Shakespeare's Othello - Character Development of Iago, Desdemona and Othello

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Character Development of Iago, Desdemona and Othello The three characters of Iago, Desdemona and Othello are gradually revealed to the audience as Act One unfolds. All three are linked to one another and talk to and about each other. Their characters unfold through their interaction with others and how they behave in isolation. The first impression formed of Iago comes from what Roderigo says. Being gullible, Roderigo has given Iago his purse. A character who accepts an offer like this is likely to be of doubtful reputation. The first words spoken by Iago are a strong oath. Already it is obvious that he has little respect for religion. Iago also sees little point in fighting purely in theory. He despises Cassio, partly because he has never fought physically. It becomes apparent that Iago is the dominant one in his "friendship" with Roderigo. He talks the most and has many opinions. Iago looks down upon those who serve others and explains that he is only serving Othello for his own gain: "I follow him to serve my turn upon him" (1,1,42) Insulting Othello, by referring to him solely by his race, Iago begins to show his machiavellian nature. When Othello is needed by Iago to fulfil his plans, he acts as though he is his friend. Iago has no qualms about his deceitful actions. In order to rile anger in Brabantio, he wakes him with the news that his daughter has married Othello: " Rouse him, make after him, poison his delight" (1,1,69) Iago proceeds to tell the news of Desdemona and Othello's marriage to a shocked Brabantio. He uses offensive imagery, showing the extent to which he will go to win Brabantio's support against Othello. While not in the company of either Othello or Brabantio, Iago debases the marria... ... middle of paper ... ...is his trust. He foolishly entrusts his new bride to Iago. Iago has already been depicted as an untrustworthy, scheming character and it is quite possible that he will take advantage of the new situation. Iago is straight away introduced as a dubious character. Having his fingers in Roderigo's purse show his interest in money. The language that he uses is vulgar and rude and he has no shame in his deceitful actions. In order to get what he wants, Iago will do anything. This includes insulting Desdemona, an innocent young woman who does not intend to harm anyone. Her sorrow at her divided loyalties shows this. Like her husband, Desdemona deals with situations carefully. Othello is the opposite of Iago in that he does not pride himself on killing people. It may be his strong point, but he feels that it should not be bragged about, especially in noble company.
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