Essay: Comparison of Iago’s Soliloquies
Compare two of Iago’s soliloquies, Act1, Scene 3, lines 358-378 and act 2, Scene 1, lines 256-282. How are they similar in the theme and in structure? What responses do the soliloquies elicit from the audience? Consider the audience feelings of comfort, discomfort, fear, sympathy, repulsion, expectation, and suspense.
In the two soliloquies Iago’s, Act1, Scene 3, lines 358-378 and act two, Scene 1, lines 256-282, he seems not to take decisions of women seriously. He is determined to make sure that Desdemona marries Cassio, as he does not see the chance of a woman from a noble family marrying a moor. He also seems to be a racist for he calls Othello a moor even though he is his senior in the army. He is not happy with Othello for he thinks that he has slept with Emilia and he says he will take revenge against the moor “wife for wife”. (II.i.286)
Iago is not trustworthy as is evidenced in act 1, scene iii when he declares that he will swindle Cassio of his money and then try to prove to Othello that his wife is cheating on him with Cassio. Even though Iago pretends that he does not need Cassio’s money when he tells him “Put but money in thy purse,” he is just pretending for he needs it badly. He does not trust women for he is suspecting his wife of having an affair with Othello.
The audience just sympathizes with Iago for it knows that Desdemona truly loves her husband and there is no chance of her cheating on her husband. He is over ambitious and there are chances of him failing in his plans and damaging his reputation in the process. Although Othello is colored, there is no chance of comparing him to Iago for he is far more superior to him. There is a feeling of suspense in the audience as it listens to Iago, for nobody knows the reaction of Othello when he gets to hear this story. Although Othello loves Desdemona, a question of infidelity is very serious in a relationship.