Othello is a tense closely-knit play with an ever-increasing emotional
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*Othello is a tense, closely-knit play, with an ever-increasing emotional scene. The
character Iago, Othello's ancient, is the cause of all the tragedy which comes to pass
as the play progresses. He is a manipulator, opposing Othello not directly, but
through other characters whom he tricks. From his actions throughout the play one
sees that Iago was gifted at using other people, to further his own schemes.
*Act One, Scene One is the most important because it foreshadows the whole
drama. Iago gives the reader warning that he is not all that he seems when he says,
"I am not what I am" (I,i). He appears to help Roderigo, a suitor to Desdemona, who
has run off with Othello, the Moorish general of the Venetian army. Iago hates
Othello for another reason. instead of choosing him to be his lieutenant, Othello
chose Cassio. In the end of scene, Iago and Roderigo have informed Brabantio
about his daughter's elopement. Then they went to confront Othello with this
*At the beginning of Scene Two of Act One, Iago gives advice to Othello and lets him
know what is about to happen. Shortly after their talk Brabantio confronts Othello
about stealing his daughter. Then they all went and saw the Duke. Othello defends
himself and asks if Desdemona can testify on the behalf of him. Othello tells how
that the only "witchcraft" he used were his stories, and how Brabantio used to invite
him up to tell them. Finally, Brabantio disowns Desdemona and she goes to be with
*Near the end of the first scene of the second act, Iago convinces Roderigo, who
was observing Cassio's enthusiastic greeting of Desdemona, that Cassio and
Desdemona have something going on between them. Thus manipulating Roderigo
through his passion for Desdemona, Iago convinces him to provoke Cassio to anger,
so that the lieutenant will be discredited in Othello's eyes and Iago can take his
*In Act II, Scene III, I ago tricks into a drink, knowing that he has a low tolerance for
alcohol, making it easier for Roderigo to provoke him to fight. Cassio departs the
scene, and Iago starts to insinuate to the other soldiers is a bit of a lush. Cassio
soon, returns, chasing Roderigo, and when his comrades attempt to restrain him, he
strikes at them as well. When Othello arrives on the scene, Iago makes it seem that
he doesn't want to discredit Cassio, but his insinuations make Othello discharge his
lieutenant. However, as soon as Othello is gone, he goes to Cassio as a helpful
friend. When Cassio leaves and Roderigo returns, he shits role again, becoming
Roderigo's friend, and convinces him to stay in Cyprus.
*In the third scene of Act III, Othello and Iago observe a meeting between Cassio and
Desdemona, which ends with Cassio departing when he sees Othello coming.
Desdemona offers Cassio her handkerchief, the special and meaningful handkerchief
that Othello gave to her, and he accidentally drops it. Emilia picks up the
handkerchief and Iago snatches it from her. In the following conversation with
Othello, Iago leads him by insinuation to the conclusion that Cassio and Desdemona
are having an affair. He appears to be unwilling to say such a thing on account of his
"friendship" with Cassio. However, once he has set Othello thinks upon this, all of
his false protests are unheard by the general. Due to Iago's manipulation, Othello
becomes angry enough to make Iago his lieutenant and orders him to kill Cassio.
Iago had attained one goal in becoming Othello's lieutenant. He continues to
manipulate Cassio, Rodergio, and Othello because he intends to destroy Othello as
well. Othello confronts Desdemona about the missing handkerchief and reminds her
of its importance.
*Iago has Othello hide while he talks with Cassio about Bianca, Cassio's high-class
whore, after telling Othello that he was going to discuss Desdemona with him. When
Cassio begins laughing and boasting about his affair with Bianca, Othello believing
that he is speaking of Desdemona, becomes filled with rage. Bianca enters and
gives back the handkerchief to Cassio. Othello witnessed this and saw that Cassia
did have the handkerchief. Other now believes Ago about Desdemona giving Cassia
the handkerchief. Finally, Other decides he must kill Desdemona for her unfaithful
acts. Othello wants to poison, but Iago suggests that he should strangle her in the
bed that she has contaminated. Later that evening as Emilia is getting Desdemona
ready for bed, Desdemona starts singing this "death song."
*In Scene II of Act IV, Iago once more plays the part of Roderigo's accomplice, and
proceeds to convince him
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Othello, Michael Cassio, Iago, Emilia, Roderigo, Bianca, Brabantio, Desdemona, Otello
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