Othello - Iago

2748 WordsOct 8, 199911 Pages
Unequivocally, Iago plays an important and major function in the tragedy of Othello. By the end of the play, Iago has been directly responsible for the deaths of Roderigo, Emilia and the protagonist and his love. Iago's importance to the play is revealed by his contribution to the plot and his significance relative to other characters. Iago's function, which invariably adds to the importance he has on the play, is to lead to the downfall of Othello therefore revealing the themes of hate, jealousy and revenge. Iago also serves to contrast with the characters of Othello and Desdemona and to create dramatic irony consequently involving the audience in the journey of the play. The foundation of his success has been built upon his honest…show more content…
This would suggest that this is a fundamental characteristic of his. However, Iago does strive to appear honest and sincere. 'If I shall stay [with Roderigo] I shall- against the Moor. This is also seen when he defends Cassio after the drunken brawl. Iago speaks with hesitation and refers to Cassio being a friend several times. 'I had rather have this tongue cut out from my mouth than it should do offence to Cassio'. This appearance allows him to gain favour with all characters, especially those of Cassio and Othello, allowing him to influence them. The success of Iago's deceptive honesty is most clearly seen in the final scene of the play in which the truth of his dishonesty is revealed. So successful was Iago's scheme that Othello can only think that Iago must have been a devil. 'I look down towards his feet- but… If that thou be'st a devil, I cannot kill thee'. Even when on stage, Iago appears to have an overriding dominance over the other characters. In Act 3 sn iii, in which Othello asks Iago to kneel next to him and make a pact in order to destroy Cassio and Desdemona, we cannot but notice the power Iago evokes in Othello. 'Do not rise yet', Iago cries, 'I am yours forever'. Also Iago's dominance over Othello is seen in Act 4 sn I where Othello has fallen into a trance. The audience look on with pity as Iago says, 'Thus do credulous fools are caught.' On stage this would be a powerful scene in which Iago finally subdues Othello. Iago
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