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

Critical Analysis of Act 1 Scene 1, Othello.

Extracts from this document...


Critical Analysis of Act 1 Scene 1, Othello: The opening scene of Shakespeare's Othello lacks in detail, many things about what is happening between the two characters present, Iago and Roderigo. They seem to be arguing and there is a sense of disagreement between the two. The play immediately opens with an oath, "Tush" which has the effect of alerting the audience to the aggressive tone. We learn that Roderigo is angry with Iago and that he has lent him money. We do not know why and this raises questions for the audience who are not able to piece the events together at this point. Othello is not introduced at the beginning of the play and when Roderigo says "Thou told'st me thou didst hold him in thy hate" the audience does not know who they are talking about. Shakespeare does this to create an atmosphere of tension in the opening act and by doing this, we are informed of Iago's intention to try and destroy the Moor right from the start. ...read more.


When Iago says that "we cannot all be masters, nor all masters/ cannot be truly followed. You shall mark/ many a duteous and knee-crooking knave,/ that, doting on his own obsequious bondage,/ wears out his time, much like his master's ass" the audience can clearly see that Iago's word cannot be relied upon and that he cannot be trusted. The theme of jealousy begins to come through very clearly at this point, and although Iago does have certain grounds for complaint, the audience is forced to ask why he is revealing his true feelings about the "three great ones of the city", Othello, and Cassio, who are important men in the city to Roderigo. We begin to wonder why he is not afraid of telling Roderigo this information. Perhaps Roderigo is the weaker character, and Iago is able to control him because he doesn't seem to have much to say and is mostly the listener in the opening of the act. As Iago has something that Roderigo wants (Desdemona), he can simply use him until he gets want he wants. ...read more.


be able to deliver the speech in more or less this tone as it seems to be the most appropriate way of expressing how Iago truly feels. The advantage to not having any stage directions is that it permits the director be creative and carry out the play how he wants to. The basic stage directions that are present are all that is needed and the rest can be left to the imagination of the director(s). There appears to be a general atmosphere of chaos in the opening scene 1 with people running around in the middle of the night accusing others of theft which creates a tension to keep the audience interested. When the audience doesn't know what is going on, they are forced to pay full attention in order to be able to comprehend. The information that we gather from Iago's description of Othello, and what we actually see in Othello when the character is introduced on stage is completely different. Perhaps Shakespeare has done this to reinforce just how untrustworthy Iago's word is. Hana Holdijk English Commentary October 2002 Othello ...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. How Does Shakespeare Present The Theme Of The Outsider In Othello(TM) Act 1?

    These insults start to slowly dehumanize Othello and imply the severe ferocity of his hatred towards Othello. By this point, the audience have speculated that Iago's hatred spawned by the fact that Iago had been passed up for promotion, which went to a less experienced man in the eyes of Iago.

  2. How is Act 1 Scene 1 an effective opening to Othello?

    have experienced, he can not see why someone without any physical practice would be any good. Reputation and self-value are also implied by Iago thinking he has proved his worth and not been acknowledged, causing the audience to sympathise with his frustration.

  1. A Critical appreciation of Othello Act 1 Scene 1 line 41 - line 82, ...

    When Iago uses the word 'honest in line 49 saying: 'Whip me such honest knaves.' He shows the audience exactly how he views the perception of the word 'honest' as he uses it to describe the foolish 'duteous and knee-crooking knave'.

  2. Iago In Othello - Critical Analysis.

    However, someone with a conscience would never be able to keep up such a ploy and deceive everyone around him. This is why it is necessary to say that Iago is amoral, because if you don't his character becomes fictional and hard to believe.

  1. Othello: Explain the important and effectiveness of 'Act three, Scene three'.

    act three, scene three took place, he showed his true colours by initiating his evil plan to destroy Othello, Desdemona and Cassio's life. Iago's hate for Othello started because of his despite for black people, his jealousy of Othello's fame and finally because of the fact that Cassio was made lieutenant instead of him.

  2. Othello extract Analysis (3.3.435-476)

    After having worked himself into a rage, "he kneels" and makes the "sacred vow" to achieve his revenge. The fact that Iago joins him in kneeling and makes his own vows likens this exchange to the ritual of marriage, as they both make promises to one another - there is

  1. How does the presentation of Iago in Act1 sn1 lines 41-66 and Act1 sn3 ...

    Conversely, we could see this quote as Iago feeling he should be punished. We could also see it as Iago being self destructive and almost psychopathic. The structure chosen here by Shaksespeare suggests that this statement should be read as a sinister one as opposed to a vulnerable one.

  2. Othello How does Shakespeare use character, action and suspense to create tension and suspense ...

    Although Desdemona pleads her innocence Othello puts a pillow over her head and suffocates her. Emilia brings news of the fighting and the killing of Rodrigo. When she sees the murdered Desdemona, and hears Othello's accusation, she raises the alarm; this brings Iago.

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