon for to much loving you”- Line 215. Despite what Iago has told him, Othello always chooses to believe that Iago is a honest man. “This fellow’s of exceeding honesty and knows all qualities, with a learned spirit, of human dealings.” -Line 260-263. This shows that Iago has successfully manipulated Othello’s mind, showing the power that Iago has over Othello.

Othello from this Act 3 scene 3 onwards is seen as disheveled and lost in his thoughts. This shows Iago’s gain of power over Othello. Shakespeare showed Iago’s gain of power over Othello through emotive language, short sentences, dialogue and stage directions.

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