Literary Characteristics And Symbolism In The Tragedy Of Othello

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The presence of certain literary elements creates a more dramatic and realistic image for the readers throughout the piece. William Shakespeare included literary elements in The Tragedy of Othello to bring the story line to life. Throughout the tragedy, Shakespeare used the elements of theme, dramatic irony, and symbolism along with many others. These three literary elements are significant because they help readers fully understand the complexity of the plot. The theme of jealousy, the dramatic irony, and the symbolism throughout the tragedy create the thrilling atmosphere readers experience. The theme of Jealousy is apparent throughout the tragedy. From the beginning, Iago is jealous of Cassio because Othello promoted Cassio to lieutenant…show more content…
Shakespeare did just that throughout The Tragedy of Othello by keeping the readers informed of Iago’s plan. No one but Iago, Rodrigo, and the readers know about the plan that is taking place. The readers know that Desdemona did not commit adultery and that she and Cassio are innocent. However, it is suspenseful because Othello does not find out that his wife is innocent until the end of the tragedy. Othello also does not know that Iago is a villain until the end, therefore Iago is able to build up Othello’s trust. Othello shows his trust for Iago by telling Cassio, “Iago is most honest,” which is ironic within itself because the readers know that Iago is deceiving Othello (pg 1482, line 7). The irony that the readers know everything while the protagonist does not is what keeps the plot line so…show more content…
When Othello first gives Desdemona the handkerchief as a gift it symbolizes his love for her. Emilia explains that the handkerchief was Desdemona’s, “first remembrance from the Moor” and that she always keeps it with her. The symbol changed drastically when Iago takes the handkerchief from his wife Emilia, who was Desdemona’s close friend and maid. When Iago gets the handkerchief he leaves it with Cassio so that Othello will find it. Iago knows that once Othello see Bianca, Cassio’s love interest, with the handkerchief he will believe that Desdemona gave it to Cassio and that they committed adultery. The handkerchief then becomes a symbol of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness to her husband. Othello becomes furious and says, “let her rot, and perish, and be damned tonight; for she shall not live,” which shows the change in the symbol of the handkerchief as well as Othello’s feelings for Desdemona (pg 1516, line 166). The handkerchief is significant because without it, Iago would not have been able to provide proof of Desdemona and Cassio’s

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