Act III Iago Questions (Iago’s speech to Roderigo)

Posted: October 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

1. What is Iago trying to make other people think?

Iago is trying to show Roderigo (who wouldn’t need too much persuasion because of his present bias) that Othello and black people in general and bad people with bad intentions. He needs Roderigo’s help to make Othello’s life miserable and is trying to tell him a lot of negatives about “Moors” in order to show him that he’s a bad man and that they should do something about him.

2. What tactics does Iago rely on to make his victims believe him?

He relies on degrading words like the “Moor” a lot through out the speech. He also plays to some stereotypes of black males, comparing a possibly commonly preferred food of them at the time (locusts) to women. He also says that the “Moors are changeable in their wills”. Which means that he could all of a sudden change his mind about loving Desdimona and leave her for another woman. He also repeatedly tells Roderigo to “put money in thy purse”. There are two reasons for this, the first being that in case Othello leaves Desdimona, Roderigo should have money in order to get her. The second reason being, he wants to take advantage of Roderigo and get him to spend money on him while he helps him get Desdimona.

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