The opening act in Venice serves as a prologue to the tragedy. It introduces the characters and gives us some insight of the authoritarian government controlled by the Venetian senators. Also, we begin to understand Othello's tenuous standing in Venice, as a well as Desdemona's privileged background. The opening scene establishes Iago's malicious character, but it also sets forth the key elements of the tragedy's conflict - that is, it reveals Iago's deep resentment toward Othello. Iago was deeply upset and his pride hurt by Cassio's promotion over him. This establishes the motive for his hatred toward Othello and his jealousy toward Cassio. Another key element introduced is Othello's race. Racial slurs such as a "thick -lips" "an old black ram," "the sooty bosom of such thing as thou art,"1 are made by Roderigo, Iago and Brabanito. In order to disguise his deep disappointment and conceal his plans for revenge, Iago begins early in the play to strengthen his image as "honest Iago." He openly divulges his plan of destruction and admits "I am not what I am." Outwardly he hides his hostility behind a mask of loyalty and duty.
... middle of paper ...
...ce and comes to a more complete self-knowledge before death. He realizes that she was blameless, but has difficulty dismissing the idea that she was unfaithful until Emilia discloses Iago's wicked scheme. He justifies that he kills her out of "duty" and not out of revenge. In his words, he kills her "else she'll betray more men." 3 In the end Othello destroys his reputation, his happiness, himself and what he loves best, his wife.
"Although the spotlight is on Iago throughout most of play, in the end it is Othello's tragedy- the pain and suffering and misfortune that make this drama so compelling."3
- Bloom, Harold. William Shakespeare The Tragedies. New York: Chelsea House, 1985
- Fallon, Robert Thomas Shakespeare. Chicago, Ivan R. D.
- Mason, Pamela "Othello" Cambridge University 2003
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- I believe Iago has nothing to do with Othello's downfall as Othello is an easily mislead man who is easily influenced. Not only did Iago not directly say Desdemona was having an affair, he neither didn’t give proof to confirm the rumours. By Othello believing the lies, it surfaces his inability to trust and have faith in his own wife. Othello is written by William Shakespeare and was set in Cyprus and Venice during the 16th century. It is about a well-respected military soldier who due to lies and deceits killed his wife for no reason and after turned the knife towards himself.... [tags: othello]
1629 words (4.7 pages)
- Othello and Desdemona started their life together thinking it was to be forever. The handkerchief symbolizes the start of a new generation, a token of their union and ultimately determines their fate and the main characters lives being changed by the events. The films adaption, as in Shakespeare play, he makes the handkerchief significant to the plot. Othello’s mother gave him the handkerchief on her dying bed to give to the women he marries. “She, dying, gave it me, and bid me, when my fate would have me wive; to give her.” Desdemona and Othello confess their love for one another in hopes of a blissful life together.... [tags: Othello]
1031 words (2.9 pages)
- Othello, the Moor of Venice published in 1622 by William Shakespeare, one of the greatest writers known in English literature. Othello has been said to be of the most touching and intimate of Shakespeare tragedies. The source of Othello comes from Girald Cirthio’s Tall of the Moor, considering the modification of a few details, this was a manifestation of Shakespeare’s ability to take a reputable story and elevate it into poetic tragedy (Cahn 106). Othello is the story of love, deception, and power.... [tags: othello]
806 words (2.3 pages)
- Iago is a complex character that takes evil to a whole new level in the 1600’s and plays a key role in this tale. Iago’s main goal is to get Othello and Cassio out of the army, but in the end fails to ruin Cassio’s life, only Othello’s. He uses many characters to his advantage, realizing how trustworthy and oblivious these people are. Iago cannot be relied on and has many masks, behind which he hides. He has many disguises and secrets that he hides from everyone and his acting skills come in handy when he works to destroy the happiness that many people have in this story.... [tags: othello]
619 words (1.8 pages)
- Othello is one of Shakespeare's classics, this play has many oddities and puzzles. It roots into love, deception and jealousy. Also it clearly questions the debate of; can different cultures inter-wind without colliding. in addition, Othello has vivid racism, sexism, manipulation and savagery within civilisation. This play is set in Venice, Italy but due to circumstances all of the characters move to Cyprus. Othello is written between 1601-1604, the level of intensity and drama obviously indicated that he devoted a lot of time and effort into this play.... [tags: othello]
755 words (2.2 pages)
- Othello and Iago The tragedy "Othello" by William Shakespeare is a story based upon the revenge of two characters, Othello and Iago. These two characters help to prove Murphey's Law which states that if something wrong can happen it will: for Othello it is the wrongful killing of his wife and friend, for Iago it is getting caught for his actions and finally being tortured. Many historians, actors, and readers would like to argue that Othello and Iago are very complex but at a closer look you will notice that their actions are purely based upon revenge for their iniquities.... [tags: Othello essays]
811 words (2.3 pages)
- Desdemona in Othello In William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello, the wife of the protagonist is Desdemona. She is a lovely, intelligent, wholesome and pious person. This essay will analyze her. In Act 1 Scene1, Iago persuades the rejected suitor of Desdemona, Roderigo, to accompany him to the home of Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, in the middle of the night. Once there the two awaken him with loud shouts about his daughter’s elopement with Othello. In response to Iago’s vulgar descriptions of Desdemona’s involvement with the general, Brabantio arises from bed and, with Roderigo’s help, gathers a search party to go and find Desdemona and bring her home.... [tags: Othello essays]
1775 words (5.1 pages)
- Othello Journal Act IV In Act IV of Othello, by WIlliam Shakespeare, Iago continues his torture of Othello. Iago torments Othello until Othello pratically faints. He keeps pushing and pushing Othello saying that Cassio has layed with Desdemona. It is noticed by the reader that Othello has gone from his once artiqulate to an Iago-like crude speech. "Lie with her. lie on her. We say lie on her, when they belie her. Lie with her. that's fulsome. --Handkerchief--confessions--handkerchief!--To confess, and be hanged for his labour;--first, to be hanged, and then to confess.- -I tremble at it.... [tags: Othello ]
268 words (0.8 pages)
- William Shakespeare gave us a most moving drama in Othello. In this play we witness the demise of a “paragon” of a wife and a “valiant Moor”, Othello. Let us consider the Moor in detail, with professional critical input, in this essay. From the text of the play a number of clues can be gleaned which round out the description of the general. In William Shakespeare: The Tragedies, Paul A. Jorgensen describes the general in Othello: Though scarcely the “barbarian” (1.3.353) he is called, the Moor is emphatically black, probably rough, even fearsome, in appearance, and a foreign mercenary from Mauritania in refined Venice.... [tags: Othello essays]
1271 words (3.6 pages)
- The Pride of Othello In Shakespeare's Othello, Othello's pride prevents him from finding the truth, eventually leading to his demise. Initially, Othello and Desdemona are deeply in love, despite her father's disapproval of their marriage. However, when Othello promotes Cassio instead of Iago to Lieutenant, Iago has his revenge by convincing Othello that Desdemona cheats on him with Cassio, destroying the marriage between Othello and Desdemona. Othello grows to meet his downfall when his trusted friend Iago causes him to think that his wife Desdemona is unfaithful.... [tags: Othello essays]
921 words (2.6 pages)