Othello, By William Shakespeare Essay

Othello, By William Shakespeare Essay

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Plays are a unique form of entertainment and literature, for they typically include scenes in which characters acknowledge and address the audience directly through various monologues and soliloquies. This adds an extra interactive layer of involvement where the audience can influence a character’s decisions. For instance, in Shakespeare’s Othello, the main character, a wily young man ironically dubbed “honest” Iago stops to tell the audience about his true intentions just as often as he tries to undermine other characters. Naturally, Iago would need some release from his deceitful planning. Therefore, the audience, by silently abiding through Iago’s speeches, must be his sidekicks – albeit unwillingly – the only people Iago trusts and feels comfortable confiding in.
As a belligerent and self-interested individual, Iago cannot honestly confide in the other characters, and thus, he seeks the audience for comfort and motivation to continue living by his inconsiderate ways. He admits, “Whip me such honest knaves. Others there are / Who, trimm’d in forms and visages of duty, / Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves” (Othello 1.1 50-52). Iago claims that though he may work for Othello now, he is all about seizing chances for himself, and yearns to be released from these shackles. Evidently, Iago is not appreciative of his job, and can hardly confess these thoughts to Othello. Hence, he performs it in a monologue for the audience. Iago takes the audience’s silence as a cue to proceed in like manner, although the audience would much appreciate the chance to speak out against it, because they condemn Iago’s thoughtless actions and despise egging him on. However, since the audience has no option but to remain silent, Iago continues ...


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...e audience, “He, when he hears of her, cannot refrain / From the excess of laughter. Here he comes” (4.1 2526-2527). These sorts of small breaks that Iago takes from his plotting to describe his plans to the audience gives him the chance to take the break that he needs in order to continue his evil ways.
Over the course of the play, Iago develops a unique relationship with the members of the audience. He acts belligerently and maliciously, which prevents him from speaking honestly to any other character. He leaves us with the impression of a sorry character who is forced to seek the solace of the audience rather than fellow characters because they are the only people that he can be honest with. All in all, due to the unique nature of Othello, the audience has been unwillingly propelled into supporting a malicious character, and they are powerless to speak against it.

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