Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) Questions and Answers
by Ann-Marie Macdonald

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In Act II, scene ii of Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), MacDonald's Iago enters carrying two buckets of filth. Discuss the dramatic and thematic purpose of this device.

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In one sense, there is real poetic justice in describing Iago in this way. He is a character who seeks to profit from peddling filth and reporting it to others, so it is only fitting that, as punishment for his crimes, he has to carry it. Iago himself ironically describes this punishment as a kind of reward:

Othello seeks to hide the grisly news

That he did almost kill his guiltless wife,

So dares not gut me openly in law,

But decorates my service with a mean and stinking

Yoke.

This "decoration" is a just reward for Iago's role in both plays, the original and this rewritten version of the original, as Iago in both seeks to spread filth and poisonous lies to advance his own purposes. In one sense, therefore, this device only makes explicit the role of Iago. However, it also serves the function of making Iago turn against Constance. He sees her as the cause of his present misfortune, and thus begins to think of how he can turn his machinations against her. This is something that has serious implications for the plot of the play.

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