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"Discuss the dramatic strengths of Act I Scene I of Othello".

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Introduction

"Discuss the dramatic strengths of Act I Scene I of Othello" Shakespeare creates an atmosphere of tension and mystery in the first scene of the play with the opening phrase of "tush, never tell me..." as the characters Roderigo and Iago speak of an un-named issue using words such as "this business" and "matter" and never mention Othello's name. He is rather a name-less "he" and remains unnamed throughout the scene and is only identified for the first time as "his Moorship". The setting adds to the dramatic impact of the scene as the characters are on the streets at night making a plan therefore adding suspicion to the audience as we await the plot of the characters. One of the dramatic strengths of the first scene is the character Iago. The audience may be aware of Iago's manipulative behaviour from early on this scene as we are informed that Iago uses the money from Roderigo's purse "As if the strings were thine". ...read more.

Middle

Iago is energetic and confident. Yet because of his dry wit, the audience sense the cunning and danger of him. Iago tells Roderigo that he serves Othello "to serve my turn upon him"and we see his villainy emerging. Iago's speeches are candid and he confesses his villainy "I am not what I am" and he confides in the audience and plays with it. We get a strong sense that he enjoys his role as a villain and he needs someone to appreciate his villainy and wit as Roderigo cannot - hence he confides intimately with the audience and, to some extent, has some charm as he appeals to us. Animal imagery in conjunction with Iago's language are yet other strengths in this scene. Iago language is vulgar when speaking of Desdemona's fertility " ...he in a fertile climate dwell" to her father Brabantio. The animal imageries of "an old black ram is tupping your white ewe", " you'll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse" and " your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs" adds profanity to the scene. ...read more.

Conclusion

What is interesting to note is that as a solider, Iago carries Othello's flag showing his honour and loyalty yet the audience are confronted with a man who has the same characteristics of a Jacobean conception of a "machiavel" (Machiavellian villain) who "for necessity of present life" puts on good qualities for show. The character Brabantio is also a key aspect to the dramatic strengths of this scene as the audience see him get wound up by Iago and Roderigo as he fumes over his daughter's disappearance. We see Brabantio's snobbery "what are you" and are aware that he is a man who exercises his authority wherever possible "My spirit and my place have in them power..." Although we may be slightly amused by his superiority to Roderigo and Iago "Thou art a villain", we cannot help but feel sorry for him as he loses his daughter, his possession, to "The Moor". A character that we still are not sure of and as Brabantio gathers his men and weapons to search for Othello; the audience anticipate the next scene as we await what is to come. ADORA MBA ...read more.

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