Othello Act 1, scene 1

Angry that Iago never tells him anything . Roderigo: “Tush, never tell me”
Use of a double meaning to show how Iago controls his money and to suggest that Iago also controls him, like a puppet. The audience also don’t know what ‘this’ is yet. Roderigo: “who hast had my purse / As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this”
Roderigo wants to know why Iago hates Othello. Roderigo: “Thou told’t me thou didst hold him in thy hate”
Iago shows his pride and arrogance when he shows he thinks he should have been chosen. Iago: “I know my price: I am worth no worse a place”
Iago is critical of Othello’s own pride which is ironic and hypocritical because Iago is very proud of himself. Iago: “But he, as loving his own pride and purposes”
Iago says that Othello is too full of himself and talks military nonsense, to suggest that Othello doesn’t actually know anything about war. (2) Iago: “bombast circumstance” Iago: “epithets of war”
Iago thinks he is more competent than Cassio therefore he should have been promoted. He thinks Cassio only understands the theory of war and isn’t experienced enough. (4) Iago: “a great arithmetician”Iago: “never set a squadron in the field”Iago: “bookish theoric”Iago: “mere prattle without practice / Is all his soldiership”
Casual sexism from Iago helps to establish Iago’s misogyny which he uses to infect Othello’s mind. Iago: “A fellow almost damned in a fair wife”
Iago suggests that there is proof that he is better than Cassio. Iago: “seen the proof”
Iago’s pun on words to mock Othello and the colour of his skin – suggests his rank doesn’t earn him the title of ‘his lordship’ because he is a moor. Iago: “His Moorship’s”
Iago feels cheated out of a promotion which acts as his motive. He feels that Othello choose Cassio because he liked him, not because of credentials and experience. Iago: “Preferment goes by letter and affection, / And not by old graduation, where each second / Stood heir to th’first”
Iago doesn’t see a reason to love Othello because he didn’t promote him – foreshadowing. Iago: “Whether I in any just term am affined / To love the Moor”
Iago shows his intent to revenge and deceive. Iago: “I follow him to serve my term upon him.”
Iago says he will only pretend to follow Othello, showing that you can have position that means nothing and has no power. Iago: “We cannot all be masters, nor all masters / Cannot be truly followed”
Iago’s use of offensive language against Othello which contrasts his opinion of himself (shown by noble and dutiful imagery) and shows how he hates him. Good vs. Evil. This also further shows his arrogance. (3/3) Iago: “duteous and knee-crooking knave” – contrastIago: “obsequious bondage”Iago: “honest knaves”Iago: “visages of duty”Iago: “shows of service on their lords” – language of deceitIago: “These fellows have some soul, / And such a one do I profess myself”
Iago is open to the audience about deceiving Othello and not actually following him – he follows himself. This means that the audience foreshadow what is to come and don’t trust him. Iago: “Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago; / In following him, I follow but myself”
Iago shows possibly some christian conscience but also creates and oxymoron for saying that his doesn’t judge himself when he does in fact do so. Iago: “Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty”
Suggests white peoples dominance through his separatist use of the word “native” – only white people can be good? Link with black men being devils. Iago: “The native act and figure of my heart”
Iago uses a metaphor to show how he plans to implicate his deceit. Iago: “I will wear my heart on my sleeve”
Shakespeare uses monosyllabic words to draw attention to Iago’s deceit. Iago: “I am not what I am”
Roderigo uses language to insult Othello which shows Iago’s influence on Roderigo. Roderigo: “thick-lips”
Iago and Rodrigo want to make a scene and disturb everyone to make Brabantio embarrassed which is a hateful thing to do. (4) Iago: “Rouse him”Iago: ‘Proclaim him in the streets’Iago: “it may lose some colour”Iago: “dire yell”
Shakespeare uses metaphors to show how Iago and Roderigo don’t want to help, instead they want to do what the metaphors imply. The figurative language use of metaphors also symbolises deceit. (2) Iago: “poison his delight’Iago: ‘Plague him with flies”
Shakespeare uses exclamations and repetition of 3 in Iago’s language to emphasise the cruel and inconspicuous way in which they wake Brabantio. Context: shows the patriarchal view that women were property owned by fathers and husbands. The syntax also implies mens priorities in general as objects come before women which presents a strong disregard for women. Iago: “Thieves, thieves, thieves! / Look to your house, your daughter, and your bags! / Thieves, thieves!”
Shakespeare’s choice of verb suggests an assault on Brabntio’s property. Iago: “robbed”
Vulgar use of animalistic imagery by Iago to reinforce a racist, negative stereotype of black men shows his high levels of prejudice. Use of contrasting colour imagery. Iago: “an old black ram / Is tupping your white ewe”
Iago suggests that black men are devils – this would have shocked some of Shakespeare’s highly religious audience and complimented the views of others in his audience. Iago: “the devil make a grander of you”
Brabantio’s many questions show that his authority has been subverted and he must act in response to his social inferiors, instead of directing them. The questions show his alarm and lack of control. As the only one who doesn’t ask any questions, Iago is shown as having the most superiority and control in the situation. (3) Brabantio: “What, have you lost your wits?”Roderigo: “do you know my voice?”Brabantio: “Not I, what are you?”
Brabtnio reinforces the idea that Desdemona is his property. Brabantio: “My daughter is not for thee”
Brabantio dismisses Roderigo in a commanding tone which shows his normal status – which is being undermined. Brabantio: “But thou must needs be sure”
Brabantio rejects the idea that his daughter would go off with an animal. Brabantio: “My house is not a grange”
Animalistic imagery casts Othello as a lustful predator and emphasises the idea of the match being unnatural. Iago suggest that Brabantio will have a family of horses if it continues. Iago: “You’ll have your / Daughter covered with a Barbary course, you’ll have / Your nephews neigh to you; you’ll have coursers for / Cousins and jennets for germans”
Iago’s crude words are undermining Brabantio’s social status as much as Desdemona’s actions. He chooses them deliberately, confidently forcing his own interpretation of events onto him – a pattern that will be repeated with Othello himself later in the play. These comments are what really capture Brabantio’s attention and it gets the results Iago wanted: an angry a father, appalled by what he hears. Iago: “your daughter and / The Moor are now making the beast with two backs”
Shakespeare uses dramatic irony as Brabantio is unaware of the truth in his words and Roderigo fails to recognise that he is being deceived. Brabantio: “Thou art a villain”
Iago attacks Brabantio’s reputation. Iago: “You are a senator”
Shakespeare emphasises the contrast of races through colour imagery. Roderigo: “fair daughter”
Roderigo presents the unnatural quality of the match – the marriage is a subversion of the natural order and emphasise Desdemona’s disobedience. (2) Roderigo: “odd-even and dull with o’th’night”Roderigo: “bold and saucy wrongs”
Othello is considered nothing more than a common sinner despite his high rank. Roderigo: “kave od common hire”
Shakespeare echoes the narrative description of Othello from earlier in the scene. Roderigo: “gross clasps of a lascivious Moor”
Roderigo’s xenophobic view of Desdemona’s marriage to Othello is one than Brabantio can understand – he views his daughters marriage as an incomprehensible rejection of all she has ever known. Link: Brabntio’s death from sorrow is directly attributed to the sorrow he feels for the ” “. (2) Roderigo: “gross revolt” (repetition of gross)Roderigo: extravagant and wheeling stranger”