• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Othellos character change over the course of the play?

Extracts from this document...


How does Othello's character change over the course of the play? Othello changes the most drastically, from being an affectionate and respectful General, modifying into a violent, ruthless man. A.C Bradley quite rightly quotes "If such a passion as jealousy seizes him, it will swell into a well-night incontrollable flood". This dormant emotion would inevitably be released in a fury of furious rage once Iago penetrated his delicate mind. From the start of the play the audience encounters a well-honest decent person, even being respectful to Brabantio "Good seignior" after he accuses him of stealing his "white ewe". Throughout Othello's life, he has earned respect, climbing his way up the ranks, despite his skin tone, and expects respect back. Displaying his intense love for Desdemona, "I won his daughter" almost treating Love as a game, but, loving her deeply that when he kills her out of sheer anger, suicide is the only escape from a life without his love. As Iago works his magic "scurvy and provoking terms against your honour", the seeds of jealousy has been growing, all it takes for Othello to tip over the edge is ideas, trickling over the course of the play, growing his jealously, and when the seeds have blossomed into a green monstrous mess of abstract thoughts, Othello will "arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow cell!". ...read more.


He has reached the highest peak in his life, marrying Desdemona. He's not a troubled man, he doesn't expect trouble to plague him. In effect he's a simple man, only doing what is required of him. The trust and respect he has accumulated keeps him afloat "My services which I have done the signiory Shall out-tongue his complaints", the virtues in Othello have become a pleasing factor resulting in equal respect being shown back to him, apart from the isolated references to Othello's colour. The term 'Ignorance is bliss' comes to mind when thinking of Othello, up until Act 3 Scene 3 Othello hasn't been bombarded with Iago's scheming ways, and so, has no reason to be questioning his love, but the thoughts were never implanted by Iago, but were rather dormant, always in Othello's mind but never triggered, until Iago started to tap at this unforgotten idea, breaking the shackles that once tamed this 'beast'. Once it's been released, it starts to consume his mind, bit by bit. "When Cassio left my wife. What didst not like?" From this point Othello becomes a victim of Iago's mind games and due to Othello being too trustworthy to Iago always referring Iago to "Honest Iago" the bond he shares with him is almost unbreakable. ...read more.


Othello has almost taken on the role off Iago, scheming behind Desdemona's back, plotting against her, the same Jealousy that consumed Iago has taken over Othello, in a more aggressive fashion. Intense love delves into intense hate. "How shall I murder him, Iago?" Othello, you could say, is under the spell of Iago, he listens to him in every instance, as the audience reading this, it becomes shocking at how far Othello has changed, at the start of the play Othello, judging by his kindness to others, it would seem as he would never kill outside of battle. Now he's becoming just as devious as Iago. Which leads to the inevitable death of the last women he will love. Othello's character is a victim of foul-play. From being a courteous person to a rampaging "ram". Othello is the perfect example of what deceit and lies can do to one without a mentally strong mind, his intense love for Desdemona is so deep that he can't fathom a life without a perfect relationship with her, one little idea and it destroys him, he thinks because of his race he may not be worthy of her, so tries desperately to cling onto to the one thing he treasures most. But insecurities in himself become his ultimate downfall. "Of one not easily jealous but, being wrought". ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Othello section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Othello essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explore the ways in which Iago destroys the relationship between Desdemona and Othello

    4 star(s)

    This does not destroy the relationship in any way although it does make it harder for them to get their relationship to be recognised and accepted by the senators in Venice, particularly Desdemona's father Brabantio. In some ways this even makes it stronger by making Desdemona and Othello more determined

  2. Do you agree with A.C. Bradley's view that Othello is 'Iago's character in action,' ...

    He neither says too much that it is unbelievable, or too little that Othello thinks nothing of it. He is particularly calculated, allowing others to believe he has their interests at heart, telling Othello 'what is spoke comes from my love,' which could be considered a very 'human quality,' although perhaps more associated with females.

  1. Explore Shakespeare(TM)s presentation of the changes in Othello(TM)s character in the play Othello(TM)

    The use of the adjectives: 'potent'; 'grave'; 'noble'; and 'good' show his respect and high admiration for the people at the court and ensure that the audience regard Othello with high status.

  2. Re-read Iago(TM)s soliloquies at the end of Acts I and II. How might ...

    So this use of emotive language causes the audience to feel sympathetic towards Roderigo who is constantly being victimised throughout the play. Also literary techniques are used to try and persuade people too, such as the power of three. "Put money in thy purse" is repeated three times, stressing its importance, almost persuading the reader to believe him.

  1. How far do we see different attitudes to love presented in Othello?

    elements of war - "the plumed troop", "the neighing steed", "the shrill trump", "the spiritstirring drum", "the earpiercing fife", "the royal banner" (III,3). The fact that he pays elaborate attention to all these details shows just how much he resents the lost of the glory of war and hence how

  2. Examine the ways in which Shakespeare presents the changed character of Othello.

    Similarly Othello's status is also raised by the love he feels for Desdemona and how noble, he speaks of her: "I do love thee gentle Desdemona", which shows that he is capable of loving to such an extent and doing a job with "all my heart" that he is an honourable character.

  1. Othello and Desdemonas love at the beginning of the play is built on mutual ...

    They are alternating between completing iambic pentameter which signifies the beginning of the role and power reversal between Othello and Iago. Iago has already understood Othello?s tendency to react without reason to a situation which touches him personally, and understands that his emotions feed on doubt.

  2. Othellos jealousy and the speed at which it develops are absurd. How far do ...

    be jealous, because for him "to be once in doubt / is once to be resolved" (3.3.179-180).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work