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In the opening scene of "Othello" what do we learn about the characters, the dramatic way in which the play opens and the language used.

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Introduction

´╗┐In the opening scene of ?Othello we learn of Iago?s role as the vice character, a character that is derived from Medieval morality plays. In act one scene one of ?Othello? Shakespeare explores the roles of women in late 16th century Venice. Shakespeare also explores themes of lust, power and darkness in the opening scene. Iago is portrayed as the vice character in ?Othello.? ?SBlood? Shakespeare presents two aspects of the vice characters, from medieval morality plays, in Iago?s temperament. Iago is bawdy and obscene in his speech when he curses ?Sblood.? Like Iago the vice characters, such as ?Mischief? and ?Nowadays,? use obscenities and imagery to mock other characters on stage. He openly tempts other characters in the play, like the vice character ?the devil.? He convinces Roderigo he is trustworthy on many occasions, when in fact he is completely false in his relationship with Roderigo, and he continually baits Roderigo with the possibility of sleeping with Desdemona. Iago ensnares Roderigo in his own plot against Othello; he deceives him into carrying out his regime which eventually leads Roderigo to attempted murder against Cassio. ...read more.

Middle

Othello, the moor, is now symbolic of evilness and animosity. Outsiders in Elizabethan cities and countryside?s, especially, were also believed to malevolence. In the following scene, act one scene two, Shakespeare breaks the misconceptions of the audience by casting Othello in a civil and humane role. Shakespeare challenges the ideologies of Elizabethan people when he creates satirical themes from Barbantio?s character. ?My spirit and my place have in them power.? In this quote Barbantio ties his conscience with his power. His power is governed by him alone according to his own moods and desire. Shakespeare shrouds Barbantio in power to make him a symbol of power in the opening scene. When Barbantio enters the play he is seen above Roderigo and Iago. Shakespeare gives the audience a visual show of Barbantio?s authority and high class in Venetian society. Thusly Shakespeare moulds Barbantio into a singular symbol of power in, scene one of act one, alone. Similarly Queen Elizabeth I is a symbol of power in Elizabethan England. Queen Elizabeth I, like Barbantio, governs with her own doctrine. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the Elizabethan era women would be expected to passive; to simply follow orders and to never act on one?s own initiative. Although in act scene three she speaks for herself before the senate. She defies her stereotype by marrying Othello, by her own choice and without the consent of her father. Desdemona is a female figure of power in Othello much like Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of scots were in England. Shakespeare breaks the conceptions of the audience who only view women as passive instruments. In the Opening scene of ?Othello? Shakespeare deliberately presents dark themes such as: power struggles, lust and possessive attitudes. Shakespeare purpose is to inform the audience that this play is not about love. The audience should not be misled by Othello?s and Desdemona?s almost idyllic relationship. This play is otherwise about Iago?s wickedness and the tendency for man to fall into sin. If ?Othello? is coherent, in any way, with medieval morality plays then mankind would fall into sin on many occasions. Othello explores the dark nature of man. This play also functions to question ideologies of the Elizabethan Era. ?Othello? questions the effectiveness of Parliament and mistreatment of women in Elizabethan society. ...read more.

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