Iago's Soliloquy - Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 148 - 158
She that was ever fair and never proud,
Had tongue at will and yet was never loud,
Never lacked gold and yet went never gay,
Fled from her wish and yet said, “Now I may,”
She that being angered, her revenge being nigh,
Bade her wrong stay and her displeasure fly,
She that in wisdom never was so frail
To change the cod’s head for the salmon’s tail,
She that could think and ne'er disclose her mind,
See suitors following and not look behind,
She was a wight, if ever such wights were—
I think that Iago should start out speaking slowly, as if he is working out something in his mind, in the process of coming to a conclusion. He should be pacing at first, and look down as though he is talking to himself, with an anxious and concerned expression on his face. Then gradually get louder and louder, with more confidence, and start to talk to Emilia angrily, as if he was conveying to her very important instructions. By the end he should be at his loudest, addressing the audience, as if trying to convince them of what he is saying. He should make gestures with his arms towards the end, and as he is addressing the audience, beseeching them to understand him, and still glance over at Emilia because it is her that he is talking about, after all. This represents Iago’s journey from not an atypical person of the time, to a ruthless murderer, liar, and criminal. The audience will get the feeling that he moving from the calm and rational and becoming more and more frantic and desperate.
My character is Rodrigo. He appears in scenes with Iago mostly, He is in the first scene Act 1, Scene 1, where Iago and Rodrigo inform Desdemona's dad about her marriage. In the next scene he threatens to kill himself, and is talked out of it by Iago. He gives Iago jewels to give Desdemona, as a token of his love. Iago promises to give them to her, but doesn’t. Rodrigo doesn’t appear until the end when in Act V, Scene I-II, he comes up to Iago, angry that Desdemona has not fallen in love with him yet. Iago assures him that all is well, and that if he kills Cassio, Desdmeona will love him. Rodrigo agrees and them wounds Cassio, only to be killed, to his surprise, by Iago.
By looking at only the scenes that Rodrigo appears in, you can clearly follow his story, and motives. The only thing t hat Rodrigo was after the whole time was Desdemona’s affection. He was hopelessly in love with her, and it was that love that ended up killing him.
Desdemona was always an obedient girl. Her mother died when she was young. She loved her father, and never spoke back. She went to boarding school where she learned things that she thought she would one day need, and then pass down to her children, like sewing, cooking, manners, dancing, embroidery, etc. She had always hoped to have a girl. Desdemona hardly ventured out into the real world, and because of this she was pretty naive. She liked reading books with happy ending, and dreamed of one day marrying a prince. She believed that people were truly good at heart.
She wants to have an adventure of her own, so when Othello came telling her of his stories, she fell in love with him/them. She always wanted a happy ending, which adds irony and is tragic because she doesn't get a happy ending. She believes that people are good, and doesn't think that Othello would really kill her. She is obedient to her father, which is why she is so devoted to Othello. She never really had a mother figure so she completely devotes herself to men.
When I walk on, I will curtsy to the Duke of Venice. I will keep my tone clear, and fold my hands. When walking out, I walk out arm in arm with Othello. I am going to bring in a headband to wear during the scene, because it something that I believe Desdemona would have worn, to decorate herself. Out groups presentation will stand out because we made it interesting. We incorporated the use of levels into our presentation. We also have a lot of stage movement, and thought through the blocking and character movements on the stage. We have a lot of emotion in ours, as well as gesturing, which we worked out ahead of time. You can tell that our group collaborated well. We all get really into our characters, and we have a side conversation, a soliloquy, bowing, arguing, talking, and beseeching. Our scene is very interesting.
“My noble father, I do perceive here a divided duty. To you I am bound for life and education. My life and education both do learn me how to respect you. You are the lord of my duty. I am hitherto your daughter. But here’s my husband, and so much duty as my mother showed to you, preferring you before her father, so much I challenge that I may profess due to the Moor my lord.”
This quote is the first thing that Desdemona says in the whole play. The way she put together her words shows thoughtfulness. She does not say that she belongs to Othello first, and does not disrespect her father. She acknowledges that she has a “divided duty.” She praises him first, and then says that she needs to be with Othello before her father, just as her mother chose Brabantio over her own father. She plays with her father’s emotions, and it shows just how clever she is. These clever convincing words later make her confident when trying to help Cassio, while unknowingly fueling Othello’s anger and jealousy. Showing that Desdemona is honest is important because it shows just how poisoned Othello was by Iago’s words, when he was blind to her convincing truthfulness.
In the play, I delivered this line as honestly as I could, with a clear and even tone, to portray this. Our group’s performance went exactly as planned. I think we did well. We played with emotion, levels, stage directions, and props. If I was to do anything differently I would have even better costumes, and have it even more put together and extravagant but there is only so much you can do with the time we had.
The play really pulled all the pieces of the book together for me. I understood the book, but the play definitely added. I thoroughly enjoyed this whole experience, both with acting out Othello, and reading the book. I gained a lot.