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uch jealousy as Othellos converts human nature into chaos, and liberates the beast in man A.C Bradley

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Introduction

"Such jealousy as Othello's converts human nature into chaos, and liberates the beast in man" A.C Bradley With particular focus on Act III, how accurate is this as a description of Othello's tragic fall? In Othello, Shakespeare presents the descent of 'one not easily jealous'1 into bestial chaos as he becomes engulfed by doubt. Shakespeare achieves this through his use of language and stage directions in the play to emphasise Othello's loss of control. He uses the cynical malcontent, Iago, to bring about Othello's downfall by taking advantage of his tragic flaw. Othello's flaw is being too trusting in Iago, who causes his doubt to take control and manifest itself in chaos. The audience empathise with Othello to an extent in Act III, because he has fallen, his fate is sealed and there is now no way back for him. In the eyes of the audience, at the beginning of Act III Scene 3, Othello is 'the valiant Moor'2. This is presented in his calm nature and his ability to still be guided by reason. At this stage, he is able to extinguish his doubts about Desdemona's character before they consume him. ...read more.

Middle

Iago corrupts Othello with jealousy, which causes the beast within him to be liberated. Dramatically it is clear to see that Othello descends, in Act III, into chaos and confusion. In his rage he curses 'death and damnation'9, which is quite different from his earlier clam and noble nature. The use of blank verse in Othello's speech helps to establish his heroism. This is due to the rhythm and flexibility, which allows Othello to speak purposefully and with clarity. Through this he is able to command authority. After his fall, his verse changes into disjointed prose, and becomes more straight forward and less figurative. His stately styles of grammar and syntax have both broken down, which amount to a sense of insecurity. He has allowed jealousy and passion to take over from reason. By the end of the scene Othello has descended into chaos through his jealousy of the perceived relationship between Desdemona and Cassio. Shakespeare presents the change in Othello by transferring to him some of the characteristics of Iago's speech. This technique emphasises the fact that Othello's language has broken down and he has lost control over what he is saying as Iago's character remains the same. ...read more.

Conclusion

At the very top of the chain of being was God, followed by angels, and at the bottom were animals and plants. This left human beings in the middle as they possess both qualities of those higher and lower14. In the early stages of the play Othello is clearly guided by rationality and reason. However Iago uses sexual imagery as a way to place Othello below his position in society, so he is now with the animals and beasts. The use of animal imagery to present Othello as a beast reinforces the underlying racism of the play and in itself holds sexual connotations. He cannot wait to ensue 'the fruits'15 of Desdemona after they are married. In the beginning Iago refers to Othello as being 'an old black ram'16. By offending Othello Iago is causing jealousy and anger to take control. Using A.C Bradley's description of Othello is accurate, because he started as a calm and confident leader, but his character became eroded by Iago. Consequently his speech became excitedly flooded with animal imagery and death, which is highlighted though the use of exclamation marks. He finally acts upon his words and kills Desdemona. The hero was taken in by false words and tragedy was the result. If it was not for Iago, the beast within Othello would not have been liberated and his premature death would not have happened. ...read more.

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