Othello – Iago quotes

Look to her , Moor, if thou hast eyes to see / she has deceived her father , and may thee – act 1 scene 3 – brabantio Later used in the play by Iago as evidence of D infidelity
He takes her by the palm. At, well said, whisper! With as little a web as this I will ensnare as great a fly as Cassio – act 2 scene 1 Iago sees his chance for revenge in the enthusiastic behaviour and actions of C C is acting according to the etiquette of Venetian polite society yet Iago twists this into a more lascivious side to his actionsImagery of referring to his plan as a ‘web’ paints himself as a dangerous spider who plans to trap his prey in an invisible trap
O, you are well tuned now; But I’ll set down the pegs that make the music / As honest as I am – Act 2 scene 1 – Iago Iago closely observes the intimacy and love between O and D promising to ruin the happiness Compares them to a piece of music which aptly describes their rhythm and harmony when in each other’s companyIago promises to “set down the pegs” effectively suggesting he will interfere and upset this harmony Ironic “as honest as I am” suggests he will be interning for his own purposes of revenge
I know, Iago / thy honesty and love doth mince this matter / making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love thee / but never more be officer of mine – act 2 scene 3 Dramatic irony ‘mince this matter’ is obvious O believes story Iago tells is only part of truth which is correct however O believes truth to be is that C has more involvement than is being told Reality is Iago leaves his own meddling in affairs which led to the brawl End of his speech Iago has successfully discredited Cassio in the eyes of Othello Brief and bold judgement “never more be officer of mine” – demonstrates effective and authoritative leadership Audience sees Othello is rash and quick to judgment believing what he hearsBecomes his flaw as play progresses
I hate the Moor / But I for mere suspicion in that kind / Will do, as if for surety – act 1 scene 3 – Iago End of first act Iago revels his hatred for Othello. Simple and blunt reveals the strength of Iago’s hatred Iago’s willingness to act on “suspicion as if for surety” suggests there is an inherent evil nature to his character and that the motives he gives are purely incidental Ironically, exactly what Iago is able to convince Othello to do – change from being a man who judges by what he sees to judging on what he hears
The Moor is of a free and open nature / that thinks men honest that but seem to be so – Act 1 scene 3 – Iago Iago views O’s qualities of trust and openness that O is proud of as a weakness Audience knows being “of a free and open nature” Iago believes is a flaw making a person susceptible to being taken advantage of – which in this soliloquy Iago makes clear he intends to do this to Othello
Demand me nothing. What you know, you know / from this time forth I never will speak word – act 5 scene 2 – Iago Iago last lines – defiant, rebellious and enhance the ambiguity of the nature of the nature of his character for the audience For audience rather meek ending for a villain such as Iago Adds to enigmatic nature of his evil and suggests he was operating entirely without motive Motives have been questionable and founded mainly on rumour and hearsay Fact he offers no explanation seems to make his actions all the more worse and furthers the link made between him and the devil
I look down towards his feet – but that’s a fable / if that thou best a devil, I cannot kill thee – act 5 scene 2 – othello O refers to a fable as he looks at Iago’s feet He is checking for clove hooves suggestive of the fact O believes Iago must be the devil Iago finally seen for the diabolical villain who convinced everyone of his honesty He became a confidant and advisor to all whiles simultaneously scheming to bring down othello , Cassio and Desdemona
Now whether he kill Cassio or Cassio him or each do kill the other Repetition of or suggests elements of uncertainty at this point , Iago the main instigator doesn’t know what will happen either way it will work in his favour
I am not what I am – act 1 scene 1 – Iago The contradiction of this statement clearly establishes Iago’s duplicity early in the drama how he appears throughout the play is very different from the relations of his beliefs and motivesEstablishes the demonic nature of his character – that his outward appearance is merely to conceal his true self
Like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards / till I am evened with him wife for wife – act 2 scene 2 Uses imagery to describe the effect he thought of his wife’s affair with Othello has on him He compares the feeling to a poisonous mineral working on his stomach Iago is clearly jealous of othello and uses this rumour as justification for his actions He refers to squaring things “wife for wife” suggesting he fully intends to use Desdemona in order to destroy othello
Do it with poison. Strangle her in bed, even the bed she hath contaminated – act 4 scene 1 Iago is so confident in his hold over Othello he can even direct him in the manner of D murder . Othello sickening pleasure in response to this command is the thrice repeated “good” – suggests he is taking pleasure in the thoughts of his revenge His madness is also demonstrated here with his reference to the murder being an act of justiceThis idea is laden with dramatic irony as the audience is fully aware that D and C are completely innocent The idea of justice is repeated as the play builds to its climax making the tragedy even more devastating for the audience
Divinity of hell / when devils will the blackest sins put on / they do suggest at first with heavenly shows -act 2 scene 3 – Iago Demonstrates where his worship lies The phase is an oxymoron suggesting that he sees the divine in the work of the devil Uses contrasting images of the heaven and hell which demonstrates a self awareness of the evil he is perpetrating. “Heavenly shows” refers to his friendly exterior while “blackest sins” reveals his true nature
As I do now. For whiles this honest fool / piles Desdemona to repair his fortune / I’ll pour this pestilence into his ear Pestilence suggests connotations of disease and virus which will have the exact same effect that Iago’s lies will have on Othello Iago expresses how he likes to capitalise and exploit the positive traits others possess . Refers to Cassio as an ‘honest fool’ which he can manipulateAlso intends to turns Desdemona’s “virtue into pitch” suggesting that her willingness to assist Cassio will be misconstructed
Act 2 scene 3 – Iago That shall enmesh them all
Act 3 scene 3 – Iago I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin / and let him find it Trifles light as air / are to the jealous confirmations strong / as proofs of Holy Writ Iago realised the handkerchief represents their faith and commitment Iago uses this as proof that Othello has demanded. He explains to the audience that even circumstantial evidence such as this which would be dismissed by anyone with a clear mind – to Othello who is already twisted with jealousy will see it as absolute The comparison to ‘Holy Writ’ gives the impression of the evidence being set in stone , utterly convincing to someone in Othello’s state of mind
Act 3 scene 3 – Iago Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio / wear your eyes thus: not jealous nor secure Crucial suggestion to the success of Iago’s plan having constructed Cassio to appeal to Desdemona’s good nature he will give Othello countless opportunities to see them together Desdemona’s appeal on behalf of Cassio will also take on new meaning in the eyes of Othello Iago’s control of this conversation has been total and he can now openly suggest the idea of Cassio and Desdemona knowing that Othello has already come up with it himselfThat control has now extended to Othello a actions
Act 3 scene 3 -Iago O beware, my lord, of jealousy! / it is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock / the meat it feeds on Subtly introduced the idea of guilt and attached it to Cassio and Desdemona. Iago now refers to the idea of jealousy and directed his accusation it Othello Iago allows these powerful ideas to come together in Othello’s mind, so that when he finally mentions the possibility of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness Othello already believes it as plausible, yet not entirely certain