The early scenes of “Othello” establish Sago’s character and allow the audience to learn of his nature. He plays two different people, the disguise of the trusty and loyal ensign and the one whom hides behind this disguise. Act One, Scene One is the most Important because It foreshadows the whole drama. Ago Is young and treacherous, a scoundrel from the start of the play. In “Othello”, Shakespeare makes the audience aware of the notion that people are not all what they appear to be on the surface.
Sago’s character compliments this notion, as he cleverly disguises his true nature behind a mask. He portrays himself as Othello loyal and trustworthy ensign as opposed to his actual evil and mischievous nature. Ago gives the reader a warning that he is not all that he seems when he says, “l am not what I am”. Shakespeare suggests that Ago is not really a man, but the devil in disguise, manipulating people for his own pleasure. His character Is quickly established as corrupt and sly as he pretends to be a supporter of Othello but In reality, is secretly scheming against him.
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Ago achieves this easily as his great ability to play the part of the “loyal ensign” renders his facade more than convincing. Othello believes “honest Sago’s” every word and begins to rely on him for information. Sago’s jealousy of Othello position is more than evident as he broods upon the lost promotion. Othello took the advice of others and chose Cassia, who is young and untested. Ago feels betrayed at this because Othello had seen him in battle but overlooked him.
In Act One, Scene One, Ago and Ordering are discussing the current situation and Ago expresses his thoughts awards the promotion. “l know my price, I am worth no worse a place,” says Ago of being a Lieutenant, “but he [Othello] as loving halls own pride and purposes, evades them with a bombast circumstance. ” This emphasizes Sago’s contempt towards Othello decision. He feels as though he is not worthy of any less a position as a Lieutenant, therefore feels insulted that Cassia, a Florentine, who has never even “set a squadron In the field” has received the position over him.
Once again, Sago’s immorality is revealed when portraying Cassia as “a fellow almost damned in a fair wife. This is a paradox, as he has used the word damned as opposed to blessed, revealing Sago’s ideology regarding marriage: a burden. He Is mistrusting in the honest nature of people, especially Othello. Ago appears to be an honest man, where his “honesty” is regarded highly of by Othello. We learn later in the play that this misplaced trust in Ago is what brings about Othello end.
In Act 1, Scene 1, Ago reveals that he is indeed only pretending to be Othello faithful officer to serve his own purposes. “O sir, I content you,” he says to Ordering, “l follow him [Othello] to river my turn upon him. ” He Is Immoral, but very perceptive, keen, and able to manipulate people into falling for the traps he sets without them being aware. Throughout the entire first scene, no character has called Othello by his name, but they have referred to him with derogatory terms such as “the devil” and “the thick lips”.
Ago constantly refers to Othello as “the Moor”, which Is a reference to his race, suggesting that Ago is trying to take away Othello individuality by calling him a 1 OFF Adhesion’s lovemaking in obscene terms. When explaining to Abrogation that Othello and his daughter are having sexual intercourse, he says that they are “making the beast with two backs,” which is a dehumidifying way to express such an emotional act. “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tipping your white ewe” (Line 89, Scene One).
The word “tipping” is an allusion to sheep, where Ago describes Othello as the black ram tipping Desman, the white ewe. He does not care who he harms, as long as he can get what he wants. He manipulates people “but for his sport and profit”, allowing him to achieve what he wants while destroying any arson in his path. Ago regards others as being simple in nature and that they merely exist for his amusement. He enjoys playing mind games with people as it gives him a chance to use his real power, his mind.
He knows that he is smarter than the average person, and uses this to his own advantage. He sees people for their true nature, recognizing their flaws and weaknesses, and uses them as objects in his chess game, destroying each one to eventually destroy the King himself. In Act One, Abrogation gets a gang after Othello. Sago’s treachery is emphasized greatly here, as e appears to be on Othello side when he is confronted. Ironically, Ago was the person who in sighted the whole ordeal. Othello and Desman are called upon to declare their love to the Duke.
Desman is called upon to speak for herself, and she says that she loves Othello, proving to her father that their love is indeed true. Abrogation grudgingly accepts their marriage and Othello is sent to the battle with a fleet of ships, with Desman permitted to Join him. Once again, we see that Ago uses people to his own advantage, even Ordering, who, after the meeting of Abrogation and Othello, is upset that he has lost his chances with Desman. He becomes very depressed, but Ago encourages him not to give up.
This is of course because he wants to feed Rodeo’s determination which will be needed to aid Ago. This shows that he can identify a fool and use them to his advantage. Ago quickly makes Roding a partner in crime, with his initial raging Jealousy of Cassia’s position as Othello lieutenant, along with Rodeo’s Jealousy of Othello as he has been turned down by Desman as a suitor. Near the end of the first scene of the second CT, Ago convinces Ordering, who was observing Cassia’s enthusiastic greeting of Desman, that Cassia and Desman have something going on between them.
We see Ago once again manipulating someone, where his manipulation of Ordering through his passion for Desman convinces him to provoke Cassia to anger, so that the lieutenant will be disgraced in Othello eyes and Ago can take his position. We see once again Sago’s evil nature as he begins to form a more detailed plan of how he can ruin both Cassia and Othello. “l have told thee often, and I retell thee again and gain, I hate the Moor,” says Ago to Ordering, (Act One Scene 3), “My cause is hearted: thin hath less no reason.
Let us be conjunctive in our revenge against him. ” Sago’s cunning nature is also emphasized when he “warns” Othello that Barbarian is coming, therefore appearing as a trustworthy supporter of Othello, when it is indeed he who is responsible for the mess Othello is about to be in. Ago causes most of the conflicts for Othello, and he is ironically the one to warn him about it. From the first few scenes of “Othello”, we learn that Ago is a heartless snake, who hides his true, evil nature from the world.