Last Updated 02 Aug 2020

Iago Soliloquey Essay

Category Iago
Essay type Research
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Iago’s soliloquy essay At the end of the first act in scene three Iago convinces Roderigo to go to Cyprus. Roderigo then exits, leaving Iago alone. This gives him the chance to express his thoughts through a soliloquy. The purpose of this soliloquy is to show that Iago is always plotting and to show what his plan is. Shakespeare ends the first act with it to put the audience on edge and go into the second act knowing that something bad is going to happen. Before, in his conversation with Roderigo, Iago was speaking in prose.

However, now, in his soliloquy, he speaks in verse. Shakespeare does this to demonstrate Iago’s intelligence and implies that Roderigo is not clever or of high intellectual status. If the audience had their doubts about Iago’s dislike of Othello then “I hate the Moor” dispels such doubts. This phrase has an immediate impact because in a soliloquy a character will not lie; in previous conversation the audience cannot be certain if the duplicitous Iago is telling the truth. So, for the first time he reveals that he hates Othello with a passion.

Or, on the contrary, Iago might be trying to convince himself that he really does hate Othello, which implies that Iago doesn’t, and has no good reason to do so. “And it is thought abroad that twixt my sheets he’s done my office. I know not if’t be true……will do as if for surety” Here Iago does not know for sure if his wife is having an affair with Othello but will believe it because it serves his purpose. Again this supports the theory that Iago is trying to convince himself that he has a good reason to hate Othello when he actually doesn’t.

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Iago thinks that Othello is not suitable for Desdemona: “Cassio’s a proper man. ” This implies that he thinks Cassio is more manly than Othello, and that people would be likely to believe in him as an adulterer. This also shows Iago to be racist because he thinks that a Moor is not a proper man. Later, he also describes Othello as gullible: “The Moor… …thinks men honest that but seem to be so, And will as tenderly be led by the nose As asses are. ” The phrase “let me see now” shows that Iago is already plotting; he creates a clever plan spontaneously, while thinking out loud.

This is evidence that Iago is clever. His character is very duplicitous, scheming and, above all, spiteful. If anyone did anything to upset him he would take it too far. Iago says Othello is foolish and easily led: “And will as tenderly be led by the nose as asses are” This shows Othello is easily led as asses can be led by merely holding a tender part of the nose. Also this insults Othello calling him an “ass. ” In Elizabethan times being compared to any kind of animal was considered insulting and rude, as then humans were considered the only proper race.

In addition asses were considered to be stupid and comical. Thus comparing Othello to one is considered an insult. Furthermore, this implies that Iago knows that what he is doing is wrong and evil and yet he still goes through with it. This shows Iago to be evil. “I hate the moor” What did Othello do to him? He didn’t give Iago the job he wanted. Thus Iago decides to plot against him. This shows that Iago is spiteful and also jealous of Cassio (the man who got the job instead of him). “That he [Cassio] is too familiar with his [Othello] wife. this demonstrates that Iago is jealous because not only is he plotting against Othello but also against Cassio. Iago’s plan involves using Cassio’s status as a womaniser in order to get revenge. This could be perceived as jealousy of Cassio’s way with women, as well as creating a sense of poetic justice. To turn Cassio’s own success with women into a tool to bring him down shows Iago’s quick wit and cunning. This is also a shrewd method of dealing with two problems at once. The final rhyming couplet shows that Iago knows what he is doing is wrong: “Hell and night must bring this onstrous birth to the world’s light” The word “monstrous” was used by Iago to show that this plan is evil therefore he knows it is wrong and he shouldn’t do it. Also “hell and night” shows that this “birth” is worthy only to be delivered by Hell and night; both of which can be associated with evil, as in every religion good is represented by light and day, but bad is symbolized by dark and night. As Othello is black this could also be a reference to racism. By calling his idea a “birth” Iago is emphasising that it is his creation.

This reveals that he is not ashamed by what he is about to do and that he might even be proud to lay claim to it. The soliloquy as a whole gives us many new insights into Iago’s character, intentions and abilities. It shows him to be deceitful, devious and intelligent; while the intended outcome of his plan reveals that he will stop at nothing to gain the success that he believes he has been cheated out of. Before this soliloquy, the audience may have suspected that his character was not as good as it seemed, but by the end of the act they can be in no doubt.

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Iago Soliloquey Essay. (2018, Feb 17). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/iago-soliloquey-essay/

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