Othello Act 1 scene 1 quotations

“In personal suit to make me his lieutenant” -Iago Annoyed due to not being promoted. Beginning of Iago’s deep resentment towards Othello.
“I know my price, I am worth no worse a place”- Iago Highlights his egotistical nature. The Audience have a constant reminder of Iago’s negativity from the start compels the sense that he has dominance.
“Loving is own pride and purposes”- Iago Believes that any job below lieutenant is below his own worth. Insult that he wasn’t picked by the Moor.
“To love the Moor”- Iago Dehumanising. Iago refers to Othello not by his name, or position but simply by his race, labelling him as “the moor”.
” I follow him to serve my turn upon him” Dismissing Othello’s decision. He will use Othello to gain what he desires. Foreshadowing later events of Iago’s power quest.
“We cannot all be masters, not all masters cannot be truly follow’d” Iago will never truly serve Othello.
“Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago”
“Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty” – Iago Shows that Iago does not question his motives, that God is his judge. Heavily ironic as he wouldn’t go to Heaven. Highlights his power to manipulate, showcasing Tragic villain behaviour. Ambiguous tone in his character. Contexts- unchristian language and as the audience is Christian they would be frightened by the prospect of heaven and hell- Catharsis.
“But seeming so for my peculiar end”- Iago Iago reveals himself to Roderigo as self-seeking, malicious individual who will use every device to attain his “peculiar end”
“I am not what I am”- Iago Links to “I am not what I seem”. Shakespeare has built the character of Iago from a concept already existing in the theatrical culture. Highlights is devil like abilities and villainous intentions.
“Thick lips”- Roderigo Reference to Othello’s appearance. Racist attitudes.
“Poison his delight”- Iago Instil pain in others. Contextualised- telling Roderigo to wake Desdemona’s father.
“Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe”- Iago Sexual image comprised with animalstic imagery. Making the point that Othello is not human due to his skin colour even though he is above them in the army.
“The devil will make a grandsire of you “- Iago Othello is linked to the devil which is ironic as Iago is the villain in the play.
” My daughter is not for thee”- Brabantio Roderigo has been rejected by Brabantio as a candidate for Desdemona’s hand. This offers an interesting parallel: Iago has been denied his chance to become Othello’s lieutenant and Roderigo has been denied his chance to become a suitor. Rejection and revenge are then potent ingredients in this tragedy. Brabantio seems dense and uncomprehending.
“You’ll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse”- Iago Sexual image. Iago is enjoying telling Brabantio this. Finds pleasure in his evilness. Iago fails to identify Othello. Iago can continue to curse Othello’s so called villainous nature and thereby reveals to the audience the depths of Iago’s own corruptness.
“Beast with two backs”- Iago Sexual image.
“Thou art a villain”- Brabantio Even at the start of the play, Iago’s character is being labelled as the villain. Foreshadows later events.
“To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor”- Roderigo Appetite for sexual desire.
“Though I do hate him as I do hell’s pain”- Iago Comparing Othello to hell.
“And raise some special officers of night: on, good Roderigo; I’ll deserve your pains”- Brabantio Brabantio comprehends what Iago and Roderigo are saying and recalls a dream that foretold of just such calamity. Dreams and omens create the sense that fate somehow has a hand in the tragic events. Brabantio sudden preference for Roderigo, who has already been proven somewhat a fool over Othello. Continual implied racism.

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