Repeated imperatives begin the speech: 'Come hither' (2.1.206), 'Lay thy finger thus', 'let thy soul be instructed', 'Mark me' (2.1.212). She is currently writing GCSE literature resources for HarperCollins Education. But a historicist reading could examine his depiction of women as a product of his time and culture. In William Shakespeare’s The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice, he is a sinister force which steers virtuous people towards … She has taught English at sixth form and secondary schools in London, and has created education packs for Years 4–6 for Fuel Theatre. There is no evidence for adultery except that Cassio is 'a slipper and a subtle knave' (2.1.229), his slipperiness emphasised by the sibilance, and that Desdemona was seen to 'paddle with the palm of his hand' (2.1.240–41). www.photostage.co.uk. 3. Like all people, real and imagined, he's got some flaws. Your views could help shape our site for the future. How does Iago present himself to Othello? Iago also broken the bond of Roderigo and Cassio. 7 Desdemona is graphically portrayed as rejecting continued ‘consumption’ of Othello: 'her delicate tenderness will find itself abused, begin to heave the gorge, disrelish and abhor the Moor' (2.1.221–22). Shakespeare uses prose for many reasons: for comic or intimate exchanges, for lowly characters, for convention-defying princes such as Hamlet. Through some carefully thought-out words and actions, Iago is able to manipulate others to do things in a way that benefits him and moves him closer toward his objectives. Iago is portrayed, through Roderigo's compliance, as masterful and persuasive, laying the ground for the ease with which he later poisons Othello's mind. Iago’s use of words against people begins during the start of the play where he is talking to Roderigo. Jacobean portrayals often reduce women to saints, mothers or whores. excessively conceited or absorbed in oneself; self-centered. Emilia and Iago’s relationship is extremely unbalanced. The circular structure of the speech reinforces his enclosed grip of Roderigo. Sinai, and Moses asks God his name. Roderigo especially follows Iago orders; "That Thou, Iago, who hast had my purse As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this (Diyanni)”. This is the weakness that Iago exploits when Iago gets Cassio drunk and sends him off to fight Roderigo. The Jacobean ideal of total chastity leaves Desdemona vulnerable to an unforgiving male gaze. While a Jacobean audience would already know Othello is black by the use of the word ‘Moor’, a modern audience less familiar with the term would be clued in by Iago’s vivid descriptions. Iago, in a later scene, holding the handkerchief that will become a vital part of his plan. However, such extreme misogyny is the preserve of villains in Jacobean drama, suggesting that they, and Iago, overstep the mark. In this key passage (2.1.191–254), Iago persuades Roderigo that Desdemona loves Cassio. The prose allows Iago to produce a persuasive outpouring and release repetitious piles of images designed to bury Roderigo's weak objections. Presented by the speech and actions of all characters, the modern audience can construct a character sketch of Othello that contains all the elements stated above. In fact, Iago's misogyny pales in comparison to some found in contemporary dramas, such as Ben Jonson’s Volpone, also set in Venice, and John Ford’s 'Tis Pity She's a Whore. (Aside) O, you are well tuned now! The action of Emilia handing over the handkerchief to Iago unknowingly sets in motion the ultimate end to their marriage. Another function of the vivid language that is used to describe Othello is to aid the audience’s perception of … Words to Describe iago As you've probably noticed, adjectives for " iago " are listed above. Iago's misogyny has been plain earlier in the scene and builds here: young women are portrayed as foolish, having an innately sexualised 'nature' (2.1.222–23) and whorish for touching hands, even for thinking. Iago’s true intentions are never revealed to other characters – it is only through sneaking asides and hate-filled soliloquies that we are given access to his plots. egotistical. feeling or showing suspicion of someone's unfaithfulness in … Perhaps the most interesting and exotic character in the tragic play "Othello," by William Shakespeare, is "Honest" Iago. Iago's power over Roderigo is emphasised through his sentence structure. In this image, Iago suggests gagging and retching, which, along with the concept of 'abused' 'tenderness', has connotations of disgust with oral sex. (2.1.158) – more telling. Iago refers to Othello not by his name but as 'the Moor', calling him 'the devil' (2.1.216) and 'defective' (2.1.220), a racist portrayal which makes Desdemona's unfaithfulness more believable to Roderigo. With Roderigo's extended silence, it too feels like an extended aside. In Act 2, Scene 1 of Othello, Iago formulates his plan to drive Othello mad. Iago started this because he was jealous of Othello because he was not made lieutenant, and Cassio was. Click on a word above to view its definition. 1812 Words | 8 Pages. (2.1.191–93). Food imagery abounds. Usage terms © Donald Cooper / Photostage His control of their heartstrings mirrors his control of Roderigo’s purse strings (1.1.2–3). Indeed, Iago's argument itself is construed in the language of female reproduction, described as a 'most pregnant and unforced position' (2.1.224) that reminds us of the Jacobean archetype of the perfect yet paradoxical woman, the virgin mother. This angers Iago—Cassio's kissing Emilia in front of Iago is a bad idea. “Wit depends on dilatory time.” — Iago (2.3.373) Devesting: To take away, or remove the clothing. A storm has dispersed the Venetian fleet so that Cassio arrives first, anxious for Othello's safety. IAGO: For whiles this honest fool plies Desdemona to repair his fortunes, and she for him pleads strongly to the Moor. Roderigo dismisses it as 'courtesy' but admits he 'did' see it. Cassio functions mainly to move the plot forward by inadvertently becoming a pawn in Iago’s plan. Like a devouring sexual animal, Desdemona will need an attractive man 'to give satiety a fresh appetite' (2.1.217–18). She’s full of most blessed condition’, the sheer volume – and forcefulness – of Iago’s words obscure the illogical reasoning and overpower Roderigo. Retorting, 'The wine she drinks is made of grapes' (2.1.238), Iago implies that Desdemona is just like all women – women who consume and indulge in gluttonous pleasures. Iago tells Brabantio that Othello steals Desdemona from him by force. Othello by William Shakespeare depicts feminism through the oppression of women by the characters Cassio, Othello, and Iago. Iago In Shakespeares Othello Essay 929 Words | 4 Pages. He is immoral, but very perceptive, keen, and able to manipulate people into falling for his deceptions. And the trap itself is so subtle as to be almost hidden: all Iago asks is whether Roderigo saw Desdemona 'paddle' Cassio's hand, a playful word echoing the image of 'sport' and also Cassio’s supposedly watery nature. What news does Cassio bring to Othello? Why not take a few moments to tell us what you think of our website? The contrast is stark between Othello's stately verse (2.1.194–204), and Iago's sneaking prose. 1042 Words | 5 Pages. Yet earlier Iago tells us it is Cassio who 'takes her by the palm' (2.1.163). Iago's base reduction figures sex as hunger: 'her eye must be fed' (2.1.215). Although Roderigo counters, ‘I cannot believe that in her. Yet Iago is aware that he is a "super subtle venetian" and reveals to the audience "I am not what I am" 6 Iago's last line in the play to show his true evil nature. His words are his sword. This conflation of honesty with soldierly bluntness disadvantages Desdemona, who can never communicate her honesty in this manner. Shakespeare’s Iago A depraved soul would generate chaos, inflict pain, and stir up trouble for its own satisfaction. Here, Iago's prose feels like a loosening, like a man undoing his belt a notch. behaving in an untrustworthy or fraudulent way. Emilia blames the man in the relationship for driving her to it. the supposed sexual activity of Desdemona and Cassio. In Othello, the Moor was easily able to call his friend, Iago, “honest Iago.” Whereas in society, honesty is often times questioned due to the lack of knowledge. jealous. One of these is his ability to enter terrible images into the person's head using descriptive and vile words. When he is with Othello he acts all respectful but with others he really shows his manipulative side. 2007). First, he's a lightweight when it comes to drinking. Iago portrays desire in low terms, with reductive language: Desdemona's adoration is 'violence', Othello's wooing tales are 'bragging ... lies'. Nothing has actually happened. Iago portrays desire in low terms, with reductive language: Desdemona's adoration is 'violence', Othello's wooing tales are 'bragging ... lies'. He even draws Roderigo's conclusions for him, using the language of instructive discipline to describe imagined adultery: 'when these mutualities so marshal the way, hard at hand comes the master and main exercise' (2.1.246–48). Engaged earlier in complex word-play with Cassio and Desdemona, he can now relax into an easier deception: false intimacy with Roderigo. How were the Jews regarded in 16th-century England? CASEY KALEBA: There is another repetitive word used to describe a character, this time in reference to Othello. Iago’s co-conspirator, Roderigo, has less access to his diabolical plans than we do, despite Iago posing as his benefactor with astonishingly little effort: 'Pish! The text in this article is available under the Creative Commons License. Commonly used words are shown in bold. (2.1.238). 7. Describe the relationship between Emilia and Iago. An illustration of Act Two, Scene 1 of Othello. Iago looks on as Othello and Desdemona greet each other. Rare words are dimmed. Iago undoubtedly fits this description seeing that he is a sadist who attains power by annihilating others in cruel and unusual ways. There are 53 other words to describe iago listed above. Iago’s reputation for straightforward honesty is the foundation of his deceptions. Iago is not like those men who loyally serve their masters all their lives and then are fired when they're too old to work. Iago and Roderigo describe Othello at the start of the play, without even naming him, using his racial difference to identify him, referring to him as “the Moor”, “an old black ram”. The prose also contrasts with Iago's scene-closing soliloquy (2.1.267–93), where the constrained verse follows his precise, if delusional, reasoning. dishonest. Description of the Jewish Ghetto and the courtesans of Venice in, Coleridge's annotated copy of Shakespeare, Photograph of Joanna Vanderham and Hugh Quarshie in, Galleries, Reading Rooms, shop and catering opening times vary. If I remember correctly, he swears by Janus, the two faced god, which is fitting because this is what Iago … Through some carefully thought-out words and actions, Iago is able to manipulate others to do things in a way that benefits him and moves him closer toward his goals. Find Iago’s use of “taboo words.” 8. To begin, Cassio portrays how superior he is to Bianca through his actions and words. This is a contemporary obscenity, figs being associated with the female vulva. Iago's envious depiction of Cassio as 'handsome' and 'young', while assigning him his own character traits – 'a knave', 'the mere form of ... seeming' (2.1.227), 'a finder out of occasions' (2.1.229–30) – implies he has a jealous nature. Her speeches are not as lengthy as those of the men, but with Desdemona, every word counts. This aside also encapsulates his keen sense of irony (‘As honest as I am’, 2.1.193) and the role of the audience. 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His speech plays upon stereotypes, revealing the dangerous underbelly of his earlier misogynistic ‘jokes’. All are instructions to be quiet and listen, which Roderigo submissively obeys. Second, Cassio's a little too much of a lady's man. Honest is used in Shakespeare’s play, Othello, as well as in society to describe… “But I do think it is their husband’s faults If wives do fall.” This speaks volumes for her relationship with Iago and does insinuate that she would not be averse to the idea of an affair; which corroborates the rumors about her and Othello, although she denies them. Iago is showing more signs of being a vile human being and that the jealousy has consumed him if he will actually put someone in danger (Bevington, D. Please consider the environment before printing, All text is © British Library and is available under Creative Commons Attribution Licence except where otherwise stated. As honest as I am. that the duke wants to see Othello, as there is some trouble with the cyprus colony. It also provides a closing irony to the passage – nothing will be 'well' on Cyprus any more. God replies: "I am that I … In this manner, we are colluders, silent witnesses of his evil, failing to intervene. Iago says (I.1, 65) "I am not what I am," which can be interpreted as "I am not what I seem." Iago makes it clear that his object is discord. Iago uses various methods to manipulate the characters. Iago’s crude language is excused as that of a straightforward soldier, with Cassio allowing, 'He speaks home, madam; you may relish him more in the soldier than in the scholar' (2.1.161–62). But sir, you be ruled by me' (2.1.248). The term honest is a word that is easy to describe yet often times difficult to portray. Commonly used words are shown in bold.Rare words are dimmed. Click on a word above to view its definition. Iago's rage against female sexuality may therefore be just one example of his spiteful attacks on ‘otherness’ to soothe his sense of social impotence. Alexandra Melville is a writer and educator. Iago's base reduction figures sex as hunger: 'her eye must be fed' (2.1.215). But Iago's salacious language is just that – words. "Demand me nothing. Find all the references in I, 1 of Othello as a devil. Cunning, deceiving, and intelligent. Attention grabber. Find all the examples in I, 1, of Iago referring to the sex in terms of animals. As he reminds us in his following soliloquy, ‘knavery’s plain face is never seen till used' (2.1.267). Iago's food imagery contains sexual innuendo: 'Blest fig's end!' Through Iago's language, Roderigo is duped into mis-seeing – a trick Othello will later fall for. “To such exsufflicate and blown surmises.” — Othello (3.3.182) Grange: A … Having set himself up as Roderigo's instructor, Iago goes on to lecture him through a series of questions, mainly rhetorical. In the RSC’s production, both Othello and Iago were played by black actors, altering the impact of Iago’s most racist lines. What you know, you know. Shakespeare shifts the action from Venice to Cyprus. Explanation to attention grabber. He only manages three (2.1.211, 236, 242) before conceding with an unconvincing 'Well' (2.1.256), perfectly expressive of his spinelessness. amorality, duplicity, cynicism, pride, and of course, ego. The metaphor of Othello and Desdemona as ‘well tuned’ string instruments (2.1.191–92) portrays their current harmony but also implies their vulnerability: it is not difficult for Iago to ‘set down the pegs’ – fiddle with the tuning keys – of their relationship. From this time forth I never will speak word." In other words, what appearance does he present? Organize by: [Relation] Letters: Show rare words: [Yes] No: Show phrases: [Yes] No: See desdemona used in context: 2 rhymes, 12 Shakespeare works, several books and articles. Iago has been selfish and … After the interchange between desdemona and iago in act II scene I Asked by Kimberly V #743541 on 1/16/2018 4:20 AM Last updated by Aslan on 1/16/2018 7:33 PM For all the claims of military straightforwardness of some other characters, Desdemona is the most direct and honest speaker in the play. Iago uses alcohol here to fuel anger. 2. Iago has been to blame for the downfall of Othello because he is the one that created the jealousy within Othello. In the speech he dwells on body parts – eyes, hands, lips, blood – and the 'act of sport' (2.1.217), i.e. — Iago (1.1.66) Dilatory: Causing to delay or procrastinate. His language is heavily ironic, repeatedly calling Cassio a ‘knave’, though we know this is the role Iago himself gleefully identifies with. Like a devouring sexual animal, Desdemona will need an attractive man 'to give satiety a fresh appetite' (2.1.217–18). Iago's speech is in prose, like many of his asides. The image of discordant music is a fitting one for his actions, as Iago’s success lies in his ability to distort and pervert what should be other characters’ most positive traits: Othello’s passionate honour, Desdemona’s commitment, Cassio’s courtesy. The group wait, bantering on the topic of women. Iago is misogynistic. Desdemona arrives later with Iago and Emilia. Alcohol is known for causing trouble, and trouble is what Cassio is in for under Iago's care (Othello. 9. Desdemona is relieved by Othello’s arrival and the joyful party depart, leaving Iago with Roderigo. Later, it will ensnare Othello: 'give thy worst of thoughts / the worst of words' (3.3.133–34). He acts two faced. Iago can convince anyone to see what his wants them to see, he did that with Desdemona father, Roderigo, and Othello. Racial and female stereotypes also dominate. Cassio’s thoughts, feelings, and motivations are rarely revealed, but his character and behavior are significant for creating the conditions under which Iago can enact his plan. 6. It has even been suggested that Iago is literally impotent, causing his embittered sexual jealously. It certainly makes Desdemona's retort to Iago earlier in the scene – 'Oh, most lame and impotent conclusion!' But, away from his superiors, Iago’s crudeness becomes obsessively salacious. Choose Yes please to open the survey in a new browser window or tab, and then complete it when you are ready. Her honesty in this manner, we are colluders, silent witnesses of his and... In Shakespeares Othello Essay 929 words | 4 Pages, cynicism, pride, and able to manipulate into. 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The examples in I, 1 of Othello as a devil women to saints, mothers whores! Plain face is never seen till used ' ( 2.1.248 ) been suggested that Iago literally! Or tab, and of course, ego the play lady 's man, mothers or whores of! His evil, failing to intervene first, anxious for Othello 's verse. … Act 1: Scene 2 1, real and imagined, he can now relax into easier. Language, Roderigo is emphasised through his sentence structure through his actions and.! Comes to drinking tells Brabantio that Othello steals Desdemona from him by.... ( 2.1.163 ) purse strings ( 1.1.2–3 ) words are dimmed a character, this time in reference Othello. Impotent, causing his embittered sexual jealously is just that – words words ' ( 3.3.133–34.. Did throughout the course of the play set himself up as Roderigo 's,... Here, Iago ’ s plain face is never seen till used ' ( 2.1.215 ) unknowingly sets motion... The thick lips ” arrives first, he 's got some flaws by the palm ' ( )! Place of a lady 's man most lame and impotent conclusion! over handkerchief!