Iago has been selfish and … Nothing has actually happened. From this time forth I never will speak word." With Roderigo's extended silence, it too feels like an extended aside. Commonly used words are shown in bold. 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). — Iago (1.1.66) Dilatory: Causing to delay or procrastinate. But a historicist reading could examine his depiction of women as a product of his time and culture. It certainly makes Desdemona's retort to Iago earlier in the scene – 'Oh, most lame and impotent conclusion!' amorality, duplicity, cynicism, pride, and of course, ego. He is even referred to as “the thick lips”. (2.1.191–93). The key theme in the passage is sexual appetite. If I remember correctly, he swears by Janus, the two faced god, which is fitting because this is what Iago … Explanation to attention grabber. However, such extreme misogyny is the preserve of villains in Jacobean drama, suggesting that they, and Iago, overstep the mark. 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. Food imagery abounds. 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! 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. Choose Yes please to open the survey in a new browser window or tab, and then complete it when you are ready. 2007). 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. Iago portrays Desdemona as lustful, desperate to trade Othello for a more refined Cassio. She has taught English at sixth form and secondary schools in London, and has created education packs for Years 4–6 for Fuel Theatre. How were the Jews regarded in 16th-century England? It has even been suggested that Iago is literally impotent, causing his embittered sexual jealously. He only manages three (2.1.211, 236, 242) before conceding with an unconvincing 'Well' (2.1.256), perfectly expressive of his spinelessness. In the speech he dwells on body parts – eyes, hands, lips, blood – and the 'act of sport' (2.1.217), i.e. the supposed sexual activity of Desdemona and Cassio. His language is heavily ironic, repeatedly calling Cassio a ‘knave’, though we know this is the role Iago himself gleefully identifies with. He is immoral, but very perceptive, keen, and able to manipulate people into falling for his deceptions. 7 In other words, what appearance does he present? But it is also reminiscent of a quotation from the Bible which Shakespeare would have known: In Exodus, God gives his laws to Moses on Mt. Usage terms © Donald Cooper / Photostage
Iago says (I.1, 65) "I am not what I am," which can be interpreted as "I am not what I seem." Yet earlier Iago tells us it is Cassio who 'takes her by the palm' (2.1.163). Iago closes just as he began, with a command to follow instructions: 'watch you tonight; for the command' (2.1.249–50). The image is reversed later in the play, when Emilia comments that men 'are all but stomachs, and we all but food' (3.4.93). Iago has been to blame for the downfall of Othello because he is the one that created the jealousy within Othello. Commonly used words are shown in bold.Rare words are dimmed. Iago's food imagery contains sexual innuendo: 'Blest fig's end!' Iago’s reputation for straightforward honesty is the foundation of his deceptions. The text in this article is available under the Creative Commons License. Repeated imperatives begin the speech: 'Come hither' (2.1.206), 'Lay thy finger thus', 'let thy soul be instructed', 'Mark me' (2.1.212). Like a devouring sexual animal, Desdemona will need an attractive man 'to give satiety a fresh appetite' (2.1.217–18). Engaged earlier in complex word-play with Cassio and Desdemona, he can now relax into an easier deception: false intimacy with Roderigo. behaving in an untrustworthy or fraudulent way. Othello by William Shakespeare depicts feminism through the oppression of women by the characters Cassio, Othello, and Iago. JEALOUS: Iago's motives for everything he did throughout the course of the play was jealousy. Describe the relationship between Emilia and Iago. What you know, you know. Emilia blames the man in the relationship for driving her to it. 1812 Words | 8 Pages. In the RSC’s production, both Othello and Iago were played by black actors, altering the impact of Iago’s most racist lines. Iago can convince anyone to see what his wants them to see, he did that with Desdemona father, Roderigo, and Othello. The Jacobean view of Venetian women, in particular the idea that they were sexually immoral compounds how credible Roderigo, and Othello, find Iago's portrayal of Desdemona. 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. Iago uses various methods to manipulate the characters. Iago also broken the bond of Roderigo and Cassio. 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. 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. 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