Essay by Jennifer ScottCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 1996

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*Othello is a tense, closely-knit play, with an ever-increasing emotional scene. The

character Iago, Othello's ancient, is the cause of all the tragedy which comes to pass

as the play progresses. He is a manipulator, opposing Othello not directly, but

through other characters whom he tricks. From his actions throughout the play one

sees that Iago was gifted at using other people, to further his own schemes.

*Act One, Scene One is the most important because it foreshadows the whole

drama. Iago gives the reader warning that he is not all that he seems when he says,

'I am not what I am' (I,i). He appears to help Roderigo, a suitor to Desdemona, who

has run off with Othello, the Moorish general of the Venetian army. Iago hates

Othello for another reason. instead of choosing him to be his lieutenant, Othello

chose Cassio. In the end of scene, Iago and Roderigo have informed Brabantio

about his daughter's elopement.

Then they went to confront Othello with this


*At the beginning of Scene Two of Act One, Iago gives advice to Othello and lets him

know what is about to happen. Shortly after their talk Brabantio confronts Othello

about stealing his daughter. Then they all went and saw the Duke. Othello defends

himself and asks if Desdemona can testify on the behalf of him. Othello tells how

that the only 'witchcraft' he used were his stories, and how Brabantio used to invite

him up to tell them. Finally, Brabantio disowns Desdemona and she goes to be with


*Near the end of the first scene of the second act, Iago convinces Roderigo, who

was observing Cassio's enthusiastic greeting of Desdemona, that Cassio and

Desdemona have something going on between them. Thus manipulating Roderigo...