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Act 3 scene 3 is a pivotal scene in the play Othello. How does it build on previous events and foreshadow events still to come?

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Introduction

Act 3 scene 3 is a pivotal scene in the play Othello. How does it build on previous events and foreshadow events still to come? I have been studying the play Othello, written by William Shakespeare. As part of my coursework, I intend to analyze Act 3 scene 3 of the play as a pivotal scene. This lengthy scene is the most significant throughout the play, as it builds on previous events, and foreshadows events still to come. The leading characters within this spectacular and well written play are Othello: who is also known as "the Moor", a black African prince living in a European, colour-prejudiced society, who is lead by Iago into thinking that his wife is unfaithful to him. Desdemona: Othello's white Venetian devoted wife, however due to a cunning Iago, is suspected of infidelity and killed by her husband. Iago: Othello's ensign (standard bearer), who deviously plants suspicion in Othello's mind against his faithful wife. Cassio: Othello's lieutenant, who is also manipulated by Iago, who wished for the position of "the Moor's" lieutenant. Emilia: Desdemona's maid and Iago's wife, who is loyal to both her mistress and husband, however she is also killed due to her loyalty to her husband. Roderigo: A Venetian, who is also in love with Desdemona, but is systematically cheated by Iago, and Brabantio: Desdemona's father, who is outraged when he hears of his daughter's marriage to a black man. We first come across Act 3 scene 3 building on previous events when Desdemona reconciles Cassio and assures him that she will do everything she can to make her husband reinstate him to his former position as Othello's lieutenant. "Be thou assur'd, good Cassio, I will do all my abilities in thy behalf." This is the irony in her character that her sense of goodness will eventually be the cause of her death, as Othello starts to suspect her. ...read more.

Middle

Iago hesitates in his speech when expressing his thoughts about Desdemona's infidelity with Cassio. Iago's hesitancy and delaying tactics worries Othello believing that if honest Iago appears troubled then the news must be extremely serious. Iago's words have a direct impact on Othello, subtly planting seeds of doubt in Othello's mind but never directly accusing Desdemona of adultery. Othello tries to clear his own thoughts of Cassio, by questioning Iago, Othello: ' Indeed? ' Ay indeed. Discern'st thou ought in that? Is he not honest? Iago: Honest, my Lord? Othello: ' Honest? ' Ay, honest. Iago: My Lord, for ought I know. Othello: What dost thou think? Iago: Think, my Lord? Othello: ' Think, my Lord!' By Heaven, thou echoes me, As if there were some Monster in thy thought too hideous to be shown. In this conversation between Othello and Iago we see a lot of repetition. He tells Iago he is echoing him because he is hiding something terrible from him. This dramatic device will make Iago's lie much more believable to Othello than an outright lie. Iago pretends to care for his Lord, and pretends to protect him by not telling him what is on his mind and by avoiding the issue. This arouses curiosity by Othello. Iago then comments that people should only act like they truly are, "...men should be what they seem..." This is ironic because Iago is preaching about honesty; however he himself does not know the meaning of the word honesty. Once Iago has told Othello he thinks men should be honest he begins to comment on Cassio's honesty, "For Michael Cassio, I dare be sworn I think that he is honest" "why then, I think Cassio's an honest man" It also creates the impression that Iago is reluctant to speak ill on the subject of Cassio who Othello thinks to be Iago's loyal and true friend. ...read more.

Conclusion

his approval, and as he had requested for it, which shows that she was being loyal to her husband as she did exactly as he required. This one mistake, which was done unknowingly also led to her mistress' death, as it was this one piece of evidence which could have saved her from her brutal death. The hatred we see towards Cassio in Act 3 scene 3 foreshadows Othello's loss in friends, as cassio was a close friend of many others, therefore when Iago's real character is unveiled in the final act, everyone takes Othello to be a very low person as he was manipulated by Iago, into thinking that his wife, who was in actual fact innocent, was being unfaithful to him. Roderigo who was also close to Othello was killed due to Iago. Desdemona's murder was also caused due to the hatred towards Cassio, and this lead to the dismissal of his position, as everyone felt that Othello was not worthy of carrying out his job with respect. Othello's friends, his wife and his reputation were his life, which he lost due to his insecurities, and manipulation by the deceitful Iago. In conclusion the fact that so much significant and crucial parts take place in Act 3 scene 3 proves that it is very important to the rest of the play, as it really starts to develop the plot and themes we have seen growing throughout earlier scenes. This is the scene when we see Iago has successfully manipulated Othello into believing that Desdemona has not been faithful to him, this is very significant to the rest of the play as it affects everything Othello feels and says from this point onwards. Act 3 scene 3 is also the longest scene throughout the whole play, which shows its importance as so much develops and evolves around this one scene. It is also a very important scene as we see such a drastic change in Othello's character. English coursework: Othello Saira Javed 10C ...read more.

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