Iago's Manipulation of Othello in William Shakespeare's Play

Satisfactory Essays
Iago's Manipulation of Othello in William Shakespeare's Play

Iago has previously taken the audience into his confidence and we know

what he is going to do. In Act 1 Scene 1, he uses animal imagery such

as "For daws to peck at", "Barbaryhorse", and "an old black ram is

tupping your white ewe"; and images of disease like "poison his

delight" and "Plague him with flies". These images add depth and

cruelty to what he says and provide amusement for the audience. He is

telling Brabantio in the worst possible away about his daughter's

relationship with Othello and he's bad mouthing Othello behind his

back. This makes the audience feel sympathy for both Othello and

Brabantio but the images are so obscene that they can be found funny.

Iago relates to the audience by doing this, therefore getting them on

his side early on in the play.

In Act 1 Scene 2, Iago shows diversity in the way he speaks to

different people and we see deeper into the real Iago; it is as though

he is changing faces. The audience has previously seen him speaking to

Roderigo with little respect and using cruel and racist comments

towards Othello. Now they are witnessing him deceiving Othello by

pretending to be loyal and honest whilst also deceiving Roderigo by

telling clever lies. The way that Iago manipulates Othello makes the

audience think and then realize that people believe him to be honest

because he is sly.

However, Othello proves harder to deceive than Roderigo and Brabantio

because he confident and proud. At the end of Act 1 Scene 3, Iago

starts to plot the downfall of Othello. Firstly, he gives instructions

to Roderigo and then, in a soliloquy, tells the audience his plan as

it comes to mind, "How? How? Let's see". By making Iago do this,

Shakespeare forms a relationship between the audience and Iago and

lets them know everything that's going through Iago's mind. He reveals

his motives to the audience, "'twixt my sheets he's done my office",

he believes that Othello has been to bed with his wife and wants to