How Does Shakespeare Present The Character Of Iago In Act I, And Prepare The Audience For His Part In Othello’s Downfall?

2639 words - 11 pages

‘Othello’, also known as ‘The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice’ is a play written by William Shakespeare, somewhere between 1601 and 1604. It is a tragedy set in Venice and Cyprus, with a strong and respected soldier, Othello, playing the protagonist; although some critics argue that the play should have been named ‘Iago’ after the treacherous villain whose role is at least as important as the protagonist’s. The play is the heart-rending tale of a black Venetian soldier, who is excellent at his occupation, but would still collect negative sentiments towards him due to his colour, and African ancestry (which is constant throughout the play with terms like, ‘Moor’, and ‘Devil’ being used to describe him and his characteristics, somewhat ironically as Iago is the true devil of the play). This grand soldier marries the lady whom he wooed with stories of his triumphs, Desdemona, despite the negative scrutiny the marriage would of received at that time. Iago tells Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, and he is furious – so much so that he takes the matter to the duke, as it is his belief that Othello tricked his daughter, with black magic and love spells. The duke sides with Othello, and the action soon moves to Cyprus where a war was supposedly breaking out. Whilst in Cyprus Iago, with the help of his ‘Goon’ Roderigo, stirs rumours and deceives the others to the extent of forcing the once respectable soldier to murdering his new wife. As well as tricking and manipulating many other characters along the way. The most disturbing truth about Iago’s wrong doings is the fact that he seemed to take pleasure in torturing his ‘Friends’ (probably better described as puppets, or tools), even his own wife, Emilia.

Othello’s character undergoes a rapid yet gruelling change throughout the play; he flickers from a well-spoken, respected soldier, to a vulgar and foolish lunatic, who spews profanities at the woman he once desired. After ‘Honest Iago’ sows a seed of doubt in his mind with regards to the virtue of his bride, his feelings towards her arduously change, and he sees the woman he fell in love with for the fact that ‘She did pity’ him for the troubles he undertook in his lifetime, as nothing more than a ‘Lewd minx’, with a bosom that ‘Tis of aspics tongues’. Othello’s change in character is especially tragic for the audience to watch, as we know he is wrong, and that he is being deluded by Not-So-Honest-Iago.

Unfortunately for Othello and Desdemona, the felon Iago’s character doesn’t falter whatsoever throughout the play, and he never once regrets his spiteful actions. Iago’s character is one which is difficult to interpret, not because he is deep and philosophical, but because he is very clever, and the fact that he is intelligent makes it awfully difficult for us to comprehend why he feels as though he should hurt the people around him through manipulation and trickery – he is always lying, and deceiving the other characters with his two faced...

Find Another Essay On How Does Shakespeare Present the Character of Iago in Act I, and Prepare the Audience for His Part in Othello’s Downfall?

How does Shakespeare establish theme, character and plot in Act One of "As You Like It" ?

1186 words - 5 pages essential to the vitality of the plot. In Act One, we are introduced to a varied array of characters: Rosalind, Celia and Touchstone are witty and perceptive, Orlando is passionate and noble, and the Duke and Oliver are villainous and jealous.The play begins in a curious, if not clumsy, manner, with Orlando's words: "As I remember Adam, it was upon this fashion...", followed by a description of Orlando's background. Here we see Shakespeare grown so

How Shakespeare interests and entertains the audience in Act 2- Scenes 1 and 2.

638 words - 3 pages Macbeth was about to commit he has planned together with his wife, as the guards would need to be drugged so they can fall asleep.Comparing Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, they are both partners in crime for the murder of Duncan. They are good together and act as a good couple towards the other actors in the whole play.Shakespeare uses words to interest the audience such as "wicked" and "witchcraft" which shows them that it is good to listen to and

How Shakespeare Makes the Audience Aware of Cleopatra's Infinite Variety in the Opening Act

3177 words - 13 pages How Shakespeare Makes the Audience Aware of Cleopatra's Infinite Variety in the Opening Act Cleopatra was a talented mistress who used her feminine charm for personal gain. She was seductive, lustful, flirtatious, and sarcastic, she had courage, and she was jealous, spiteful, very violent and impatient. She was a woman of many contrasts, facets and changing moods. Shakespeare shows these different aspects of her character

How does Aeneas present himself and his people in Book 2 of the Aeneid?

2954 words - 12 pages 'purpose was to open Troy to the Greeks . . . to spin his web.' Sinon tricks them in to taking pity for him, saying that because the Greeks sacrificed Iphigeneia, a Trojan, they had to sacrifice a Greek in return, and Sinon was chosen as the victim, but he escaped. This story fits in with the Trojan view of Greeks as 'barbarians' and Aeneas describes how the Trojans pitied him, and believed his lies: 'we spared him and even began to pity him.' As a

Discuss the character of Iago. Consider both the nature of his character and HOW it is conveyed. Othello by William Shakespeare

1158 words - 5 pages with those who surround him. He is the image of the soldier, frank, down-to-earth if a little vulgar in speech, "honest" and loyal. It is how Iago wants to be seen and, until the end of the play, how the characters see him. The audience knows that he is a cynical man who really does not mean what he says. In Act I, Iago stirs up Brabantio - without being seen - against Othello, saying, "I am one sir, that comes to tell you your daughter / and the

'Othello' by William Shakespere. Explore the character and role of Iago in 'Othello', focusing particularly on his dramatic impact in Act 3 Scene 3.

2699 words - 11 pages PEOPLE: I got an A* for this essay, in england that's the highest you can get but i'm only 15 so it may not be that amazing.The play ?Othello?, written in the 17th century by William Shakespeare is a tragic play involving romance, love, murder and deceit. Iago, one of the main characters, other than Othello, is very conniving and egotistical. He is very sly in his ways and he will do anything to be more powerful, not caring about whom he hurts

How does Shakespeare present love and hate in Act 1 scene 1 and Act 1 scene 5?

1419 words - 6 pages love for his cousin, "so please you, step aside; I'll no his grievance, or be much denied." All these types of love were within the family. One, which was not, was Romeo's 'supposed' love for Rosaline, "I do love a women". At the end of act 1 scene 1, Romeo enters and explains of his undying love for Rosaline, the only problem is, she does not like Romeo and rejects his love, "she'll not be hit with cupids arrow". In act 1 scene 2, Benvolio suggests

Shakespeare has many ways of introducing his heroes. Take the opening Act of one play and show how Shakespeare creates his character and establishes his qualities.

1408 words - 6 pages In William Shakespeare's "Hamlet", the main character is introduced in a number of ways. In Act I of the play, Hamlet is mainly established by his words and actions, and his predicament. They portray Hamlet's loyalty, intelligence, courage, his concept of morality and ability to express himself. These qualities are also shown through the drama of the play, such as the soliloquies.One of the main qualities portrayed within Hamlet's character by

How does Shakespeare create comic effect in the first part of the play?

858 words - 3 pages Comedy in Twelfth NightHenry Eshel 1ES2How does Shakespeare create comic effect in the first part of the play?Twelfth Night is a comedy by Shakespeare. It is also known as "What You Will", which prepares the audience for a jovial atmosphere, consisting of drink, dance, and giving in to general self-indulgence. Often said to be one of Shakespeare's more 'mature' comedies, it would be interesting to see just how he creates this comic effect in the

"Macbeth": Discuss the soliloquy in Act III, i. How does Shakespeare convey the change in Macbeth since the soliloquy in Act I, vii?

1377 words - 6 pages mind for the first time in the play through his first soliloquy. At this point, the audience is curious to find out how he responds to the prophecy of the witches, and the seductions of his wife. In this soliloquy, he is yet, "th'innocent flower" and moreover, he displays his judiciousness as a brave warrior by contemplating the consequences of murdering the King: something Lady Macbeth does not bother to do in her attempt to convert her husband

How does Conan Doyle present the character of Watson in the Sherlock

1043 words - 4 pages How does Conan Doyle present the character of Watson in the Sherlock Holmes stories? Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859, in Edinburgh and was educated at Stony Hurst College and the University of Edinburgh. From 1882 to 1890 he practiced medicine in Southsea, England. His first novel, A Study in Scarlet, the first of 60 stories featuring Sherlock Holmes, appeared in 1887. this helped boost the start of the crime genre. For a while he

Similar Essays

'in Act 1 Of Macbeth How Does Shakespeare Prepare The Audience For The Evil That Will Follow?' By William Shakespeare

2240 words - 9 pages Sonu Vinay 10R English Coursework Mrs. WilliamsMacbeth Essay Literature 4'In Act 1 of Macbeth how does Shakespeare prepare the audience for the evil that w ill follow?'William Shakespeare, an English playwright, often started his plays with powerful scenes and mood-setting action. Act 1 of 'Macbeth' is no exception to the traditional important and exciting Shakespearean introductions.Shakespeare wrote 'Macbeth' as a tribute to King James, the

How Does Shakespeare Prepare The Audience For Macbeth’s Eventual Capitulation To The Forces Of Evil In Act 1

1280 words - 5 pages How does Shakespeare prepare the audience for Macbeth's eventual capitulation to the forces of evil in Act 1 In his play "˜Macbeth', Shakespeare shows us the tragedy of how a basically good man, once "˜full o' the milk of human kindness', gives way to the forces of evil and commits dreadful crimes such as ordering the murder of lady Macduff and her children, and is subsequently destroyed.As the opening act progresses Shakespeare makes

How Does Shakespeare Explore Genre, Themes And The Character Of Jacques In Act 2 Scene 1 Of His Play "As You Like It"?

730 words - 3 pages simultaneously mock Jacques and use him as a tool for truth. Possibly Shakespeare's mockery comes from viewing Jacques' exaggerated melancholy as simply another form of artifice - certainly Jacques appears to revel overmuch in his sadness ("I can suck melancholy out of a song as a weasel sucks eggs").The general feeling of Act 2 Scene 1 seems to be one of idleness, and there is an impression that the exiles are acting out the forest life without really

`how Does Shakespeare Present The Changes Which Occur In Capulet Throughout The Play And How Does The Audience Respond To These Changes?

1997 words - 8 pages audience's first encounter with Capulet is in Act 1 Scene 1, where the two opposing families the Caplets and the Montague's are fighting in the streets of Verona. Capulet is accompanied by his wife and calls for his sword: "Give me my long sword, ho!". The short exclamation of "ho" Is Included by Shakespeare to convey to the audience Capulet's enthusiasm as he is not being drawn into the fight but actively participating. His hatred towards the