How is Othello presented in Act 3 Scene 3?
Act 3 scene 3 is one of the most important scenes in the whole play and one of the most well known scenes in the world of theatre. In it, Iago speaks carefully and at length with Othello and plants the seeds of suspicion and jealousy, which eventually bring about the tragic events of the play. Ironically, it is Desdemona’s innocent attempt to reconcile Othello with Cassio that gives Iago the opportunity to get his revenge on Othello, thereby causing the murder and suicide that bring this tragedy to its violent conclusion.
Othello is a black, valiant and respected general, who seems to be a very dignified and eloquent gentleman. On the other hand, Iago is a very bitter, jealous white man who sets out for the title of lieutenant and stops at nothing to achieve it. In act 3 scene 3 we are fully exposed to Iago’s malicious actions that play on Othello’s insecurities.
Iago is constantly using Othello’s insecurities to achieve his wish, in act 3 scene 3. Othello’s soliloquy represents the psychological tipping point of the play. Up until this point Othello is characterized as a sturdy, brave and devoted husband, but from this point on, the audience witness Othello’s murderous intent and his personality disintegrate. The soliloquy opens with the most ironic of statements: “This fellow’s of exceeding honesty” he is talking about Iago’s trustworthiness. The constant use of the word “honest” (a key theme in this scene) and its attachment to Iago, emphasize him as a reliable person in the other characters eyes, but in fact for the audience we are exposed to his true dark, evil nature. It also highlights Othello’s unquestioning nature and a slight sense of naivety. Othello’s appraisal of Iago is correct, as Iago does know “all qualities of human dealings” he uses this knowledge in order to manipulate, rather than help others. Iago identifies every point of each character he can take advantage of, and by doing so is able...
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