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Iago's Soliloquy Act 1: Scene 3
Transcript of Iago's Soliloquy Act 1: Scene 3
Metaphors and Words with Double Meanings
"Thus do I ever make my fool my purse" (426)
Iago compares his "friend" Roderigo to an object only to pay him money as he continues to make false promises. Roderigo is considered Iago's purse.
Personification of Iago's plan: "It is engendered. Hell and night must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light." (446-447)
Iago personifies his plan as a birth that will take place as a result of his villainous intentions.
Iago reveals his plan of fooling Roderigo, tricking Othello into believing Cassio (lieutenant) is pursuing Desdemona and justifying that their honest nature will lead them to their destruction.
Iago: the manipulative speaker who plans to destroy all of the characters he describes.
Roderigo: Iago's "friend" that trusts in Iago's honesty and takes his advice wholeheartedly.
Othello: This is the character that chose Cassio (instead of Iago) for the position and who Iago is taking revenge against.
Othello's wife (Desdemona): She is the strong-hearted wife of Othello who Iago plans to use to remove Cassio from the position.
"And it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets 'has done my office." (430-431)
Iago reveals his inner motive to take down Othello by stating his belief that Othello slept with Emilia (his wife). His "office" is Iago's sexual duty to Emilia that he believes Othello took over.
*foreshadowing: Iago wants to his ranking ("office") back from Othello.
"That thinks men honest but seem to be so, and will as tenderly be led by th'
nose as asses are." (55)
Iago compares Othello to an animal (ass) that will follow wherever it is lead regardless just like Othello will trust Iago even without evidence.
"I hate the Moor" (429)
Iago uses a very direct and powerful verb "hate" to open his argument suggesting his simple motives that will be concealed by complicated lies and evil plans. The use of this direct verb is Iago's way of telling us his plan to destroy openly, but only after his plans have come to fruition do we realize the early revelation of his plan in Act 1.
"Cassio's a proper man." (435)
Proper has the double meaning of being both attractive in physical attributes as well as an attractive target for Iago to base his plan upon.
Because this soliloquy is delivered in Act 1, Iago leaves lots of questions open to the reader about his true intentions (since, thus far Iago has been faking his relationship with Roderigo) and his reason for his hate of Othello which will be revealed later.
Who does Iago plan to destroy?
Does he truly care about Roderigo's well being?
Why does he believe Othello slept with his wife?
Chunk 1: (426-429) Iago discusses how he is taking advantage of Roderigo's money. (his intentions for later)
Chunk 2: (429-434) Iago reveals his hatred for Othello and the cause which will foreshadow the exact actions of how his plan will play out.
Chunk 3: (435-440) Iago reveals how he will use Cassio for his plan's fruition.
Chunk 4: (440-445) Iago discusses why each of these characters are ideal for the success of his plan.
Chunk 5: Iago states the result of his plan and justifies its inevitable success.
General Idea: Iago goes through his thought process of the plan he intends to pursue, describing each character and justifying why it will work and why the characters are the ideal victims.