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

Along with Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, Othello is one of Shakespeare's four great tragedies and thus a pillar of what most critics take to be the apex of Shakespeare's dramatic art.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

OTHELLO Introduction: Along with Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, Othello is one of Shakespeare's four great tragedies and thus a pillar of what most critics take to be the apex of Shakespeare's dramatic art. More than anything else, what distinguishes Othello from its great tragedies peers is the role of its villain, Iago. Iago is a character that essentially writes the play's the main plot (takes a key part in it), he gives first-hand direction to the others and most notably to the noble Othello. The play presents us with two remarkable characters, Iago and his victim (Othello), with Iago as the dominant force, which causes Othello to see the infidelity of his young and beautiful wife, Desdemona, with his favourite lieutenant, Michael Cassio. Setting: Like most Shakespeare tragedies Othello has a distinctive setting. Othello is not restricted to a single place. Act I of the play takes place in the beautiful city of Venice. Act II moves on to Cyprus and this is where act 5 takes place. Characters breakdown: Othello: An African-American Four-Star General in the United States Marine Corps. He is the consummate military man, known for his courage and shrewd judgement on the battlefield. ...read more.

Middle

The first man is complaining that Iago has spent his money freely and is very upset that Iago knows about this. As the conversation continues, we learn that Iago hates him because he has passed over Iago for promotion to lieutenant, choosing instead Michael Cassio a Florentine. This first act shows that the devious manipulator Iago has a plan that looks to be the central plot of the whole play and this done by him manipulating Roderigo to do his dirty work. The first act in Othello is vital to the character development of Iago, Othello, and Desdemona. Here we are told the motive behind Iago's hatred of the Moor, and we receive our first impression of Othello as a noble, rational, and intelligent leader. Similarly, through the dialogue in the first act we come to understand that Desdemona will not be parted from Othello under any circumstances, and that her love for him is stronger than even her love for her father. Without this act, the horrible events that follow would make much less of an impact. Act 5, Scene 2: The last two scenes of the play bring all the plot elements together in the final spiral of destruction of most of the people we have had under observation for four acts. ...read more.

Conclusion

Iago, as a character, is constantly presenting himself to the audience through his soliloquies, illustrating to us a choice of 'motives' to justify his actions, consequently the soliloquy becomes the key to what it is that makes Iago tick. My first impressions of Othello in this play are of him as a noble a courageous man. He is portrayed as a simple soldier. He also seems to have a very positive relationship with Iago. Along side those positive images Shakespeare prepares us for the evil deeds that Othello will commit later in the play. For example, if he were a more moral man then he would have ignored Iago when he was trying to exploit the deceit of Desdemona's father: "She deceived me and may well you" Brabantio said this to Othello when he found out Desdemona had picked Othello over her father; Iago overheard this and decided to exploit it in his own plotting manner. Another example of the courageousness of Othello when he is urged to hide from the outraged father, he refuses to run away; he feels secure in the rightness of his position: "My parts, my title, and my perfect soul shall manifest me rightly." Love is something new to Othello, and his reaction to Desdemona has a mature intensity that is almost frightening in its richness. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Othello essays

  1. Is Othello a 'noble hero' brought down by 'a devil of motiveless malignity' or ...

    Iago declares he will take his reasons with him to the grave, and though we might all feel we have an idea as to his motives only one person has ever really known. Shakespeare himself, and he as well took the secret to the grave.

  2. How Does Shakespeare Present Desdemona in Acts One to Four

    him and all what he has done for her, she is now married to Othello. This shows that this is a strong woman, who does not back down from what she wants. Many thanks have to be put on Othello for telling the Duke of his love for Desdemona, as

  1. Othello Dramatic Impact Essay

    He too, uses the adjective 'valiant', but makes a point of using Othello's name. The Duke greets Othello before Brabantio, and he gently scolds Brabantio for being absent from his crisis meeting. This establishes that the Duke has great respect for Othello, and despite the racism shown by other characters

  2. How does Shakespeare make Act 5 Scene 2 Dramatic?

    I think he may have done this to show the corruption and pain that racism causes. He would have done this through Iago. However, he may have just been trying to show that there should be equality between the two races by having the main character and hero as a

  1. Othello is Shakespeare's one of the great tragedies

    But if he would have come out of his mask of jealousy and pride and had looked at his father's advice from another view he would have realized Desdemona's love for him. It's true that Desdemona deceived her father, but it doesn't mean that she would betray averyone.

  2. Lealands High School

    His guiltiness and regret is built up to such an extent that he starts to hallucinate. What could be argued, as the greatest and most infamous literary villain of all time is the Devil. He is seen as the supreme form of evil and any kind of villain is seen to be his incarnate.

  1. Of all Shakespeare's tragedies … not even excepting 'King Lear,' Othello is the most ...

    The word domestic simply means that he was not a king or great ruler but just a general. None of the other Shakespearian stories are domestic because they all have Kinks, Thanes and Dukes as the main characters. For instance: Macbeth was the Thane of Cawdor, King Lear controlled his county and Othello controlled his army.

  2. Othello is a complex play written by William Shakespeare between 1600 and 1605. It ...

    ' ...Haply for I am black, and have not those soft parts of conversation that chamberers have...' (line 265) He fears his wife loves Michael Cassio because he is the complete opposite to him. Cassio is younger, good looking and white.

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