How does the Extract from Act II Scene I, reveal Iago's aggressive, bitter and devious nature
Iago’s devious wishes, aggressive manner and bitter nature demonstrate his devilish character - How does the Extract from Act II Scene I, reveal Iago's aggressive, bitter and devious nature introduction. His behaviour in this extract shows us his negative traits, which we have seen in previous scenes.
The extract begins with Iago silencing Roderigo to be silent, like a child. Showing us his aggressive and domineering manner:
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“Let thy soul be instructed”
This reminds Roderigo that he is in control of the conversation. It is as if he is implying that he shouldn’t speak unless spoken to. His aggressive manner continues as he begins to attack Othello. He claims Othello won Desdemona’s heart by “prating” and saying “Fantastical lies”. The aggressive tone he has when speaking about Othello suggests his bitterness. He is quite jealous and surprised that Desdemona would marry “the Moor”. He then goes on to call Othello the “devil”, which he has done in the past. This is very ironic as it is he who is processes devilish characteristics.
He goes further by saying that once Desdemona has had enough of sleeping with Othello she will want something fresh, young and beautiful all the qualities that Othello seems to lack according to him. Not only does he critics Othello here but also Desdemona. Here he implies that she is fickle and unable to stay faithful. This can show us his bitterness towards others. He envies Othello’s relationship with Desdemona, although it could be said that he is incapable of understanding spiritual love. As he is constantly refers to sexual images when speaking about their relationship.
This is also quite ironic as he was the one who was explaining to Roderigo that lust is only a part of what love is, but it is he who cannot experience anything but sexual desire. He is envious of Othello because Othello is happily married and is satisfied with his life unlike himself. He can’t stand other people being happy, which is why he lies and makes their relationship appear weak. This shows us his bitterness and disrespect for others. He would go as far as ruining a marriage because of his jealousy. This proves to us that he is a heartless character; he is more monstrous and devilish than he is a human.
In the extract we are shown he is a calculating character when he guarantees Roderigo the marriage between Othello and Desdemona will break up.
“Most pregnant and unforc’d position”
He gives Roderigo something more than hope to go by. He then goes on to convince him that it is only Cassio who stand in the way of him and Desdemona. He deliberately creates an enemy for him, so that Roderigo will agree to participate in Cassio’s downfall. He cunningly manipulates Roderigo in order to help him pursue his plan. Without a second thought he is willing to jeopardise his “friends” happiness in order to get revenge on Cassio and Othello. This shows his aggressive nature – he thinks of no one but himself.
When Roderigo attempts to defend Desdemona in response to Iago’s disrespectful comments, he is quickly silenced by Iago:
“Blest fig’s end! If she had been blessed she would never have lov’d the Moor”
Here he uses aggression to be heard, and also to express his anger. He clearly treats Roderigo like a child. He is almost laughing at his suggestion. This makes Roderigo seem more naï¿½ve than foolish (after all we are told that he is relatively young) and Iago more calculating. The comment itself is an aggressive attack towards both Desdemona and Othello, which is seen throughout the play. He insults Desdemona by implying that she is unlike other women because he chose Othello and it is insulting Othello because it suggests that he has doesn’t have any positive traits and therefore it is very strange for Desdemona to have chosen him. Throughout the play he refers to Othello as “the devil” “Barbary horse” and many other animal imager, suggesting he sees Othello as nothing but an animal.
Iago then concludes his speech by reminding Roderigo why he has brought him to Venice. He instructs Roderigo to provoke Cassio, making him believe that Cassio is getting in the way of Roderigo winning Desdemona’s heart. He orders him to do as he says:
“For your command I’ll lay upon you…find an occasion to anger Cassio”
This shows his authorities nature, he “commands” Roderigo instead of suggesting or asking, however, he does it in such a way that Roderigo doesn’t realise as he is too caught up in getting Cassio out of the way. This displays Iago’s calculative manner, he cleverly gets Roderigo’s attention who seemed uncooperative at first but know eager to participate. Showing us Iago’s manipulative and persuasive skills.
The extract ends with Iago’s soliloquy in which more of his devious, bitter and aggressive manner is revealed as he convinces himself that Cassio is interested in Desdemona. He also reveals that he “loves her too”. This is shocking, as we know that he is married to Emilia. He admits that it is not only because of his sexual attractions towards her but he is also driven by revenge he wants to get from Othello, as he believes that he slept with his wife. This shows that he is willing to ruin Desdemona’s relationship in order to achieve his goal even though she has one nothing to harm him. Further showing us his devious and bitter nature.
He finishes his soliloquy with an aggressive tone of ridicule. He says, “Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me for making him egregiously an ass”. Here he makes fun of Othello’s honest nature. It is in fact true as Othello does love Iago and finds him trustworthy, however it is this honest nature he will manipulate
In this extract Iago uses his aggressive, devious and bitter nature in order to get what he wants. He cleverly manipulates Roderigo’s feelings in order to serve his needs. Here we see that he will ruin other people’s lives in order to seek revenge, which show us his selfish and jealous characteristics. His bitterness is seen clearly when we see that he is unable to accept other people’s happiness. Iago is even willing to destroy his own marriage!