The dialogue between the musicians and the clown acts as comical relief during the beginning of the play. After the very dramatic and heart-rending events which transpired during the purpose scene; Cassio drunken outburst and discharge and Iago revealing his sinister plan of exploitation and manipulation the play has transferred into an almost complete tragedy.
However, Shakespeare commonly uses characters that are stereotypically seen as less intelligent (the Jester from King Lear, the Grave Diggers from Hamlet) to provide some comical banter through riddles and wordplays. The Clown begins by asking “Have your instruments been in Naples” (Line 3-4, III,i) implying that the music has an ugly nasal sound to it like that of a Neapolitan accent.
He continues to tease them with sexual references to the penis “O, thereby hangs a tail” and correlate the music the wind instruments they are playing “Marry, sir, by many a wind instrument that I know” (Line 10, III,i) which “hot air” from one’s anus. This humour sets a new tone for the play and allows Shakespeare to progress the scene with a more neutral tone than the preceding one and work toward the climax at the end.
2) The literary device used on page 40 was hyperbole; Cassio exclaims “I never knew a Florentine more kind and honest!” Such as statement indicates that not even one of his fellow countrymen has been so kind to him and intensifies the sense of kind. This is involving exaggeration, to both flatter and thank Iago for aiding him in finding a way to talk to Desdemona and win his lieutenant position back.
During the short scene Othello, Iago, and another gentleman are present. Othello instructs Iago “These letters give, to the pilot, and by him do my duties to the Senate” (Line 1-2, III,i); He then asks to see the fortifications at Cyprus.
This scene demonstrates that Othello is still much at work on the island of Cyprus and in accordance with his military commission, he is checking the defenses present on the island. He has sent letters back home to inform the Senate that the war has been won and asking what further military services they require from him.
During the conversation between Desdemona and Cassio at the beginning of Act 3, scene 3 there is a sense of dualism that does exist. While Cassio is asking Desdemona to support him and help him relinquish his position as Lieutenant there appears to be some underlying affection for one another throughout the scene.
Cassio is using his usual demeanor with Desdemona, constantly complimenting and praising her with undying devotion and debt for her aid on his behalf. To these remarks, Desdemona replies with flattery and assurance that she will do everything within her power to help him.
Though these appear to be in good nature, one can’t help but suspect if there really is any imitate allure between Cassio and Desdemona which is fuelling their cooperation on this matter. It could be argued that it is merely circumstantial and that Cassio is only appealing to Desdemona because he knows the control she holds over Othello, but their affection for each other appears to be legitimate and mutually reciprocated.
As Iago continues to “plant his seeds of doubt” Desdemona contributes to it unknowingly by constantly pestering Othello about re-instating Cassio as Lieutenant. Desdemona entreats Othello to forgive Cassio and reinstate him as lieutenant stating “I have been talking with a suitor here, a man that languishes in your displeasure” (Line 41-43, III,i).
Othello assures her that he will speak to Cassio, but he answers evasively when she tries to set a meeting time refusing to set a timeline for their meeting Desdemona then criticizes Othello for responding to her request so ungenerously and tentatively, and but he responds “Prithee no more: let him come when he will—I will deny thee nothing” (Line 76-77, III,i) telling her that he will deny her nothing but wishes to be left to himself for a little while.
By speaking so passionately on the behalf of Cassio, this allows Iago to easily create suspicion in the mind of Othello. Iago begins his insinuations of an affair between Cassio and Desdemona by reminding Othello that Cassio served as Othello and Desdemona’s go-between during their courtship and explaining that Desdemona’s love for Cassio is what fuels her constant support for Cassio reinstatement.
After Desdemona’s passionate speech on the behalf of Cassio, Othello begins to suspect underlying motives for her support for Cassio. He affectionately exclaims “Excellent wretch” and then laments “perdition catch my soul but I do love thee! And when I love thee not…” signifying that either way Othello will be hurt by loving her; to be damned if Othello does not love Desdemona or to love Desdemona even at the risk of incurring damnation.
This ambiguity and places Othello into a moral dilemma where he must pick the lesser of the two evils. Othello concludes with the philosophic resonance that “Chaos is come again” which infers that without the love of Desdemona his life would fall into chaos, which correlates with the primeval outlook that love maintains the structure of the universe.
Alone with Othello, Iago begins his insinuations of an affair between Cassio and Desdemona by reminding Othello that Cassio served as Othello and Desdemona’s intermediate during Othello’s courting of Desdemona “Did Michael Cassio, when you wooed my lady, know of your love?” (Line 96-97 III,iii).
This leads Othello to question Cassio integrity “Is he not honest?” in which Iago masterfully creates the illusion on doubt by feigning reluctance to answer. Iago pique Othello’s curiosity with his ambiguity and illusion of deception on the matter and causes Othello to shout “Think, my lord? By heaven, thou echo’st me” convincing Othello that Iago knows more about the matter than he is revealing, allowing Iago to freely lie to Othello about what he knows.
Iago cleverly plays the indecisiveness messenger alluring Othello’s honest nature into a web of lies and deception. Othello already arising suspicion about the nature of Cassio’s and Desdemona’s relationship, allow him to be so easily pulled into Iago’s fictitious stories.
From lines 117- 124, Othello demands “as if thou then hadst shut up in thy brain some horrible conceit. If thou does love me, show me thy thought” to which Iago replies “My lord, you know I love you” and Othello confirms “I think thou dost; and for I know thou’rt full of love and honesty…” .
From this dialogue, the reader can assume that Iago has Othello completely fooled by the nature of their relationship. Iago loathes Othello and only intends to manipulate him for selfish purposes, but has masked this hatred with superficial loyalty and adornment.
Othello confident in Iago’s love for him and the use of such vocabulary “love” and “honesty” to describe does demonstrate that Othello has a great amount of trust and respect for Iago. This relationship is clearly one-sided though and Iago is using his deceitful mannerisms to delude Othello.
During the lines 126- 127 Iago makes the remark “Men should be what they seem; or those that be not, would they might seem none!” which holds a create deal of irony and oblique. This statement basically translates to “Men should be what they appear to be. If they’re not honest, they shouldn’t pretend like they are!” and it is an absolute hypocrisy for Iago to make such an argument because that is exactly what is he is doing with Othello.
Iago is merely manipulating the other characters’ good nature and using his reputation as “Honest Iago” to avoid being conspicuous. It is so typical of Iago to make sure a comment which absolutely describes his motives but covers it to appear to have some moral consciousness.
Iago manipulates Othello throughout the course of act 3 beginning with the line “Men should be what they seem”. Iago is talking about Cassio, which is incidentally ironic in him saying this to manipulate Othello.
Iago’s sneaky mannerism is display when he says to Othello “it were not for your quiet… to let you know my thoughts” Iago is not revealing his thoughts on Cassio and Desdemona, as Iago knows this will make Othello believe that Iago is trying to protect him, and create the appearance that he is on Othello’s side.
Iago undermines Othello’s confidence in his wife by saying “she did deceive her father…” hoping to make Othello believe that she could deceive anyone else, including Othello. He goes on to confirm this treachery is believable by stating to Othello “I see y’are moved”.
Othello calling Iago “this honest creature” continues to illustrate this irony of their relationship because Iago is the most deceitful character in the play and his only intentions are to lie and harm Othello. Even more ironic Othello also calls Iago a ‘villain’; though he in no way means this accusation to be true, it is absolutely true.
Near the end of their conversation, Iago kneels to Othello, as to be worshipping Othello, showing Othello as the dominant mental power, however, Iago manipulative brilliance cannot be paralleled by Othello, and thus it should be vice versa is kneeling to Iago. Othello’s last line in act III, scene iii is “Now art thou my lieutenant” Othello made Iago his lieutenant, which Iago was enraged about from the beginning.
Iago’s responses to this “I am your own forever” demonstrates more irony because while Iago is pretending to be loyal to Othello by proclaiming himself within the power of Othello, it is really Othello who is under Iago’s control.
Emilia is Iago’s wife and Desdemona’s attendant. She appears to be a very cynical, but meanwhile a worldly woman. She does not appear to have any malicious intentions or be a part of her plot for revenge; in fact, she is rather distrustful of her husband. Her attachment to Desdemona is what allows her to become a pawn in Iago’s plan because she acts as an intermediary between Cassio and Desdemona allows them to discuss Cassio’s problem.
However, her love for her mistress is somewhat doubtful, especially after she finds her handkerchief and hands it off to Iago without knowing his full intentions. She feigns innocence about it to her Desdemona, and therefore her loyalty to her husband, Iago, for whatever reason may supersede her loyalty to her mistress.
During Shakespearean plays, the “clowns, jesters, and fools” are usually used to provide comical relief to the audience. The jovial and mischievous behaviour on their behalf allows them to mock other characters with riddles and word plays, providing “an emotional vacation from the more serious business of the main action”.
Though their bantering often regardless and playful humor these characters often provide insight into the text which other characters could not confer to the reader. They make deeply complex scenes more understandable to the audience by providing a realistic perspective to the issue beneath their corky jokes and remarks.
When Othello grasps Desdemona’s hand he remarks “This hand is moist, my lady” (Line 34, III, iii) speculating that her moist hand is evidence of her inherently lascivious nature. To this, she replies “It hath felt no age nor known no sorrow” claiming it moist because it’s still young and inexperienced. Othello insinuates that it is because she is fertile and has given her heart away to lustful temptations because of fragile young age.
This foreshadows Othello’s increasing jealously that is will perhaps drive him to insanity. Small and often irrelevant aspects and behavior of his wife now appear to him as deliberate evidence of her adultery. Such blindness indicates that Othello will be driven to rage over this matter and perhaps his jealousy will lead to him harming those he loves the most.
Desdemona’s handkerchief was a gift given to her by Othello upon their marriage. It was an object given to his mother by an Egyptian mind reader and then believes to maintain undying love between the owner and their lover. Othello gave to Desdemona, as an act of his love for her and her dropping of it perhaps symbolizes the break in their love. Though Desdemona treasures it, and often “kisses and talks to it” she has for some reason neglected it amongst Othello lamenting. The symbol of the handkerchief is at the heart of the play’s terrible irony. Given is a gift of true, honest, faithful love by Othello to Desdemona, it ultimately becomes a sign of Othello’s jealousy, mistrust, and insecurity.
In this passage, Emilia is insulting men’s behavior during relationships. She explains that a man’s true nature is exposed within “a year or two”. They are merely attracted to women for instantaneous gratification for “they are all stomachs. And we all but food (Line 100, III,iii). However once these superficial and often sexual needs are fulfilled “They eat us hungrily and when they are full, they belch us” (Line 101-102, III,iii). Men disregard the needs of their female companions and their “true colors” are revealed. She is convinced about the fickleness of men and how greatly their demeanor can during the progression of a relationship.
On line 130, Iago questions “Is my lord [Othello] angry?” (Line 131, III,iii). This demonstrates Iago’s pure evil because in the context he asks and the falsehoods of his sincerity. Iago is the sole reason for Iago’s anger because he has manipulated his good nature and through the power of persuasion turned him into a hateful and jealous man.
Iago pretending to be oblivious to this anger which he instigated demonstrates how deceiving and malevolence his behavior is. The fact that Iago would do such a thing and then deny responsible shows he has no moral or ethical dilemma about his behavior.
Iago knows his plan is working after several events have transpired, the primary of which Othello openly displaying jealousy and anger toward Desdemona. Emilia explains to her husband “He went hence but now, and certainly in strange unquietness.” (Line 128- 129, III, iii).
Iago replies o this with “Can he be angry?” (Line 130 III,iii) and explains he “have seen the cannon when it hath blown his ranks into the air” (Line 130- 131, III, iv) and Othello has remained cool-headed. Iago has blinded Othello with so much doubt and jealousy about his wife that Desdemona not being able to present his handkerchief to him, sending him into a fit of rage.
Such a small piece of circumstantial evidence has become indisputable evidence in Othello’s mind about the infidelity of his wife.
Emilia’s remarks in lines 158- 161 assert that Othello’s jealousy is the reason to justify his rejection of Desdemona. In response to Desdemona’s comment “Oh I never gave him a reason to be jealous” (Line 153, III, iii) by explaining that jealous people do not logical reason in that manner “But jealous souls will not be answered so;” (Line 153, III, iii).
People are not necessarily jealous for any understandable reason but are just simply jealous “They are not ever jealous for the cause, but jealous for they’re jealous.” (Line 154- 155, III, iii). If Othello cannot rid himself of this jealousy then it will manifest like a “monster” within and grow upon itself. Emilia believes it will be an uncontrollable illness that has arisen from nothing.
During Cassio’s conversation with Bianca, he seems completely oblivious to the vents transpiring around him. There appears to be a romantic relationship between Bianca and Cassio because she is visibly angry about finding Desdemona’s handkerchief. “O Cassio, whence come this? This is some token from a never friend” (Line 175- 176, III, iv).
She reprimands him for not visiting her more frequently, and he apologizes, saying that he is under stress. Cassio however is unaware of this owner of the handkerchief “I know not neither; I found it in my chambers” (Line 182- 183). Cassio even asks her to copy the embroidery of a handkerchief he recently found in his room onto another handkerchief.
Bianca accuses him of making her copy the embroidery of a love gift from some other woman, but Cassio tells her she is being silly. Cassio has absolutely no idea what kind of problematic situation he is placing himself into and it will ultimately lead to his dismay.
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