Othello – Iago’s Deception of Roderigo

Othello– Iago’s Deception of Roderigo

IB English SL Research Passage commentary– Othello Act 1 Scene iii: Lines 348– 399 In this passage, Iago is attempting to convince Roderigo that they both have a typical enemy, Othello, which they must work together in their revenge versus him. Iago desires revenge since Othello provided the promo of lieutenant to Cassio instead of him. Roderigo desires vengeance since Othello is married to Desdemona, the lady Roderigo is madly in love with. The passage then ends with Roderigo leaving the stage, leaving Iago alone to recite a soliloquy, exposing his real emotions to the audience for the very first time.

In his first speech, Iago appears really controlling over Roderigo; he starts his speech by two consecutive gestures implicating that he is the exceptional character in the circumstance. He starts by informing Roderigo how he feels towards Iago, “Thou art sure of me”, leaving no space for Roderigo to question him. This boldly informs the audience that Iago is the choice maker in this duo, as he is making an important choice for Roderigo, whether to rely on Iago or not. Roderigo’s indecision has made him ‘weak’. Iago then right away orders Roderigo to go ‘make money’, which further highlights Iago’s supremacy.

Iago then goes on to attempting to comfort Roderigo with the orders and choices Iago is producing him, in a sense, by revealing him how they are both in common and desire the same final outcome (that they both dislike Othello and desire him to suffer). “I have actually informed thee typically, and I retell thee once again and once again, I hate the moor”, Iago uses the words ‘again and once again’ to emphasize and explain and definite just how much he loathes Othello, and then states ‘my cause is hearted’ to express how crucial it is for him to have vengeance on Othello (he craves it deep down in his heart, hence it is hearted).

Iago then proposes that he and Roderigo ought to collaborate in an accumulative effort to avenge versus Othello, and continues to attempt and persuade him to trust him. He states’ if thou canst cuckold him, thou dost thyself a satisfaction, me a sport’ to make sure Roderigo that he can help him in sleeping with Desdemona, which will bring terrific satisfaction to Roderigo, and will be easy to achieve for Iago, similar to a ‘sport’.

The word ‘sport’ is particularly fascinating as, in my opinion, it makes Iago appear extremely wicked due to the fact that it appears as if messing up relationships is a sport to him, an act that brings him joy and others sorrow. ‘For I mine own acquired … But for my sport and profit’, this sentence which Iago states in his soliloquy, suggests to the audience that Iago is a self-centered or self-empowering individual, implying that he would not hang around or waste knowledge unless it in some way benefited him.

In Iago’s soliloquy, it is the very first time the audience gets to see how he processes the occasions of the play and how he believes and plans his revenge against Othello. He reveals how he prepares to turn Othello and Cassio versus one another and, by doing so, ‘getting rid of 2 birds with one stone. This likewise stimulates a sense of thriller, as the audience knows the damage that will occur in the future but are not aware of how it will take place. During the soliloquy, Iago provides his two-faced character, which the audience by now will have suspected he has.

After Roderigo leaves, Iago right away starts his soliloquy by revealing how much of a fool Roderigo is, and how Iago is only utilizing him as a sort of personal piggy bank. “Therefore do I ever make my fool my bag”. This right away makes it clear and apparent to the audience that Iago is not what he appears and what the other characters think him to be, honest and faithful. This bluntly imprints Iago’s real personality into the minds of the audience.

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