Asides In Othello Act 4 Scene1: Role of Iago

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The sample essay on Asides In Othello deals with a framework of research-based facts, approaches, and arguments concerning this theme. To see the essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion, read on.

This scene – Act 4, scene 1- reinforced the purpose of the play; jealousy. Act 3 finishes very uneasy. Desdemona has now recognised her husband is jealous even though she never gave him cause, she has never realised that the handkerchief is missing and is causing Othello to become angrier. Desdemona’s response to this shows the wide-awake, down-to-earth realism about human affairs of which she has already given evidence.

It is clear that something of her sense of the absolute and unique nature of their love has been diminished.

The spring of the tragedy is now wound up to its tightest and all we can do is be helpless as it unwinds with irresistible and utterly destructive momentum. Shakespeare uses many different themes through the play, one of them being racism.

This is a topic brought up many times in the play. Racism is one of the reasons that Iago dislikes Othello, referring him as ‘an old black ram! ‘ This shows how jealous Iago is and how false his portrayal of Othello actually is. Iago commands Othello’s imagination, conjuring up distressing images of infidelity early in the scene.

Iago plays devils advocate by saying ‘be naked in bed with her friend. ‘ He suggests Desdemona’s honour -like her handkerchief- is hers to give away as she chooses. Othello, however, is incapable now of perceiving the physical existence of it with the guilty that Iago has steepened.

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Without even needing to think, he predictably says that the handkerchief is a sign of Desdemona’s honour. Iago obliquely applies with his literalistic characteristic. ‘Her honour is an essence that’s not seen: They have it very oft that have it not But for the handkerchief-‘ Othello evidentially didn’t need to be reminded.

You know this from the quote ‘I would most gladly have forgotten it! ‘ Despite trying to forget it, he clearly can’t banish it from his thoughts. Othello speaks disjointedly and distractedly – he is barely in control of his own senses. He contradicts himself throughout this from the earlier line, ‘to be once in doubt is once to be resolved. ‘ Othello is desperate to find out that the truth between doubt and certainty. He’s stuck between “longing and loathing” Desdemona. His convulsion is the physical expression of his inner torment. It is ironic that Iago calls his poisoness influence, ‘medicine. (Line 45, Act 4, scene 1)

Asides In Othello

It seems cruel that Iago should tell Othello to “bear your fortune like a man” (line 61) while at the same time torturing him with thoughts who make other men cuckolds every night. Iago knows that Othello will begin to lose his huge pride and make this idea endurable. His promise to be, “most cunning in my patience” (line 91) is alarming; Othello also intends to be “most bloody” in the same line. Could this be a sign of him moving closer to the atrocity of the final act? We might also view his striking of Desdemona as a prelude to the physical violence that is to occur later in the play.

Between the lines of 90-97, you see that Iago jokes about Bianca’s fondness for Cassio, proving that Iago is rather heartless. “It is a creature that dotes on Cassio. ” Like many times before, the theme of animals is brought in. I think this means that they use the idea of “use and abuse” as if they’re treating her as if she has no feelings herself. However, the Elizabethan audience weren’t the slightest bit bothered by this. They saw prostitution and such a common thing that would happen quite a lot. Othello would never get much sympathy from the audience because of racial circumstances.

The audience were often white and catholic which was everything the Moor was not. Othello was black and was most likely to be Muslim. Most of the sympathy would fall on Desdemona throughout the play. The dramatic effect of Othello’s many asides could elevate the scene to become farcical. Iago and Cassio represent soldiers poorly throughout this scene. This could be because soldiers seem to know exactly what they want, whereas they do not. They’re also made out to be very crude and disrespectful towards women. This was how they were viewed in line 16 as well.

The most low and rough joined the army. This is a theme mentioned throughout the play. In scene 4, on line 145 onwards it mentions the handkerchief again. This, is Othello’s eyes is evidence that Desdemona committed adultery. In Othello’s eyes, there is only black and white. There are no suspicions but only “obvious” convictions. After Bianca throws down the handkerchief in front of Othello, Othello says the line, ‘By heaven, that should be my handkerchief! ‘ (Line 154) This sounds like an anguished cry of recognition escaping from Othello as the fateful handkerchief appears again.

Iago is anxious to get rid of Cassio in case he says anything that might reveal that it is Bianca that he had been talking about before she had entered. Lot of Bianca’s lines and verses are very bland and not poetic. I think Shakespeare wrote like this so Bianca appears “low class” because she’s a prostitute. I think this is a good idea. It reminds the reader about the character attitude and personality. On line 161, an anxious mood is created. “I may chance to see you, for I would very fain speak with you. ” Othello needs no more persuading now.

The only question running through his mind is “How? Iago doesn’t reply and this enrages Othello even more. There are opposing feelings portrayed in line 182. “I do but say what she is. So delicate with her needle. ” This is a memory of Desdemona before she poisoned his thoughts. The line “the pity of it, Iago” has an effect on the audience. By the use of the word “pity” it makes the reader feel sorry for him. This is a good technique. Catholics around in the Elizabethan time considered adultery a massive sin. They felt if you committed adultery you’d go to hell and burn. They felt it was against the 10 commandments.

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Asides In Othello Act 4 Scene1: Role of Iago
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