• 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)

    Although he still dearly loves her, Othello is upset at what he is hearing and doesn't want it to be true. Towards the end of Act III, he wants to seek true from other people, as what Iago is saying to him is getting too much for Othello to cope with.

  2. 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.

  1. How and in what ways is Othello a victim in the play "Othello" by ...

    As Othello comes believe Iago to be even more "honest," he also comes to mistrust Desdemona more, and even goes as far to ask Emilia to spy on her. At this point Othello further becomes a victim of his anger towards both Desdemona and Cassio and even hits Desdemona, the woman he loves.

  2. How Does Iago Successfully Manipulate Othello in Shakespeare

    Roderigo agrees with Iago's plan and decides to kill Cassio. Secretly Iago wishes them both to die in order to prevent the discovery of his manipulation of Othello a secret. In the final Scene Roderigo attacks Cassio and he manages to chop off Cassio's leg but gets wounded in the process.

  1. "Iago's soliloquy at the end of Act 1; what does his language tell us ...

    He is the villain because he believes himself to be superior to everyone else. Iago is Othello's 'ancient'. However, Iago obviously feels he is superior to his master. Iago likens Othello to a donkey; a dull, stupid animal. Iago says Othello will "be led by th' nose. As asses are".

  2. Is Desdemona a figure of weakness or strength? Discuss with relation to one key ...

    This is noticed when Othello says "O curse of marriage" which is a dramatic statement to say, and it is Desdemona's interference and her tragic timing which inflicts this feeling upon Othello. Despite Othello's character is supposed to develop to regret marrying Desdemona, the "curse of marriage" could be a statement that reflects Shakespeare's thoughts.


    The fact that the Duke realises this shows he is wise. This scene will also attract the attention of the audience because important people of the city are gathered around to talk about something important. The audience will listen carefully to their discussions.

  2. Othello says, 'Rude am I in my speech'. Would you agree that 'There is ...

    "Broil and battle" is an example of this, and it is interesting that even the words have a strong texture to them, making them sound harsh and sharp, like the definitions of the words themselves. Othello also uses rhythm as a device within his speeches, which often creates quite a poetic, flowing effect.

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