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of Iago. It is all will in intellect; and therefore he is here a bold partizan of a truth, but yet of a truth converted into a falsehood by the absence of all the necessary modifications caused by the frail nature of man. And then comes the last senti. ment, —
Our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts, whereof I take this, that you call-love, to be a sect or scion !
Here is the true Iagoism of, alas! how many! Note Iago's pride of mastery in the repetition of 'Go, make money!' to his anticipated dupe, even stronger than his love of lucre: and when Roderigo is completely won
I am chang'd. I'll go sell all my landwhen the effect has been fully produced, the repetition of triumph
Go to; farewell; put money enough in your purse ! The remainder - Iago's soliloquy - the motivehunting of a motiveless malignity-how awful it is! Yea, whilst he is still allowed to bear the divine image, it is too fiendish for his own steady view,—for the lonely gaze of a being next to devil, and only not quite devil,—and yet a character which Shakspeare has attempted and executed, without disgust and without scandal !
Dr. Johnson has remarked that little or nothing is wanting to render the Othello a regular tragedy, but to have opened the play with the arrival of Othello in Cyprus, and to have thrown the preceding act into the form of narration. Here then is the place to determine, whether such a change would or would not be an improvement;-nay, (to throw down the glove with a full challenge) whether the tragedy would or not by such an arrangement become more regular,—that is, more consonant with the rules dictated by universal reason, on the true common-sense of mankind, in its application to the particular case. For in all acts of judgment, it can never be too often recollected, and scarcely too often repeated, that rules are means to ends, and, consequently, that the end must be determined and understood before it can be known what the rules are or ought to be. Now, from a certain species of drama, proposing to itself the accomplishment of certain ends,-these partly arising from the idea of the species itself, but in part, likewise, forced upon the dramatist by accidental circumstances beyond his power to remove or control,-three rules have been abstracted ;-in other words, the means most conducive to the attainment of the proposed ends have been generalized, and prescribed under the names of the three unities,the unity of time, the unity of place, and the unity of action,—which last would, perhaps, have been as appropriately, as well as more intelligibly, entitled the unity of interest.
With this last the present question has no immediate concern: in fact, its conjunction with the former two is a mere delusion of words. It is not properly a rule, but in itself the great end not only of the drama, but of the epic poem, the lyric ode, of all poetry, down to the candle-Hame cone of an epigram,—nay of poesy in general, as the proper generic term inclusive of all the tine arts as its species. But of the unities of time and place, which alone are entitled to the name of rules, the history of their origin will be their best criterion. You might take the Greek chorus to a place, but you could not bring a place to them without as palpable an equivoque as bringing Birnam wood to Macbeth at Dunsinane. It Was the same, though in a less degree, with regari to the unity of time :- the positive fact, not for a moment removed from the the mean, of the same identical chorus, was a continued measure of time;—and although the imagination may supersede perception, yet it must be granted to be an imperfection, however easily toleratedto place the two in broad contradiction to each other. In truth, it is a mere accident of terms; for the Trilogy of the Greek theatre was a drama in three acts, and notwithstanding this, what strange contrivances as to place there are in the Aristophanic Frogs. Besides, if the law of mere actual perception is once violated—as it repeatedly is even in the Greek tragedies—why is it more difficult to imagine three hours to be three years than to be a whole day and night?
Act ii. sc.-1.
Observe in how many ways Othello is made, first, our acquaintance, then our friend, then the object of our anxiety, before the deeper interest is to be approached !
Jont. But, good lieutenant, is your general wird?
Cus. Most fortunately: he hath achier'd a maid
Does bear all excellency. liere is Cissio's warm-hearted, yet perfectly disengaged, praise of Desdemona, and sympathy with the most fortunately' wired Othello ;-and ret Cassio is an enthusiastic admirer, almost a worshipper. of Desdemona. O), that detestable code that excellence cannot be loved in any form that is female, but it must needs be selfish! Observe Othello's honest,' and Cassio's “bold' Iago, and Cassio's full guileless-hearted wishes for the safety and love-raptures of Othello and “the divine Des. demona.' And also note the exquisite circumstance of Cassio's kissing lago's wife, as if it ought to be impossible that the dullest auditor should not feel Cassio's religious love of Desdemona's purity. Iago's answers are the sneers which a proud bad intellect feels towards women, and expresses to a wife. Surely it ought to be considered a very exalted compliment to women, that all the sarcasms
on them in Shakspeare are put in the mouths of villains. Ib.
Des. I am not merry; but I do beguile, &c. The struggle of courtesy in Desdemona to abstract her attention.
(Iago aside). He takes her by the palm: .ly, well saiil, whisper; with as little a web as this, will I ensnare as great a tiy as Cassio. Ay, smile upon her, do, &c.
The importance given to trifles, and made fertile by the villany of the observer.
Ib. Iago's dialogue with Roderigo :
This is the rehearsal on the dupe of the traitor's intentions on Othello. Ib. Iago's soliloquy:
But partly led to diet my revenge,
Hath leap'd into my seat. This thought, originally by Iago's own confession a mere suspicion, is now ripening, and gnaws his base nature as his own 'poisonous mineral ’ is about to gnaw the noble heart of his general. Ib. sc. 3. Othello's speech :
I know, Iago,
Making it light to Cassio. Honesty and love! Ay, and who but the reader of the play could think otherwise ?