Discussion Question 2 Prompt
What do we learn about Iago and his plans through his soliloquies in Shakespeare’s Othello? How does the descriptive language he uses effect our understanding of Iago and his motivations?
In Lago’s soliloquy, the audience learns his true intent in manipulating Desdemona. He is planning on using her kind and helpful nature against her. By feeding lies about an affair between Cassio and Desdemona into Othello’s ears, when Desdemona tries to help Cassio get his job back with Othello, Othello believes it is for other reasons. When it is simply because Desdemona is a kind lady. Lago’s hatred for Othello is shown in his soliloquy by the fact that he is willing to swoop so low that he would manipulate Othello’s own wife and friend against him. “whats he then that says I play the villain” (Shakespeare) Lago does not believe that he is a villain because he is telling the truth. Lago goes into detail about how kind Desdemona is and how he plans on using it against her, in order to convince her husband of a false affair that she is having. His descriptive language shows him as very vindictive and evil. His plan is simply to get revenge on a man that he hates by using his wife and friend against him.
Shakespeare, William. “Othello” The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature, edited by Michael Meyer and D Quentin Miller, 12th ed., Bedford/St. Martins 2020 pg. 1062-1145