Imagery in Othello

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Imagery in Othello The vast array of natural imagery in Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello dazzles the audience’s minds. Let us survey in this essay the varieties of imagery referred to by the playwright. The vulgar imagery of Othello’s ancient dominates the opening of the play. Francis Ferguson in “Two Worldviews Echo Each Other” describes the types of imagery used by the antagonist when he “slips his mask aside” while awakening Brabantio: Iago is letting loose the wicked passion inside him, as he does from time to time throughout the play, when he slips his mask aside. At such moments he always resorts to this imagery of money-bags, treachery, and animal lust and violence. So he expresses his own faithless, envious spirit, and, by the same token, his vision of the populous city of Venice – Iago’s “world,” as it has been called. . . .(132) Standing outside the senator’s home late at night, Iago uses imagery within a lie to arouse the occupant: “ Awake! what, ho, Brabantio! thieves! thieves! thieves! / Look to your house, your daughter and your bags!” When the senator appears at the window, the ancient continues with coarse imagery of animal lust: “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram / Is topping your white ewe,” and “you'll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse; you'll have your nephews neigh to you; you'll have coursers for cousins and gennets for germans.” David Bevington in William Shakespeare: Four Tragedies comments that the imagery in the play is quite mundane, and he tells why: The battle of good and evil is of course cosmic, but in Othello that battle is realized through a taut narrative of jealousy and murder. Its poetic images are accordingly focused t... ... middle of paper ... ...s Desdemona before stabbing himself to death: Cold, cold, my girl! Even like thy chastity. O cursed slave! Whip me, ye devils, From the possession of this heavenly sight! Blow me about in winds! roast me in sulphur! Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire! O Desdemona! Desdemona! dead! (5.2) WORKS CITED Bevington, David, ed. William Shakespeare: Four Tragedies. New York: Bantam Books, 1980. Ferguson, Francis. “Two Worldviews Echo Each Other.” Readings on The Tragedies. Ed. Clarice Swisher. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1996. Reprint from Shakespeare: The Pattern in His Carpet. N.p.: n.p., 1970. Shakespeare, William. Othello. In The Electric Shakespeare. Princeton University. 1996. http://www.eiu.edu/~multilit/studyabroad/othello/othello_all.html No line nos.

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