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

othello - opening scene analysis

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In what way is the opening scene of Othello, the Moor of Venice effective? As soon as the drama begins, Shakespeare creates dramatic effect by thrusting the audience into an argument between Rodgerigo and Iago. "Tush, never tell me" "I know my price, I am worth no worse a place" Rodgerigo believes Iago has cheated him out of his money and is enraged as he exclaims: "Tush" and Iago is furious that Othello hasn't promoted him. Dramatic effect builds up as although there is constant reference and negative mention of Othello however, the audience have yet to meet him. From Iago and Rodgerigo's racist comments the audience learn that Othello is a black man and therefore most likely an evil character. During the Shakespearian era, black people were seen as greedy, evil and inferior to white people. Act 1 scene 1, compromises of a variety of themes including: jealousy, ambition and race. Common and universal these themes underpin why Othello is such a popular drama still loved and enjoyed in the 21st century. When Othello doesn't promote Iago, Iago becomes very jealous and decides to plot against him. He allows his evil jealousy to evolve into malicious ambition which finally destroys him and others around him. Also, although racist comments are made regarding Othello, this is merely a reflection of Shakespeare's audiences' beliefs and morale. ...read more.

Middle

Before the audience makes it's verdict they have to await Cassio's entrance. Iago had served Othello for years and doesn't think it ethical that he hasn't been promoted and is still Othello's ensign. "Must be lee'd and calmed" "And I, God bless the mark, his Moorship's ancient" This nautical metaphor expresses Iago's feelings. When a ship is "lee'd and calmed" the wind has been taken out of its sails and the ship remains stationary and stuck in his role as an ancient (flag bearer) Iago then goes on to be sarcastic by referring to Othello as " his Moorship". This is a pun as it refers to Othello's race and position; a Moor is an African descent and "his worship" is a term of respect for someone in Othello's position. As the drama progresses, the audience learns that Rodgerigo is a simple, easy, foolish man. His short impulsive comments in comparison to Iago's long structured speeches indicate who is in control. "I follow him to serve my turn upon" "Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves ... and when they have lined their coats do themselves homage ... These fellows have some soul and such a one do I profess myself" "I am not what I am" To an extent, their conversation is somewhat like a soliloquy as through speech Iago exposes his deceitful personality whilst Rodgerigo listens and later still allows himself to be manipulated by him. ...read more.

Conclusion

He then goes on to assume that his daughter has had a spell put on her and has been taken advantage of as she is so young and innocent. "Is there not charms by which the property of youth and maid hood may be abused" Brabantio's prejudice clouds his outlook s much that he doesn't even stop to think that his daughter could genuinely be in love with Othello. He then sends his people out accompanied with Rodgerigo to look for Othello and Desdemona. During Act 1 Scene 1, we learn that Iago has gone back to Othello to act "loyal" and we're left in suspense to what will happen when Brabantio finds his daughter and Othello. This leaves the scene with a cliff-hanger which makes it very effective. During the build up to this, we learn about many characters via their actions and speeches: Iago is deceitful, manipulative and hypocritical, Rodgerigo is a na�ve push-over in love with Desdemona and Brabantio is Desdemona's protective father. We indirectly learn about Othello, however, we need to take into account that we learn about Othello from different racists: this builds dramatic effect and we are eager to meet Othello. As the audience, we feel that we've been partly exposed to these characters and their plans but we now want to learn more about these realistic characters and watch how they evolve within the drama. ?? ?? ?? ?? Othello Coursework - English AS 15/09/08 Carmella Hollett ...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 Other Criticism & Comparison 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 Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    Katharine Clifton - An Oxford-educated woman and the wife of Geoffrey Clifton. One of the most mysterious characters in the novel, Katharine is never fully understood. We know that she married Geoffrey quite young and traveled with him to Northern Africa, and that she is an avid reader who voraciously learns all she can about Cairo and the desert.

  2. English Lit Coursework (Comapring Othello, Wuthering heights and Gatsby)

    Highlighting that even though he has all of the materialistic elements she values, Daisy's deciding factor is something Gatsby has no control of. This shows the corruption and the obsession of money and wealth of people like Daisy, who singly value their world of upper class social acceptance, with a

  1. Comparing the Role of Women in Sense and Sensibility and Othello

    Desdemona's decision of marrying the moor impacted her life which made a large part of the society view her as an inferior. She states to her father defending her husband, "I do perceive here a divided duty. To you I am bound for life and education.

  2. In both Othello and The Merchant of Venice, however, Shakespeare presents female characters who ...

    She does not strictly play by the rules, yet she does not break any, so she cannot be punished for her actions as Desdemona is. The most obvious example of Portia disobeying the rules is when she dresses as a man.

  1. Compare the opening sections of "Brighton Rock" and "Othello". What Impressions of time/place, character ...

    This semantic field of violence adds to Greene focusing more on the ?shabbiness? of Brighton. However, in Othello, there is only verbal abuse between the characters and when Brabantio, Roderigo and Iago ?draw? ?their bright swords?, Othello demands to

  2. Write about the ways Shakespeare explores different characters experiences of love in Act 1, ...

    Even though they do sacrifice their own lives for each other in the thought that they will live in separation forever, some of the audience still believe the love wasn?t completely a ?marriage of two minds? since love at first sight is a physical attraction based on appearance.

  1. Explore the corruption of morality and its consequences within the texts of Othello, The ...

    However, it is debatable whether Dorian would have wanted to change this as he ?would give everything!? to be young and to stay young. In contrast to this, unlike Dorian, Othello was oblivious to any external forces at work for corrupting his perception of reality.

  2. Compare and contrast the presentation of the villain in Othello, Wuthering Heights and The ...

    ?One Michael Cassio ... That never set a squadron in the field, Nor the devision of a battle knows?. Iago feels that Cassio does not hold the experience that he has and therefore doesn?t deserve his position. Iago deceives and murders to achieve his goals and his lack of conscience allows him to commit these acts.

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