Monday, November 7, 2016

Satan or Iago? Gargoyle or Marionette?

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Here, we see the complexities of Iago's arguments "tying" the
characters together and making them his pawns.

Here, we seen the "gargoyle" representation of Milton's Satan, which can symbolize the servitude of a lower class.
For my research topic, I have decided to do a rhetorical analysis and comparison of Iago from Shakespeare’s Othello and Satan from Milton’s Paradise Regained. These characters have been closely compared in literature, so I have struggled to find a new spin on things. However, I think that it would be interesting to look at the language they use and how their arguments grow increasingly complex as the plots develop. Not only does Shakespeare portray Iago as satanically evil, but some have claimed that Milton based his character Satan off of Iago. I think it would be interesting to compare the complexities of their arguments and how those have affected artistic renditions of them. Both characters are masters of rhetoric, and give stunning oratories that I plan to dissect with the intent of pairing with a particular visual scene. 

In my research on this topic, I have not only found some extremely interesting photos and drawings/paintings, but also some interesting articles. I did not previously know that Milton wrote “An Epitaph on the Admirable Dramatic Poet, W. Shakespeare”, or that from a young age Milton claims to be able to imitate Shakespeare’s writing style. These interesting finds are verifying my thoughts that the subject is well-touched upon, but I am excited to look further into the visual side of things. 


  1. I like that you are looking to use so many visual sources. They can offer so many alternative interpretations of ideas! How are you planning to work them into your paper? Will you just provide descriptions of them, or maybe attach the images themselves?

    1. I played with incorporating them into my King Lear paper and even though I don't think I got the placements quite right, I think it helped strengthen my arguments. For this paper, I will probably do the same...but we'll see how aesthetically pleasing it turns out!

  2. This may seem very rudimentary, but if you are writing a rhetorical analysis maybe this handout from the BYU Writing Center would help you. It just reminds you what some of the basic principles of rhetorical analysis are. It helps me. (you'll have to click on the link once you get to the page)