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Word Count: 1,450
Othello written by William Shakespeare is the story of Othello the protagonist and tragic hero of the play A Moor commanding the armies of Venice he is a celebrated general and heroic figure whose free and open nature will enable Iago to twist his love for his wife Desdemona into a powerful jealousy Iago is Othellos ensign and Shakespeares greatest villain His public face of bravery and honesty conceals a Satanic delight in manipulation and destruction Passed over for a promotion by his commander he vows to destroy the Moor If Iago is an artist of evil then this scene is the finest canvas he paints This is the crucial moment in the play the scene where he deceives Othello and induces him to fall He does so by expanding on the tactics used in prior scenes Once the seed of doubt is planted in the Moors mind with a quick Ha I like not that IIIiii35 when they come upon Desdemona and Cassio and a few probing questions about the ex-lieutenants relationship to Othellos wife Iago retreats into the guise he has adopted He becomes honest Iago again as in the brawl in Act II scene ii--the reluctant truth-teller who must have unpleasant news dragged from him by a determined Othello The honesty suggested by his reluctance to speak is reinforced by the moralizing tone that he takes with his commander Iago actually lectures Othello warning him against jealousy the green-eyed monster and insisting that he will not speak slander he that filches from me my good name Robs of that which not enriches him And makes me poor indeed IIIiii158-61 At the same time he plays upon the insecurities of the honest noble African in sophisticated decadent Venice by lecturing Othello on how Venetian women are deceitful and treacherous by nature The overall effect is to pour verbal poison in his masters ear--not by lying but by flavoring
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