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Flashcards in Quotes Deck (7)
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“My life upon her faith”

Othello’s declaration of trust has heavy irony after Brabantio warning. It is the complete devotion and trust in Desdemona Iago to tap into Othello’s social and racial insecurities


“ I cannot think/that he would steal away so guilty like/seeing you coming”

This is the turning point in act three scene three, as Iago taunts a Othello with suggestions of Desdemona‘s unfaithfulness. Iago’s use of “steal” and “guilty like” imply to Othello that something forbidden is happening. Due to his gullibility, Othello interest and jealousy peaks. Iago plays on his gullibility and plays with diction


“I’ll tear her to pieces”

Once Iago shows evidence of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness, Othello has a violent and aggressive outburst. The animalistic imagery reveals his “true” nature rather than the poised character he is. This is the result of his gullibility


“[aside] with as little a web as this will I ensnare aa great a fly as Cassio”

Iago sees his chance for revenge in the behaviour and actions of Casio when greeting Desdemona. The use of imagery is extremely effective, referring to this plan as a web, painting himself as a spider who traps is prey in an invisible trap


“The moor is of a free and open nature”

Iago sees a Othello’s qualities of openness and trust as a weakness. Iago believes these are flaws that make a person easy to manipulate. In this soliloquy, Iago expresses how he wants to take advantage of Othello’s positives traits, emphasising his manipulative nature


“Men should be what they seem”

Iago says these words to Othello during a discussion about Cassio’s trustfulness. Given Iago’s deviousness, this statement is ironic as he covers up his own treachery whilst causing Othello to doubt Cassio. It serves as a warning to the audience to be weary of appearances
Appearance versus reality


“I am not what I am”

Iago confesses that he hates both Casio and Othello and only is loyal for show. The contradiction of this statement clearly establishes Iago’s duplicity early in the play, he is conveyed in a way which contradicts his motives. this establishes his demonic nature of his characterisation. This is also a biblical allusion as this twists the God’s words of “I am what I am”, turning into a negative connotation and emphasises his diabolical nature.
Appearance versus reality