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

Othello and Desdemonas love at the beginning of the play is built on mutual trust and attraction. By the end of Act 3, however, Othello has become the green-eyed monster of jealousy. Explore this descent.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Othello and Desdemona?s love at the beginning of the play is built on mutual trust and attraction. By the end of Act 3, however, Othello has become the ?green-eyed monster? of jealousy. His love for Desdemona has been undermined and the seeds of the tragedy have been sown. Explore this descent. The destructiveness of jealousy is a continual undertone throughout ?Othello? and ultimately destroys the love between Othello and Desdemona. Othello?s suspicions regarding Desdemona?s fidelity provoke him to rage and violence and as an audience we witness the swift collapse of his pride and nobility. The speed and intensity of these changes suggest one of two things ? either Iago?s insinuations caused Othello?s doubts, or whether he simply unleashed his pre-existing fears. It?s fair to conclude that Othello?s jealousy is based on unreasonable fears which lead to equally irrational behaviour, and Iago himself exhibits a self-consuming jealousy directed against love itself in all manifestations. Jealousy, warns Iago, in order to awake it within Othello, ?Is the green-ey?d monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on? [III.iii. 165-167]. Othello is revealed as one who, from the moment that jealousy strikes, divorces himself from rationality. ?Green? is traditionally symbolic of jealousy and envy and serves to further emphasise this idea of Othello?s transformation to being consumed by jealousy. Once awakened, the jealousy becomes self-perpetuating where no justifiable evidence for it even exists. Othello is under the impulse of obstinacy and will continue to create his own jealousy by inventing causes and converting nonchalant trivialities into ?confirmations strong as proofs of holy writ? [III.iii. ...read more.

Middle

As Iago put it, they were ?well tun?d? [II.i. 195], which reflects the notion that lovers do things in symmetry. Othello used sensuous, cosmic, elemental and natural imagery, such as ?Of moving accidents by flood and field? [I.iii. 135] which emphasises his military might and power through the relation to size and movement. The difference in Othello?s language after being subject to Iago?s diabolical plans is stark. Many discrepancies exist in the blank verse, and Othello and Desdemona no longer speak in tune. They are distanced and the dialogue is disjointed which portrays this idea that they are growing further apart. For example, the iambic pentameter is split up, such as here: [Desdemona] ?Heaven bless us! [Othello] Say you? [Desdemona] It is not lost.? [III.iiii. 74-76] By Act 4 when Iago?s destructive plans have damaged Othello, he begins to use prose, such as in the paragraph ?Lie with her ? Zounds, that?s fulsome!? [IIII.i. 38-44]. The use of prose exemplifies the sense that something has gone horribly wrong and evokes a sense of unhappiness, disjointedness and being rushed. His language has deteriorated to such an extent to show that he is now a damaged man ? he has gone from high class and been reduced to speaking in prose. His ramblings are nonsensical and further emphasise the idea that he?s lost control as we become subject to his flowing and maniac thought processes. The use of hyphens also suggests how he is making digressions, which further reinforces this idea that he has no idea what he?s talking about, just before falling into his trance. ...read more.

Conclusion

The presence of Iago with his dreadful insinuations could mask the insanity of Othello to present him as a man reacting logically in the face of accumulating proof. By the end of Act 3 Scene 3, there is still no more than the slightest of evidence- a handkerchief which Iago may have seen Cassio wipe his beard with, and Cassio’s alleged and inconclusive dream. Othello has nothing but Iago’s word to go on, and without even seeking to confront either Desdemona or Cassio, he decides to kill them. Whilst it’s true that circumstantial evidences increased, such as Desdemona’s tactless pleading for Cassio, Iago’s statement of Cassio’s confession, and Bianca returning the handkerchief to Cassio before Othello’s eyes – it’s apparent that Othello’s conviction of Desdemona’s guilt is confirmed rather than established by such ‘ocular proof’ [III.iii. 365]. Othello used to believe that his marriage to Desdemona would transform his life – from one of primitive ‘chaos’ to one of civilisation and contentment. This naïve dream is shattered with his increasing jealousy and growing awareness that his newfound happiness is an illusion. To conclude, Othello becomes completely preoccupied with the mission of avenging himself on Desdemona and Cassio for an adulterous affair of which they are entirely innocent merely due to the destructiveness of Othello’s jealousy. Othello’s feelings of inadequacy and his own shortcomings coupled with Iago’s persistent scheming transform Othello from trusting Desdemona to suspecting her of infidelity, and he does so by never reflecting upon it or asking Desdemona herself, but rather by believing everything Iago tells him. ...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)

    Iago also exploits Desdemona's naivety as well as her love and trust of Othello. Iago exploits Desdemona's kind hearted nature and willingness to help people such as Cassio- "I will do all my abilities in thy behalf." Once Iago knows how he will wreak his revenge upon Othello by destroying

  2. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent is language central to the understanding of Othello and Macbeth

    4 star(s)

    Othello continues to believe Iago's lies until the very end, though we can see that he finds it difficult to commit the deed that he feels, in his corrupted mind, is the will of God. We can infer this through the fact that he has to repeat continually to himself, 'It is the cause, my soul' (V ii l.1).

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Male Domination In Othello

    4 star(s)

    She suffers from this false accusation because it is a world dominated by men. It is possible that Othello takes Iago's words over that of Desdemona not because he is truly convinced that she is unfaithful, but because it is a word of a man over that of a woman.

  2. Importance of military in Othello

    It is also clear that Cassio was also chosen a more legitimate basis as he knew Othello well enough to serve as a go-between during his courtship of Desdemona and also "knew" of their love, a shock even to Desdemona's father.

  1. Free essay

    To what extent is Iago responsible for the downfall of other characters in Othello?

    downfall, he is the character who Iago attempts to hurt the most as a result. Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, Bianca to some extent and Emilia are all manipulated by Iago in this plan. Iago "plants the seed" in Othello's mind about the possibility that Desdemona gave her handkerchief to Cassio, then

  2. In Othello Shakespeare explores the nature of social prejudice. How far does your reading ...

    They all reflect what Iago had earlier said about Othello, albeit in a different context, and in my view, they thus represent a less blatant form of racism. Of course, the clearest forms of prejudice come when Iago confronts Brabantio about the truth; however, Shakespeare draws many parallels in what

  1. Explore the presentation of the relationship between Othello and Iago

    He is undoubtedly a man of action and commitment. There is nothing equivocal about him. When he decides upon something there is no going back, yet he is also reflective, poetic and presumably tactically shrewd on the battlefield. But this unflinching decisiveness so effective in war and military matters is his downfall in ordinary life and Iago exploits this trait to bring about Othello's mental collapse.

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

    In fact, it is not just that war gives rise to love but that the reverse is also true, so that war and love reinforce each other reciprocally. After Iago's first insinuations at Desdemona's falseness, Othello makes his famous speech in which he bids farewell to all the different glorious

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