Act 1 Scene 3 can be split into three main sections. The first contains the Duke and Senators discussing eventualities of the Turkish fleet and the war. The second, Brabantio followed by other characters interrupts the court to complain about Othello's courting of Desdemona, his daughter. It is in this section that Iago first appears in the background in this scene, for example we hear of him being asked by Othello to accompany his new wife to Cyprus. In the final section of the scene Iago and Roderigo are left on stage. At this point Iago develops his plan. He is shown to be a manipulator of others, and his soliloquy shows his true thoughts and feelings.
Iago's appearance at the end of the scene demonstrates that Iago is a man who works in the background and who schemes behind the backs' of the other characters. This is because while we have already seen Iago scheming in the first scene with Roderigo, it isn't until this scene that the sheer size of Iago's duplicity is fully demonstrated to the audience. This is revealed by the fact that the scene takes place in a background of war. As a result Iago appears to be a military figure under Othello and encourages other characters to trust him with particular jobs (in the second section). This trust and authority is then undermined by the formation of his plan to cause the downfall of Othello and to some extent Cassio. In this scene Iago's character begins to really develop as Shakespeare uses his actions and speeches as a catalyst for the plot. I believe that although Iago is clearly the villain, he is a man who has qualities that can be admired.
[...] Examine Shakespeare's presentation of Iago in Act 1 Scene 3, relating this scene to the play as a whole Act 1 Scene 3 can be split into three main sections. The first contains the Duke and Senators discussing eventualities of the Turkish fleet and the war. The second, Brabantio followed by other characters interrupts the court to complain about Othello's courting of Desdemona, his daughter. It is in this section that Iago first appears in the background in this scene, for example we hear of him being asked by Othello to accompany his new wife to Cyprus. [...]
[...] Shakespeare continually shows the audience Iago's manipulation of Roderigo in other scenes of the play. For example in Act 4 Scene 2 when Roderigo looks as if he understands that Iago is extorting money from him, Iago blinds Roderigo to the truth with charming phrases like “I see there's mettle in thee”. These compliments distract Roderigo from the truth. I believe that the audience is meant to be impressed by the way in which Iago lures Roderigo onside so much so that he also manages to get Roderigo to attempt to kill Cassio. [...]
[...] Further examples are in Act 2 Scene 3 when he claims that “devils with their blackest sins” tempt people “as I do now”. An additional example of hellish imagery associated with Iago is when he appears to start to work out his plan for Othello's downfall. Iago claims that his plan is “engendered”. Shakespeare is giving the audience the impression that Iago's plan is a living creature that has been born. The birth is described as “monstrous”. In consequence, it is as if Iago breeds evil into the lives of Othello, Cassio and others with the birth of his plan. [...]
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