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At the start of Act III, Scene III, Othello declares his love for Desdemona, how does Shakespear make such a changing character dramatically possible.

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At the start of Act III, Scene III, Othello declares his love for Desdemona, 'Perdition catch my soul, but I do love thee; and when I love thee not, chaos is come again.' However by the end of this scene he vows to Iago, 'I'll tear her all to pieces!' How does Shakespeare make such a changing character dramatically possible? Shakespeare's Othello, in my opinion is one of his most cleverly written plays. It is a tragedy, similar in a way to the likes of the famous Romeo and Juliet, as there is a definite romance in the play, which quickly turns sour, due to lack of trust and jealousy, or as some might think, the tragedy is all down to manipulation and deceit, which both hold huge roles in the script. The play deals with many controversial issues which makes it unique and the way in which it was written, shows us how ahead of his time Shakespeare actually was. Othello is a black man in the play, of extremely high authority; he is a proud army general who is looked upon with respect by the state and many leading Dukes. He first comes across to the audience as being very composed and a gentle character towards others. My first impressions of Othello were especially positive; he is a powerful figure with glowing qualities, which I detected only from his first few words. However before we hear from Othello in the text, we meet the vicious Iago and his companion Roderigo, who appear in the opening scene. They both begin by discussing an unknown character that we later learn is the greatly regarded Othello. You can tell their anger towards him almost instantaneously from their speech, it is very harsh and the line structure is indifferent and has no specific order. They refer to Othello negatively, using racist comments and horrible images; once they even label him with being the devil. ...read more.


Amidst their conversation, Othello and Iago draw close to them, and promptly after their entrance Cassio decides to take his leave. He bids Desdemona goodbye and Iago makes good use of this perfect moment by uttering secretly to Othello, 'Ha! I like not that.' By making this small comment, he is putting over to Othello that he doesn't like the way Cassio had abruptly left, as if something may well have been going on between them before they arrived. There is so much meaning in this one line and Iago is witty to use it when he does, seizing a chance of luck. This smart comment is followed by Desdemona's constant talk of Cassio, as she fulfils her pledge to him. She undoubtedly does Cassio justice as she continues to persuade Othello to reinstate him. This obviously falls right into place with Iago's plan, as Othello notices Desdemona's anxious behaviour about the situation, when really in his eyes she shouldn't be worrying about it. Othello finishes the conversation by saying, 'Prithee no more. Let him come when he will; I will deny thee nothing.' Here we clearly see that Desdemona is a huge weakness in Othello's character, he will deny her nothing, which shows us he still cares for her deeply, and it almost assures the audience that he always will. Iago begins to get into full swing of his plot by continuing to drop hints about Desdemona and Cassio. He does this very well, by not actually stating fictitious stories but by suggesting, and not giving Othello a clear image. However this is somewhat worse, if the mind is left to wonder and imagine it can come up with the wrong answer! By Othello not knowing, it leaves him thinking about and even visualizing Desdemona being unfaithful to him, which we, the audience know is not true. Desdemona is not a strong female character in the play and she does not have regular appearance in the play as one would have thought. ...read more.


They both part on bad terms, with Desdemona reassuring herself in naivety, that Othello must be upset with some affair of the state. In Act IV Iago continues to encourage Othello's jealousy by filling his head with graphic images of Desdemona's infidelity and he persuades Othello to eavesdrop on a conversation which he will initiate with Cassio, who will speak the truth about their intercourse. Iago plans this by asking Cassio about his present relationship, leaving Othello to think he is speaking of Desdemona when it's the converse. Here Othello decides he will kill them both, and his deep and final emotions for Desdemona seem to fade into disappearance, he is now definite about what he has to do, and we see confidence in his character. This all builds up into an ultimate confrontation between Desdemona and the enraged Othello, he asks her of her infidelity, and she unknowingly denies it all. Othello unfortunately dismisses all of her pleads and the tragedy ends with him smothering her. The end of the play is tragic and has the audience captivated, yet the real tragedy is still waiting for Othello when he finally learns about Iago's secrets and lies. The main point to think about when bringing this essay to a conclusion is, who is to blame for Desdemona's tragic death? Most people's first instinct is to hold Iago responsible for the whole sequence of events leading towards the closing scenes, which is a fair comment, as he comes across as being a wicked character with evil intentions. Othello is obviously the one who physically murders Desdemona although he is constantly reassuring himself throughout the final act, telling himself that it is his duty to kill his wife for her unforgivable behaviour, yet he still did not have any hard evidence to justify his actions. When he finally carries his actions through he comes across to the audience as if his judgement has been impaired or as if he has been overcome by another entity. ...read more.

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