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Passage - Othello Gives Michael Cassio Orders Before He Goes off with Desdemona

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I have chosen this passage because it is a very important conversation between Othello and Cassio. This passage shows us how misled the characters are, how much irony there is in these few lines and how the language foreshadows the events that are to occur later on.

In these lines, Othello gives Michael Cassio orders before he goes off with Desdemona. The scene starts off with Othello warning Cassio to not go beyond limits when celebrating which shows us that Cassio is predisposed to some kind of anarchy. This could be foreshadowing the events and the disturbance that is caused by Cassio later on. Cassio replies that he has already given orders to Iago, but will take matters into his own personal attention. We see how Iago is bought into this conversation which also shows us that Iago will be involved in these events that are being foreshadowed. Instead of simply agreeing and following orders, Cassio brings Iago into the discussion. The word "honest" emerges in the lines and we immediately know how much the term is full of irony and we realize how both these characters have misjudged Iago which also reveals to us how duplicitous Iago is towards the other characters and how oblivious Othello and Cassio are to fact that Iago is somewhat shady as a character. The word 'honest' is also a constant reminder to the readers of the irony inherent of Iago's acts. The line is said in a very simple manner without any hesitations by Othello which shows us that to the characters onstage, there is no doubt that Iago is an honest man and this shows how he has promoted an incorrect impression of himself in order to gain power over people. We know that Iago is not present in these lines and we see how even behind his back, the characters do not talk bad about him which shows Iago's control over them. Shakespeare handily brings in the maxim of quality through Iago and proves it by using the word "Honest" to describe Iago a number of times. The web definition of the word honest is 'free of deceit and untruthfulness' and we know that Iago carefully chooses his words and throughout the play we do not even see one black lie from Iago. Another reason for Shakespeare's overuse of the word honest could be to show his intentions to highlight how people can interpret the word to their own benefit or meaning. He has applied honest and dishonest in a dramatic irony to the definition of which we define honest.



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