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

Discuss and evaluate how Shakespeare uses language to present the character of Othello in Act 1 Scene 3, Act 3 Scene 3 and Act 4 scene 1.

Extracts from this document...


Discuss and evaluate how Shakespeare uses language to present the character of Othello in Act 1 Scene 3, Act 3 Scene 3 and Act 4 scene 1. The play "Othello" was written by William Shakespeare in the 17th century. The most important character, Othello, is the eponymous hero of the play. A hero that is broken down from such a high status to a status that isn't dissimilar from an animal's, a 'Barbary horse' for example, a remark that reduces Othello's humanity and is ironically made by Iago, at the beginning of the play, the man that contributes significantly to Othello's tragic downfall. The play is set in Venice and is one of Shakespeare's greatest tragic dramas. Venice was a unique city, it was small but 500 years ago it was one of the great trading centers of the known world. Her power spread far. The enemies of this empire were the Turks. Christian civilisation was at risk because of this. The brave soldier Othello, classed as an outsider because of his North African roots, was a strategic thinker employed to defend Venice and the Christian Civilisation that he represents. Shakespeare uses Othello's language to create a conflict of interest, because society at the time resented people of colour, however Othello's persona and manner, at the beginning of the play, appeals to the Shakespearean audience and they begin to like him. Towards the end of the play, this changes and so does Othello's use of language because of one of Othello's few weaknesses, love, is exposed by the villainy of Iago. ...read more.


Nevertheless, I think the duke does not let race effect his judgment and bases his verdict on what each party has to say, so he gives his blessing and sees nothing wrong with Othello's and Desdemona's relationship. 'Your son-in-law is far more fair than black' the Duke is telling Brabantio that Othello has done nothing that should raise suspicions and that if you were to judge him without prejudice, you would be more than happy to see your daughter marry Othello. I believe that Shakespeare is using this line to indicate to his audience the moral dilemma of the age that prejudgment precludes the truth. As Brabantio leaves the council he leaves Othello with a thought and that is, 'she has deceived her father, and may thee.' This is dramatic irony as it contributes to Othello's impending tragic breakdown by planting a seed of doubt in what becomes a fragile mind. The character, Iago, is used as a dramatic mechanism to help the plot along. He is clearly an extraordinarily intelligent man. He uses this intelligence to deceive, with the intention of getting what he wants. He says to Roderigo 'put money in thy purse' he wants money from Roderigo and repeats this over and over whilst promising Roderigo he will get him what he desires, which is Desdemona, Iago is cunning here because he has no intention of helping out Roderigo, but his actions later show Roderigo that he has tried his best for him, when really he hasn't. ...read more.


In this scene Othello is angry, scared, jealous and irrational, he delivers his language quickly in a speedy exchange with Iago. Othello has become Iago's puppet, he repeats Iago's words only louder and more vigorously. Iago says to Othello 'Will you think so?' Othello then replies 'Think so, Iago!' these questions raise doubt in Othello's mind. 'To kiss in private?', 'An unauthorized kiss.' The repetition here emphasises the kiss, the physical act that upsets Othello so much. Shakespeare uses Othello's language at this moment to suggest that this kiss would be against the laws of the state, the church and of marriage. More repetition is used, Iago says 'naked with her friend in bed' and Othello replies 'Naked in bed' incapable of thinking for himself now. Iago plants images in Othello's mind, these images torture Othello and strengthen his eagerness to think along these lines. Othello's constant questioning illustrates the loss of his mind. He has lost the ability to think for himself properly, he is no longer the commanding general we thought he was, he is now a weak fragile man lost in a sea of jealousy. The quick fire discussion Othello and Iago are having represents the battle within Othello's mind. In Act 1 Scene 3 Othello's language is lengthy, effortless and expressive, however this begins to deteriorate in Act 3 Scene 3 Othello becomes infuriated, yet now and again shows signs of staying in control. In Act 4 Scene 1 Othello's language has now become irrational, senseless and absurd. He becomes intent on destroying those he thinks have betrayed him. Joe Tonge ...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. Marked by a teacher

    How and why does Othello's character change during the course of the play? How ...

    4 star(s)

    Othello now becomes completely honest with Iago, telling him how he feels about everything Iago says. This helps the troublemaker in what to say next and how believable he is to Othello. His unreasonable behaviour towards Desdemona (for example, when he slaps her)

  2. Discuss the dramatic significance of Act 1. How is the theme of opposition explored? ...

    This is why the Elizabethan/Jacobean audience would find it very difficult to accept the marriage between a white woman and black man. The relationship between Othello and Desdemona is used by Shakespeare to show the opposition between the black and white.

  1. How does Shakespeare present Othello in Act 1? What is his intent here?

    Roderigo accuses Othello of being a 'wheeling stranger/Of here and everywhere' which suggests that he's a wandering vagrant, the idea that he is a threat to the stability of the civilized Venetian society. This view was common in Elizabethan society with negroes and moors being considered a problem in England in 1601.

  2. How is Othello presented in Act 1.

    Othello is a well-respected Venetian general. He is highly valued by the Senate as he is experienced in battle and very professional. He has served the army since he was very young. Othello is obviously very good at his job otherwise the senate would not have chosen him to lead the war in Cyprus.

  1. Turn to Act 4 Scene 3. In what ways and how successfully does Shakespeare ...

    Shakespeare applies foreshadowing throughout the interaction between Emilia and Desdemona as a means of sustaining dramatic tension. Emilia portrays her protectiveness over Desdemona in the declaration "I wish you had never seen him." This statement acts as a premonition of the strong regret Emilia is to feel upon Desdemona's untimely death.

  2. Othello - Discuss the significance of Act 3 Scene 3 in terms of the ...

    scene his overall plan to gain revenge is possible and therefore his character develops as he is much more open and places subtle hints in Othello's mind and gradually builds them up until he achieves his goal.

  1. In what ways does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in the opening scene of Othello?

    "And such a one do I profess myself." By saying this he is warning us of his deadly potential. Throughout the whole of this scene Iago has complete control over the situation. He manipulates people so that events go his way. When ordering Roderigo about he uses strong, powerful commands such as "Rouse him," "Poison his delight," "Plague him."

  2. How does Othello's character change from the beginning of the play to the end ...

    Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio". This makes Othello a lot more doubtful, but fully trusts Iago, and assumes that he's telling the truth and that he had better watch them. It never occurs to Othello that Iago could be lying.

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