Shakespeare’s presentation of Iago and Othello

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In Act 1 Scene 1, we see how Iago's beginning character unfolds. He stirs up Brabantio's anger but says it was actually Roderigo. Iago starts by shouting " Awake! What ho, Brabantio! Thieves, Thieves...Thieves Thieves." Brabantio gets annoyed because he is woken by the noise, and being disturbed when sleeping. Brabantio says " Upon malicious bravery dost thou come to start my quiet" Brabantio at first does not recognise Roderigo's voice but is annoyed at the disturbance. Brabantio then tells Roderigo to go away, so Iago has changed the blame from him to Roderigo. From this conversation, Iago is shown to have control over events and setting up scenes as he says, "Do with like timorous accent", which means he is trying to make fear and liven up the danger as there as been a robbery. Iago tries to cause a scene of this.

" My spirit and my place have in them power to make this bitter to thee" Iago in this scene says he is going to still follow Othello despite him wanting revenge.

Iago says "Even now,now,very now, an old black ram"- he is referring to Othello as a black ram which is racist and he is comparing him to Desdemona because he calls her a white ram. He makes Brabantio angry because he says if you do not anything quick then you'll be a grandfather.

"Whether I in any just term am affin'd to love the moor" He says why does he have to follow the Moor, when he has got no reason to like Othello. In this scene, you can see the play unfolding because Iago says he is serving his master on what he can get out of it for himself, for example money.

"I follow him to serve my turn upon him" In Iago's speech from lines 41 - 66, he says that he will expose his true feelings to everyone about Othello. Iago says he does not actually follow Othello but he follows himself.

" In following him, I follow but myself" Roderigo is racist towards Othello in this scene as he refers to him as having thick lips, it is a not a pleasant comment as it is of Othello's colour.

Iago puts on an act to pretend to serve for Othello, " I must show out a flag and sign of love...Lead to the Sagittary the raised search; And there will I be with him. So farewell" Iago is making a comment that the sign of centaur is half human and half horse which is a comment about Othello because he does not class him as human as he is not white.

Shakespeare seems to creating Iago as an opposite of Othello. Iago is seen as a liar, a betrayer, the straight forward villain. In society, Iago wears a mask, he comes forward as a trust worthy friend but in actual fact is bitter with jealousy about Cassio being promoted above him.

In Act 1 Scene 2, it's Othello's first appearance. Othello's real character is a kind honest man and a good soldier who has had years of experience, but in Scene 1 Iago makes out that Othello is a bad person. He is racist towards him when talking to Roderigo and tells Roderigo that he is only following him for his own purpose. He makes out that Othello is not good enough for Desdemona and tries to get Brabantio to do something about it. Iago is very racist towards Othello and calls him a beast with two backs and a Barbary horse which is in animalistic terms which is a comment on Othello's race because a Barbary horse is from Africa.

In Act 1 Scene 3, Othello says that he has not witched Desdemona but has married her for who she is.

" It is most true, true I have married her" Othello creates a mood of honesty in his speech, and of his opinions and role in Venetian society.

When Othello is talking from lines 127- 169 he gives you the impression he is much older than Desedmona because of the experience he has had on the battlefields and that he managed to escape slavery.

" From year to year - the battles, sieges, fortunes that I have pass'd....and sold to slavery of my redemption thence" Othello's and Desdemona's relationship seems to that they are very close and that Desdemona is very fond of Othello. Othello says " This to hear would Desdemona seriously incline" he is saying that Desdemona would listen to anything that he would say. Desdemona has fallen in love with Othello's storytelling of his battles and his hardships in life.

" That I would all my pilgrimage dilate" It shows that she is attracted strongly and would do anything for him. She seems clearly moved the story of Othello's life.

" She swore, in faith, 'twas strange,'twas passing strange....she wish'd she has not heard it" Othello seems to be like a teacher figure to Desdemona and he is rather a father figure than a husband. He can discuss freely with her is past and his feelings.

Also, Othello says " She lov'd me for the dangers I had pass'd And I lov'd her that she did pity them" Othello says that he loves Desdemona and that he likes telling her the stories of his past which shows some of his character, which is the opposite of what Iago made him out to be in scene 1.

Desdemona seems to be in charge of the household.

"But still the house affairs would draw her thence." The Duke clearly did want Othello as a son in law but made the effort to accept it and got on with things.

" take up this mangled matter best" The Duke only wants his daughter to be happy but was scared that Othello was stealing her off him but in actually fact the two lovers loved each other and the Duke could do nothing about it. Othello is normally name as "the Moor" in scene 1 and is seen as someone different from the rest of them. Othello isn't a Venetian but is black and gets a lot of abuse. For example for Brabantio, " Where we may apprehend her and the Moor." Othello is classed as different but is the same as anyone just a different colour. He's spent a long life not being in the service of Venice, so he is a newcomer, so people will class him differently.

Iago says that most Venetian women commit adultery so he plays on Othello's mind. Othello really does love Desdemona and couldn't believe that she would do such a thing but Iago forces him to believe that she would. Othello seems insecure about the subject because he is an older man who has married a younger woman.

He refers to Iago many times as "honest Iago", a view that Shakespeare has made that you will maintain through the play, when in fact you know that Iago isn't made out to what Othello thinks he is. Othello doesn't seem to be very good at working out what people are like, because Iago seems to stir up many situations, for example between Roderigo and Brabantio in Scene 1, and easily turning the blame away from him. He is also very good at manipulating people which Othello doesn't seem to be able to see and that he is actually being manipulated on too, because of Iago telling him Desdemona has committed adultery when she hasn't.

Othello and Iago have some common characteristics, they both suffer from jealousy. Iago suffers from sexual jealousy and he poisons Othello's mind so Othello gets jealous about Desdemona's affair.

They are both provisional soldiers, and taken their wives abroad with them. They both feel betrayed by their waves and eventually they both kill their wives and they bring about their own destruction when Othello soon realises what Iago has done by poisoning his mind.

Although, through out the play Iago is someone who keeps himself in control of situations. Othello seems very pressured and cracks up into pieces because he can't handle it.

From Iago's soliloquy he says "Thus do I ever make my fool my purse, For I mine own gain'd knowledge should profane. If I would time expend with such a snipe but for my sport and profit".

Iago reveals he is only helping Roderigo, using and exploiting him for the money he can get. Iago is a very betraying person, he hasn't just betrayed Othello but now Roderigo us well. Iago says that Roderigo is too familiar with his wife, Iago is jealous of us and wants to put a stop to it. Shakespeare presents Iago as a jealous, betraying, angry man that wha This quote refers to Cassio because Iago is planning to get at Cassio as well as Othello. Iago is going to try and make Othello believe Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair, and that Desdemona is committing adultery. Iago refers in his soliloquy that Othello and his wife Emilia are sleeping together, although Iago says it is not true and is just a rumour but he still wants revenge.

"I hate the Moor, and it is though abroad that 'twixt my sheets. He's done my office. I know not if't be true Yet I for mere suspicion in that kind will do as if for surety....The better shall my purpose work on him" Through the play, Iago is going to exploit Othello by letting Othello trust him. Othello refers to Iago as "honest, honest Iago". On line 83 of the soliloquy Iago calls Cassio " a proper man". Cassio is known as a handsome man, so it would be easy for him to make Cassio a lover for Desdemona to have an apparent affair with. In his speech, he says that he is going to make a fool out of Othello and he plans to reduce Othello to the state of jealousy he feels.

From this soliloquy, it emerges the real Iago, because throughout the play Iago is the on that Othello honestly trusts and Iago betrays him and exploits him as a fool. Iago clearly shows that he is jealous of Othello and of the power that he holds.

In the soliloquy it show's Iago's real attitude towards Othello, as Iago says "I hate the Moor In this scene it shows that Iago is not a very nice person and in some respects is evil. Iago thinks that he is undervalued and has a huge regard for himself and expects himself to be higher in rank. Cassio is a seemed friend to Iago and Iago has the desire for his place and will do anything to get it.

Also in this soliquay it shows his hatred for Othello and his desire for manipulating people. This shows the real Iago and how much he wants power for himself, and he joys the actual power that he has over people. Othello reacts to Iago very calmly, never showing any temper inside of him.