Othello, By William Shakespeare

1427 Words6 Pages
Present day, Shakespeare is regarded as one of the greatest playwrights that ever lived. His work is studied, analyzed and dissected throughout the world. However, Shakespeare’s original audience was mostly comprised of bakers, shopkeepers and other tradesmen. He wrote for the purpose of entertaining ordinary people of his time. In his play Othello, the character Iago directly addresses the audience in monologues explaining his plans and reasons for his actions. Shakespeare writes Iago in a way that uses his words and the power or suggestion to hide his true motives not only from the other characters in the play, but his audience as well. In the opening scene of the play, Iago tells Roderigo that his hatred for Othello stems from the…show more content…
After Roderigo leaves that previous scene, Iago addresses the audience for the first time telling us that the real reason he is plotting against Othello, “I hate the Moor: And it is thought abroad, that ‘twixt my sheets he has done my office: I know not if’t be true; but I for mere suspicion in that kind, will do as if for surety.” He states that the reason he hates Othello is due to a rumor of him sleeping with his wife, which in contradictory to what he was just saying to Roderigo. He tells us that this potentially baseless rumor has offended him enough to plot against him. This seems like something of a throwaway; Emilia even mentions and is dismissive of the idea in a later scene. Yet, this is the initial impression he imposes on us in the first soliloquy. He supplements this reason a short while later in the play in another monologue to the audience, “Nothing can or shall content my soul till I am even’d with him, wife for wife, or failing so, yet that I put the Moor at least into a jealousy so strong that judgement cannot cure. Here he has confided in us the plans he has for Othello and the justification for his elaborate plot in order to gain our trust in his motives, just as he did earlier with Roderigo. In the entirety of Othello, there are only three female characters: Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca. While Desdemona and Bianca
Get Access