Iago's Soliloquy

What are the four important soliloquies in Othello and what do they mean?

Expert Answers info

durbanville eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2012

write2,381 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Math, and Social Sciences

Shakespeare makes extensive use of soliloquies in his plays to share the inner thoughts of his characters and to reveal crucial information with his audience. Through them, characters inform the audience by effectively talking to themselves and this drives the plot and develops character. In Othello, the audience knows that there is more than meets the eye in the character of Iago, and it is ironic that it is the honesty he displays in such words as "I am not what I am" (I.i.66), wrapped up in contradiction, which has the characters believing in him, oblivious to his wicked manipulation.

Important soliloquies include those mentioned in the previous answers - Act I, scene iii and Act II, scene i- wherein Iago's self-interest and misinterpretation of circumstances feed his obsession with revenge. They reveal Iago's intention to take advantage of Othello's "free and open nature" (I. iii. 393) and to use Cassio's obvious friendship with Desdemona to mislead Othello because Iago says, "I know his trumpet" (II.i.176) meaning Iago knows that he can use Othello's weaknesses - and jealousy - against him.

In Iago's soliloquy in Act II, scene iii, Iago is relishing his satisfaction because it has been so easy to use Cassio and Roderigo to further his plan. He is pleased that Cassio is set up and that he only has to "fasten but one cup upon him (Cassio)" (44) in order to further his plan and Roderigo is a "sick fool" (47) who is so love-struck that he will do anything for Iago in the...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 815 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Tamara K. H. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write3,619 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences











Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

gbeatty eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write2,654 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial