Analysis of Act One of Othello by William Shakespeare Essay

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Analysis of Act One of Othello by William Shakespeare Act 1 is an exceptionally indicative passage of writing in which Shakespeare attempts to divulge the coarse essence of Iago's nature to the audience. Indeed, by the conclusion of line 66 the audience not only understands - in broad terms - Iago's motives and grievances, but also something of the manner in which he intends to consummate vengeance against his ostensible antagonists. Iago's interactions with Roderigo also serve to adumbrate, or perhaps anticipate, his adroit manipulation of those under his sphere of influence throughout the text.

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Regardless, Iago always seems to resonate an air of vacillating yet ever present manipulative control over those around him, a fact demonstrated in his handling of Roderigo; converting him from an angry creditor to a willing accomplice and schemer. Iago is not only able to mollify Roderigo's anger, but also to convince him to 'put money in [his] purse' (I i 330) against any remaining fibres of sense the man has (the aggregate combination of which - in Roderigo's case - would probably constitute a [very] short length of docking rope). In this way - prior even to the first soliloquy (the focus of this commentary) - Shakespeare is able to introduce or even directly refer to most crucial aspects of the text.

Iago's harangue commencing in line 41 can - with some reservation - be referred to as a soliloquy. While Roderigo is present for the duration, Iago's disclosures seem consistent with his real character - during his dialogues with Roderigo he seems to come closest to revealing his true psyche to another individual. Iago's indifference to Roderigo's presence during these spiels is indicative of the contemptuous disdain he holds for him. Iago has so little respect for the mental faculty and worth of Roderigo as a human being both morally and functionally, that to impart to him the basic
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