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Iago and Equivocation: The Seduction and Damnation of Othello

Christofides, Roger M. (2010) Iago and Equivocation: The Seduction and Damnation of Othello. Early Modern Literary Studies, 15 (1). ISSN 1201-2459

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This essay tackles the equivocations of the scheming, devilish villain, Iago. The seductive capabilities of equivocation in Macbeth have been a familiar mine for critical exploration, but, as this article proposes, Iago’s equivocal mode of address offers similar possibilities. Iago equivocates with both dissimulations and ambiguities: in language that is perceptibly incomplete, he undoes Othello with the suggestion that what appears to be true is actually false. Connecting poststructuralist theory and pre-Reformation apocalyptic imagery, this essay explains Othello's tragedy - and Iago's success - as one that depends on the gap between truth and language in a world that awaits the arrival of final, unequivocal Judgement as depicted by medieval iconography.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
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Depositing User: Roger Christofides
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2012 13:03
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 11:21


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