Iago And Honesty In Othello Essay Research

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Iago and Honesty in Othello

Aleeza Gerstein

April 21, 1999

Iago uses the word honest in act three of Othello in three primary ways. The first manner he uses it is to intend honorable, approximately Cassio. He uses this significance of the word to coerce Othello to doubt Cassio s honestness, and inquiry his hounorablility. The 2nd manner is to intend faithful, both about Desdemona and Cassio. Iago uses it in the context that the two may be true, once more to do Othello uncertainty. The 3rd manner is Iago s most effectual usage, which is to utilize honest in the context to intend true, as in, he has told Othello the truth. However, Shakespeare has created enormous dramatic sarcasm, for we know that Iago is being anything except true. The three utilizations of the word honest are used mostly in the subtext of the act, they are used by Iago to coerce Othello to oppugn his married woman s unity, and honestness. Shakespeare uses the word by Iago to works enormous uncertainty in Othello s head. The word is besides used by Iago in the action line. His aim is invariably to do Othello believe things without really being told them, and Iago s parroting of the word and changeless useage do this quite nicely.

Iago ab initio uses the word honest to intend honorable, in mention to Cassio. Othello has asked him if he [ Cassio ] is non honest? To which Iago parrots back Honest my Godhead? This use is changeless with what Othello means, whether Cassio is honorable or non. However, Iago uses the word to project uncertainty on Othello. By parroting it back, he is doing it look to Othello that he does non desire to reply the inquiry, that he doesn T want to state Othello something. This is seen in the subtext that Iago wants to make. This usage of it besides contributes to Iago s aim, to do Othello believe the antonym, that Cassio is dishonorable, even though this contradicts what Iago subsequently says. Shakespeare has built up enormous subtext for Iago and Othello around this simple word in this instance. Iago manages to, without stating truly anything, force Othello to believing that Cassio should in fact be doubted, for his honestness. The 2nd use of this significance besides carries important dramatic sarcasm with it. Iago uses it to refence to his ain honor, stating Othello that although he does non like the occupation Othello has given him, to happen out if Desdemona is rip offing, he has been Pricke vitamin D to t by foolish honestness, and love. Iago means that he will go on to state Othello the truth. However, Shakespeare has created intense dramatic sarcasm, for we see that Iago has been anything but stating Othello the complete truth, instead he is stating him merely half.

The 2nd usage of the word is directed towards both Cassio and Desdemona, in separate cases.

The first clip is directed to Cassio. Othello continues to oppugn Iago about Cassio s honestness, to which Iago replies I dare be sworn I think that he is honorable. Iago knows that Cassio is honest, at least in the footings that Othello would care about. However, the specific diction that Shakespeare has chosen seems allows Othello to read into Iago s address,

that piece Iago has no grounds to turn out otherwise, he doubts Cassio s honestness. Iago has besides changed the significance of the word somewhat, to intend that Cassio is faithful, that he is non kiping with Desdemona. It is as if Iago is holding a merriment clip, feigning that he is non certain if Cassio and Desdemona are holding an matter. However, Iago himself remains true to Othello, in the sense that he is non lying to him. However, his word use suggests otherwise. He does this subsequently on every bit good, when Othello asks Iago if he believes that Cassio is as he appears to be, i.e. non holding an matter. Iago once more says that he believe [ s ] Cassio s an honest adult male. Iago knows Cassio is honest in this sense of the word, in the sense that he is non rip offing on Othello. However, the subtext around these two lines is once more used to do Othello believe that Iago doubts his ain words, that while he does non hold cogent evidence otherwise, he is doubting himself. This accomplishes what Iago wishes to accomplish, to works the thought s into Othello s caput without really straightout lying. This is different from the old use because of the significance of the word has switched from honorable to faithful.

The 3rd use is besides the most effectual. The word is used in its most common signifier, with true as its significance. However, this significance is used continually by Iago to about lie consecutive to Othello. He foremost uses it to state Othello that if it were non in his ( Othello s ) best involvement, Iago would give his manhood, honestness, or wisdom. Shakespeare has created dramatic sarcasm, for while Iago is stating Othello that he would do these forfeits in Othello s best involvement, we know that he is making the exact opposite. We know that Iago is doing Othello see things that are non really at that place, that he is taking Othello to believe that Cassio and Desdemona are holding an matter. Othello believes that Iago means that he would lie to protect him, as Iago wishes him to, nevertheless, we know that merely the antonym is really happening. Iago once more plays with Othello s head subsequently, stating him that Honesty s a sap. Iago is about express joying in Othello s face. He tells Othello that honestness will acquire a adult male nowhere, something Iago evidently believes based on his actions in this drama. He uses the word to seek to carry Othello to happen out about Desdemona, but he is really utilizing it to warrant his ain actions to the audience, Shakespeare has him state this line about to supply the inducement for Iago to lie to Othello. Shakespeare is demoing us the manner Iago s head thinks with this line, that in order to acquire in front, a adult male must lie. This use is used by Iago to make the subtext once more, to do Othello believe that Iago is being wholly true with him, although we know that he has non.

Shakespeare has Iago use the word honest in three different signifiers to greatly lend to the subtext between Othello and Iago, and to foster the action line for Othello. Iago uses the word about laughingly behind Othello s back, stating him that he has been driven to honesty, when he know that Iago is merely stating Othello half truths. Shakespeare uses the word efficaciously to make dramatic sarcasm.


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