Othello Close Reading Iago's Soliloquoy Whiteoaks Eng 3 U7 Close Reading Analysis

830 words - 4 pages

Matthew Radivojsa
Due: May 25, 2018
Class: ENG3U7-01
Word Count: 799
Close Reading: Othello
(2.1 267-294)
This soliloquy excerpt is significant in the play as it develops Iago’s character, the plot,
and the theme of jealousy; its main purpose being to display both Iago’s intentions and his
motive for plotting against Othello.
The passage shows a development in Iago’s character, displaying his rash
decision-making as he reveals his true intentions to the audience. Iago is quick to turn suspicion
into truth, thus giving him a motive to plot against Othello. Iago believes that Othello has slept
with his wife: “For that I do suspect the lusty Moor / Hath leaped into my seat” (2.1 276-277)
going on to explain that “...nothing can or shall content my soul / Till I am evened with him, wife
for wife” (2.1 279-280), and from this mere thought Iago plots against him. This displays his
tendency to jump to conclusions and act rashly. Furthermore, Iago originally explains that
Othello “is of a constant loving, noble nature” (2.1 270), but after suspecting Othello has slept
with his wife, describes Othello to be “lusty” and intends to drive him to “madness”. Again, Iago
is rash in his decision-making and is quick to believe suspicion to be the truth. The passage also
develops Iago’s manipulative character. In the last two lines of the soliloquy, Iago says: “‘Tis
here, but yet confused; / Knavery’s plain face is never seen till used” (2.1 292-293). Iago
explains how Othello will be blind to Iago’s deception, only recognizing he is lying when it is
too late. Iago intends to manipulate Othello by taking advantage of his trust, and much like the
rhyme, Iago’s true intent of malice is disguised by his cunning words and seemingly honorable
actions.
The passage advances the plot with various examples of foreshadowing, revealing Iago’s
plans to destroy Othello. Iago lays out his plans to “Abuse [Cassio] to the Moor” (2.1 287) and
“Make the Moor thank [him], love [him], and reward [him], / For making [Othello] egregiously
an ass” (2.1 289-290). Ultimately, he explains that through Othello’s trust in him, he will
manipulate Othello through speaking poorly of Cassio, while being rewarded for being truthful.
This foreshadows the eventual execution of the plan he conceived. At the beginning of the
passage, Iago expresses that “[He] dare think [Othello will] prove to Desdemona / A most dear
husband”. The word “dear” used in this excerpt...

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