Othello

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Introduction

In Venice, Othello and Desdemona secretly get married. Iago says that he “does hate the moor” and plans to get revenge because he wasn’t promoted to Lieutenant. Iago and Roderigo wake Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, to tell him that a “black ram is tupping his white ewe.” Brabantio confronts Othello, who explains that he and Desdemona love each other, Brabantio warns that if she can betray her own father, she will betray Othello. Lots of the characters go to Cyprus, to fight in the war. Iago persuades Roderigo to get Cassio drunk, then start a fight with him, consequently Cassio gets demoted for being drunk and fighting on duty. Iago tells Cassio that he should use Desdemona to get his job back, by her talking to Othello. Desdemona agrees.

‘Othello’ is a tragedy, therefore we know that the main character, Othello, is going to die. It is a play about jealousy and deception. Othello’s background is of great importance in understanding his character because he is a “moor”, therefore looked down upon because of his colour. However, his skills as a soldier are respected. He has his own army, is leader of the army, despite the fact he is African. He isn’t however allowed to have the same rights as other citizens e.g. he is not allowed to get married to someone of high social stature.

Relationships in Othello

In Act 1 Scene 1, a number of key relationships are introduced:

Othello is seen to respect Cassio because Cassio gets promoted. Cassio, at a young age is a “great arithmetician” to support his already great work as a general.

Othello still likes Iago, “And, for I know thou’rt full of love and honesty,” however Iago despises Othello. He refers to him as “the moor”, “the devil” and an “old black ram”. He...

... middle of paper ...

...sy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on...”

The context in which the word “jealousy” is used suggests that jealousy is quite a grotesque thing, a threat to a peaceful, rational, honest mind, and all-consuming, as if it eats you up from inside.

When Iago says “green-eyed”, it’s like he can see it in Othello’s eyes, that he is possessed by jealousy. This is also a link to line 107, when Othello says “As if there were some monster in his thought, too hideous to be shown.” This repetition of a monster generates graphic images for the audience, and intensifies its severity, and the word “hideous” suggests just how extreme this situation could be.

“The meat it feeds on,” refers to Iago, and the ways in which he not only “feeds” Othello information, but does it in such a way so as to raise his suspicions even more, to ‘fuel his jealousy’.
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