How Does Iago Persuade Othello
In Act 3 Scene 3, how does Iago persuade Othello of Desdemona’s supposed extramarital relations? Act 3 Scene 3 is, probably, the most essential scene in the entire play, for it is the climax. It is as if for the entire beginning of the play you were pressing a big boulder up a steep mountain, and in this scene you arrive, and press it down the opposite, helpless to stop it. This is how I see the action in Othello. Iago invests the whole time outlining, and conspiring with the audience, and in this scene you can in fact pinpoint the line where he lastly pushes Othello over the edge.
Iago manages this in several ways, through imagery, ‘stitching the seed’ in Othello’s mind, and reverse psychology. Nevertheless all of these methods boil down to something, Iago, throughout the play, plays on Othello’s own insecurities about race, and Desdemona. Iago’s language throughout the scene is extremely rich and remarkably detailed a lot so that it actually acts as a projector, projecting vibrant, clear pictures into the audience’s, and more significantly, Othello’s mind. This is more apparent in the later part of the scene, and there is one specific speech I wish to separate.
Iago’s speech, lines 407 to 423, is where the wealthiest image is produced in the scene. He is explaining a night through which he lay with Cassio, and experienced a so-called dream. In this dream, Cassio is meant to have stated “Sugary food Desdemona/ Let us be wary, let us hide our likes.” He then goes on to explain how Cassio started to kiss Iago, and “laid his leg/ Over my thigh.” This images is so strong since it positions Iago in Desdemona’s position, and which in some way makes it more real.
Also, the tale recommends that Cassio and Desdemona have actually currently slept with each other. Nevertheless, the main point of this specific usage of imagery, is that the image it creates is a homosexual one, which takes the image to a brand-new level, and makes it a lot more horrible to Othello. Another approach used by Iago is the idea of an event, or sensation, and after that the denial. This covers his tracks, but extremely skillfully he knows that as soon as a concept has been put into Othello’s head, that no matter what Iago says, Othello will pursue that concept.
The speech, lines 407 to 423 is an outstanding example of this as well as imagery. To start with he paints the picture of Cassio and Desdemona together, as I have already described, however then he rejects the worth and fact of his story by stating, “Nay, this was however his dream.” He has actually sewn the idea into Othello’s mind, and Iago understands that although this line was required to safeguard himself, it would have no result on Othello’s faith in his tale. Similar to the previous approach, Iago uses a little reverse psychology in this scene.
A clear example of this is towards the very end of the scene. Iago and Othello are discussing the murder of Cassio, however then Iago states, “but let her live,” (471) describing Desdemona. They have not yet said anything about her, but that expression will make Othello think about killing her, and will encourage him to do so. More examples of this are found earlier, when he first presents the alleged infidelity into the scene. He states, “I see this hath a little dashed your spirits,” (212) and later, “In faith, I fear it has. # 8221; (214) Iago is certainly best; Othello is much affected by Iago’s news, but the truth that Iago points it out, two times, in a way makes Othello feel even worse. So one the exterior, he appears caring, stating supportive, but actually, he understands that what he is saying is making things worse. Nevertheless, all of these 3 approaches are related to Iago’s main, core target, Othello’s own insecurities about his colour and his relationship of his skin. An apparent example of this is Iago’s speech, lines 226 to 236.
This speech is an action to Othello’s previous line, “And yet, how nature erring from itself.” What he suggests is that Desdemona’s supposed infidelity is very unnatural, and unusual, and Iago appears to concur. Nevertheless, what might appear Iago’s attack on Desdemona, i. e. that she is odd and unnatural, is actually a backward attack on Othello and his colour. He calls their relationship “rank,/ Foul disproportion, ideas unnatural.” We see the results on Othello, of Iago’s comments and speeches at the very end of the scene.
All through the play there have been comments about Othello in relation to race, and here he is finally swept away by them. When he is outlined the scarf he reacts in a dramatic, violent storm of words and promises. Phrases such as “Occur black vengeance, from hollow hell” (444) and references to the Black Sea later suggest racial undertones, and also the pairings of black and white to wicked and excellent are more prevalent now than previously in the play, and they come from Othello. Iago wields a lot of power over all the characters throughout the whole of the action, however in this scene, he is at his most powerful.
He utilizes really smart techniques of persuasion, but they all are subsidiaries of the exact same thing; Othello’s own insecurities and doubt about his colour and his relationship with his other half. Iago’s brilliant cunning sees these insecurities and brings them out, using imagery, putting in ideas, and reverse psychology. None of these techniques are inherently responsible for the persuasion of Othello, however they all have a part to play in the exposition and emphasis of Othello’s insecurities and doubts.