How does Iago Convince Othello to Kill Cassio and Desdemona by the End of Act Three? Act Three of Othello starts with Othello having no doubts at all concerning his wife’s fidelity and the happiness of their marital relationship, and ends with him almost totally convinced of her false guilt of being in an affair despite having extremely little proof to show it and no factor to desire it to be real. His total certainty comes rather from the manipulative ability of his ensign Iago who utilizes 3 principal broad classifications of methods to convince Othello of Desdemona’s responsibility.
Iago’s very first and favoured technique at the beginning of Act 3, Scene Three (the essential scene in which he brainwashes Othello) is that of discreetly providing half-completed concepts and unclear statements to reel Othello into this body of lies and entice him into questioning Desdemona’s fidelity.
This begins when Cassio, whom Iago is attempting to frame as Desdemona’s lover, takes his leave from the scene. Desdemona states to Cassio ‘Well, do your discretion’, to which Iago responds ‘Ha, I like not that’ (3. 3. 34).
By saying that he does not like the idea of Cassio being free to do as he pleases, Iago indicates that Cassio is doing something wrong and going undetected, therefore sowing the initial seeds of doubt in Othello’s mind. When Othello starts to question him as to what he’s apparently keeping secret, Iago masterfully uses hesitation to convey half-completed concepts and additional snare Othello. For example, when asked what he is saying by Othello, he answers ‘Nothing, my lord; or if- I understand not what.’ (3. 3. 36) The time out after ‘if’ communicates the concept that there is more to the story and, also, that Othello does not wish to hear it.
This allegedly incredibly elusive answer intrigues Othello and permits Iago to proceed later with bolder persuasion. Iago exercises other methods to communicate expected unclear, half-formed concepts, such as in his monologue in Act 3 Scene 3 lines 147-157, which is an unclear, tangled, and convoluted expression of the horribleness of his thoughts, containing abrupt pauses and spoken in the more uncomfortable and disorganised prose type. This all serves to give the impression that Iago is concealing something and to frustrate Othello, which works, given that when Iago is done Othello exclaims ‘Zounds! What dost thou mean? ‘.
It is clear that early on Iago’s rhetorical tactics successfully tempt Othello into doubt and lay the structures for Iago’s forthcoming more concrete convincing of Othello. In addition to these rhetorical tactics is Iago’s usage of subliminal influence to win Othello over to his side. Iago makes remarks that, on the surface area, are positive, however are actually meant to encourage Othello of Cassio and Desdemona’s regret. For example, when Othello asks Iago why he asked him whether Cassio knew about Othello and Desdemona’s love from the beginning of their relationship, Iago replies ‘But for the fulfillment of my thought,/ No additional damage’ (3.
3. 97-8). Ostensibly this appears like a good idea for Othello, but Iago is indicating 2 things that would show harm: first, that Iago has a curious thought about Cassio and Desdemona that needs to be pleased and, 2nd, that damage has already been done. Later on in the scene, when Othello claims that he does not believe that Desdemona is cheating on him, Iago states ‘Long live she [as devoted]; and long live you to believe so’ (3. 3. 230). When once again Iago is outwardly taking a look at the circumstance in a good light, however underneath the surface he is recommending that Othello is being naive.
This certainly works, due to the fact that on the next line Othello has actually begun to fret as soon as again. Iago uses another aporia to sway Othello when he states ‘For Michael Cassio,/ I attempt be sworn, I think, that he is sincere’ (3. 3. 127-8). The 2 caesurae in this line stress the daring and the thinking, both expressions of doubt. Therefore, Iago weakens his own point so that Cassio’s honesty goes through much doubt in Othello’s mind. In addition, line 128 has eleven syllables, by contrast to the rest of the passage’s lines which, written in iambic pentameter, have 10 syllables.
This extra syllable does not fit in with the meter, and so suggests that Iago’s claim that Cassio is truthful is not rather proper: the word doesn’t quite hold. Once again Iago is purposefully undermining his statements to inflate Othello’s doubt that they hold true. Moreover, in this line Iago says that he ‘dare be sworn’ that Cassio is not cheating with Desdemona. Using the word ‘attempt’ insinuates a threat in doing so and, what’s more, this phrase uses vocabulary frequently utilized in law courts, which requires a crime.
This phrase which seems to intend to comfort Othello is really a threatening accusation versus Cassio (and thus Desdemona). Later, once Othello appears completely particular of his wife and Cassio’s regret, Iago uses similar subliminal affecting to beguile Othello into killing the two. He says, as the two are kneeling and guaranteeing that they will join to attain revenge, Iago states: ‘… Iago doth give up The execution of his wit, hands, heart, To wronged Othello’s service’ (3. 3. 468-70).
Utilizing the word ‘execution’ with its double entendre while discussing revenge implants the concept into Othello’s mind that his revenge need to take the form of murder. Iago strengthens this quickly later on by accepting Othello’s order to eliminate Cassio, and after that saying ‘However let her live’ (3. 3. 477). In this method Iago is affecting Othello to do the specific reverse of the words’ surface meaning by advising him of how he hasn’t ordered anything to be done about her and, since Othello’s hatred for Desdemona is presently at its peak, it is the perfect time to cause an order for murder out of him.
Iago’s subliminal impacts also come in the type of getting into Othello’s head in order that he might be more subject to passion than any rationality and therefore believe more of what he is told and leap to more rash conclusions and choices. For instance, Iago offers supposed evidence of Desdemona’s affair by talking about seeing Cassio utilizing a handkerchief of Desdemona: ‘I understand not that, but such a handkerchief, I make sure it was your spouse’s, did I today See Cassio clean his beard with’. (3. 3.
440-2) This powerful visual image of Cassio utilizing a handkerchief, which Othello so cherishes and which represents his love for Desdemona, in such a base and unrefined way is most likely to cloud Othello’s good judgement and have his impulses lead him to accept what Iago says as the truth. Iago also tries to get into Othello’s head by bringing up previous words when he says ‘She did deceive her father, marrying you’ (3. 3. 209), which calls back to the strongly resonant lines of Brabantio in Act One ‘Want To her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see:/ She has tricked her dad, and might thee’.
Iago’s paraphrasing of these lines serves to persuade him of Desdemona’s deceptiveness by encouraging him that it was fated, and these lines which are haunting for Othello do this effectively. The last aspects that render Iago so effective at persuading Othello are his flexibility and proficiency at customizing his persuasive strategies to Othello’s feelings and vulnerability at any time, and his brilliant sense of timing. Iago appears to understand precisely when his intervention is or is not required; for example when Desdemona starts speaking about how much she likes Cassio and
how she often talks terribly about Othello behind his back, Iago remains silent for minutes regardless of being in the scene, because his plan is working out as Desdemona harms her relationship with Othello on her own, Iago’s plan having formerly been set, and the present discussion does not require to stepped in with or changed for the plan to work. This is testament to Iago’s flexibility, which is also demonstrated when Othello needs ocular proof of Desdemona’s extramarital relations.
To handle this, Iago uses Desdemona’s scarf which he has actually simply been given to rapidly develop a plot which later functions as ocular proof for Othello. Iago here knew that Othello required to see the ‘ocular’ proof rapidly while he was still vulnerable, and Iago’s thinking on his feet led to Othello being even further convinced by his expected theory. Iago also displays an excellent capability to evaluate how susceptible Othello is at any point, and for this reason how bold he can be.
For instance, just once Othello is susceptible enough and he knows that he is safe does Iago first clearly recommend adultery: he states ‘That cuckold lives in bliss/ Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger’. By claiming that confusion is worse than both ignorance and certainty, Iago is both sympathising with Othello and suggesting that he now might also understand, thus clearly suggesting Desdemona’s extramarital relations in the safest possible way. In addition, when a depressed Othello states ‘And yet how nature, erring from itself-‘ (3. 3.
230), Iago senses the weakness and cuts Othello off, then provides a long speech about the absurdity of Othello’s marriage and convinces him of this made affair. In conclusion, Iago draws Othello in and after that skilfully encourages him that Cassio and Desdemona ought to pass away by utilizing a variety of linguistic and rhetorical techniques and by paying close attention to Othello’s sentiments and desires so that he is transformed from not suspecting anything to wanting to eliminate his partner and her supposed enthusiast within 3 days. Iago uses his own ability and his understanding of Othello’s envious nature to attain his sinister ambitions.