Othello’s Skin Essay

Submitted By magicmo
Words: 570
Pages: 3

In the opening act of Othello, we are introduced to several different personalities and characteristics which is evident through the portrayals of the different characters. Two of the main characters in the play, Othello and Iago, embrace completely different characteristics and it comes this comes out in both of them.
We understand immediately from the first scene in act one that Iago’s personality is a deceptive one and one that is very negative. He has evidently been affected by Othello’s decision to promote Cassio over him and this is shown through the language he uses when he calls Othello a ‘Moor’ which refers to Othello’s skin colour. His vindictive ways are also shown when he promises to ‘serve [his] turn’ which means that he wants to get his own back on Othello. We are given a very deep insight into Iago from the very beginning from his speeches and decisions and it is very easy to make a judgement on him. The entire first encounter with Rodrigo is set in the dark which gives the implication of secrets and deceits and this, coupled with his speech, gives us a very negative intial insight to Iago. The language used in the opening scene highlights Iago’s personality clearly as it shows the audience that he is a spiteful character. His vengefulness is again highlighted in his decision to take Rodrigo and go to Brabantio’s home to tell him about his daughter, Desdemona, and Othello. His language in his speech to Brabantio contains very crude language regardless of the fact that it is his daughter that he is speaking about. ‘An old black ram is tupping your white ewe’ is a quote by Iago directly to Brabantio which clearly shows the extent of his crude language. It is clear to see that Iago is not a man of morals from when he says ‘Virtue? A fig’. This shows that he views morals and virtues as worthless and is more concerned with other things in his life. One of the most famous Shakespearean quotes and the most from Othello sums up Iago as a whole when he says; ‘I am not what I am’. The staging in Othello also contributes to the insight given of Iago as initially he