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GCSE: Othello

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 5
  • Peer Reviewed essays 24
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
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  5. 24
  1. Marked by a teacher

    Is Iago The Perfect Villain?

    5 star(s)

    The fact that Iago is the only character to mention Othello's skin colour is also signs of one of his weakness- the fact that he is blinded by stereotypes. This character trait is explored further by Shakespeare in Iago's soliloquies. The play Othello is one of Shakespeare's tragedy's, ending in a dramatic, breathtaking climax. The proud, noble and trustworthy character of Othello promotes his young solder Cassio ahead of his more experienced ally Iago, setting off a chain of events which eventually ends with the demise of Othello, his young wife Desdemona and Iago himself.

    • Word count: 3541
  2. Marked by a teacher

    How does Shakespeare use language and stagecraft to show Othello's changing feelings towards Dedemona throughout Othello

    4 star(s)

    They show the character's feelings, and how happy Othello and Desdemona are to see each other. Shakespeare has also repetitively used the word "my", which shows Othello and Desdemona's possessiveness of each other, and how they feel they belong to each other. Repetition is used throughout the scene, with the frequently used word "content" showing how happy Othello is with his life at the time. "Great is my content... content so absolute... enough of this content" He is showing how happy with his life and his love for Desdemona.

    • Word count: 3339
  3. Marked by a teacher

    How and why does Othello's character change during the course of the play? How does Shakespeare present this dramatically?

    4 star(s)

    This humorous comment breaks the tense atmosphere and relaxes the viewers' thoughts on the situation. Shakespeare is clearly trying to show Othello's confidence and self-control as strangers approach him. This annoys Brabantio, as he feels attacked by Othello with only a witty remark. He follows on, threatening Othello and insulting him. Instead of reacting violently, he maintains his dignity by staying composed and making another smart statement, "Hold your hands, both you of my inclining and the rest. Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it without a prompter." With all his quick replies to Brabantio's arguments, Othello is gaining more and more power over Brabantio and his officers.

    • Word count: 2254
  4. Marked by a teacher

    Iago and Cassio

    3 star(s)

    Iago, on the contrary, is the absolute opposite of Michael Cassio. He is a misogynist who uses a lot of crude and vulgar language. Every word which Iago speaks about women devours their value. In Act 2 Scene 1, he states, "Come on, come on; you are pictures out of doors, bells in parlours, wild-cats in your kitchens, saints in your injuries, devils being offended, players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds". This quotation shows how misogynistic Iago is as he is making all women sound like they are completely worthless.

    • Word count: 904
  5. Marked by a teacher

    Give a detailed analysis of Othello's final speech,

    3 star(s)

    This speech is important as it is the culmination of the whole play and all the issues raised as to the love and mind of "the Moor" are addressed. The whole last scene, Act 5 Scene 2 is a closing of the tragic and powerful story. This scene is as important as Act 2 Scene 2 or Act 4 Scene 1 all of which will be reviewed in this essay. The importance of each theme covered in Othello will also be looked at and I will investigate its meaning and why it was used as it was by Shakespeare.

    • Word count: 1699
  6. Peer reviewed

    Why Act 3, Scene 3 is a significant turning point in Othello

    5 star(s)

    He is regarded as a trusted general of Venice, and fights for his people with determination and pride. After his secret elopement with Desdemona, a wealthy senator's daughter, Othello has created a lot of anger and discredited himself, but he manages to maintain his dignified image, claiming "I fetch my life and being from men of royal siege", thus equalling himself to the noble senators. When challenged to a duel by the furious Brabantio, Othello ensures that the dispute will be settled by words and not fisticuffs, commanding "put up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them".

    • Word count: 1970
  7. Peer reviewed

    Iago is fascinating for his most terrible characteristic: his utter lack of convincing motivation for his actions.

    4 star(s)

    Thus making him both a powerful and compelling figure. He seems to be the puppeteer of all the other characters in the play, almost knowing what they think and feel and how they operate. He is the one that they trust and confide in and he uses this to his advantage, he enjoys being the one in control and therefore doesn't need much to convince himself that what he is doing is right. Iago is able to take the handkerchief from Emilia and know that he can deflect her questions; he is able to tell Othello of the handkerchief and know that Othello will not doubt him.

    • Word count: 1884
  8. Peer reviewed

    Imagery in Othello

    4 star(s)

    Iago's main agenda is to ruin the life of Othello, his master and general, and he achieves this by blackening and poisoning people's minds with his power of persuasion. Poison is a recurring image in the play and it first appears near the beginning of the play, where Iago and Roderigo go to inform Senator Brabantio that Othello has married his daughter, the fair Desdemona, and Iago most certainly goes in order to blacken Brabantio's idea of Othello. 'Call up her father...Plague him with flies,' (I, i, 68-71).

    • Word count: 1026
  9. Peer reviewed

    Explore Shakespeare's presentation of jealousy in 'Othello'

    4 star(s)

    However unlike Othello, Iago has a different forms of jealousy he holds; the form of personal and professional jealousy. This is linked to a feeling of envy which sets the play in motion. Iago says that hatred and jealousy "gnaw at his inwards" like poison, however his ultimate aim is to poison Cassio and Othello and make them suffer as he is. He believes that he has been "cuckolded," by his wife Emilia "For I fear Cassio with my nightcap too." However we are never told if Iago' suspicions are true yet jealousy seems to absorb him until he has destroyed everything in his way.

    • Word count: 1165
  10. Peer reviewed

    What is the significance of Iagos Soliloquies in Othello?

    3 star(s)

    He is often referred to in the play as 'honest Iago' and is very duplicitous. Iago is a Machiavellian villain and amoral as he is completely unaware of right and wrong. He is also an opportunist and takes advantage of people's weaknesses. There is a clear distinction between Othello and Iago. The audience are able to tell that Othello is the hero. The typical hero has to have a considerate amount of heroic qualities, such as being brave, noble and loyal, which Othello is. Iago on the other hand, who is the villain, has to be perceptive, manipulative, clever and selfish.

    • Word count: 4235
  11. Peer reviewed

    How does Shakespeare create an effective villain through his presentation of Iago in the soliloquies?

    3 star(s)

    The fact that the first quote is so short means that it is very blunt and to the point. You also see his duplicitous nature, from him being loyal towards Othello before the soliloquy, to him desperately seeking revenge, "The Moor is of free and open nature/and will as tenderly be led by th'noose." This simile shows that Iago wants to exploit Othello's second fatal flaw, his gullibility or his, "free and open nature." This is also when we start to see Shakespeare's presentation of a villainous character and Iago starting to become increasingly evil.

    • Word count: 2866
  12. Peer reviewed

    How does Shakespeare explore the theme of loyalty in Othello?

    3 star(s)

    Whether or not Iago has a capacity to be trusting is not clear in the play, however his untrustworthiness would counterbalance any signs of his ability to trust others. Although he believes Othello has abused his trust in not promoting him to be his lieutenant, you get the impression that he would use any event as an excuse to justify his villainy. Although Othello is absolutely trustworthy, his fault lies in his ability to trust others. The Senate and the people of Cyprus hold him in high regard.

    • Word count: 1245
  13. Peer reviewed

    Discuss the significance of Act III sc. iii with particular reference to how Shakespeare creates dramatic tension

    3 star(s)

    Othello also uses a lot of short sentences such as "O misery" and "Ha?" and could indicate anger and also that he is not thinking clearly and that, because he is black and a 'moor', not fluent with the language and feels ill at ease and he can't fit in with the rest of society and feels an 'outcast' and so might be more prone to Iago's lies and deceit than anyone else. Another way that Shakespeare creates dramatic tension is Iago saying long, fluent sentences which juxtaposes Othello saying short sentences.

    • Word count: 1358
  14. Peer reviewed

    Appearances and assumptions in Shakespeare's Othello

    3 star(s)

    Nobody suspects that Iago is a deceitful man and that he would scheme and plan to destroy the characters of Othello, Cassio and Desdemona in such a cunning and cruel way. Iago uses his reputation, as well as the insecurities of Othello, to allow him to manipulate and ultimately destroy Othello. Othello has a reputation of being a military man, and a courageous leader. "Valiant Othello, We must straight employ you..." "Here comes Brabantio and the valiant Moor." Othello was chosen when they went to fight the Turkish fleet.

    • Word count: 1179
  15. Peer reviewed

    How do we know that Othello and Desdemonas relationship Is ruined at the beginning of the play?

    3 star(s)

    Shakespeare presents Iago as a villainous person and has him as the main role in destroying Othello and Desdemona's relationship. The reason for Iagos hatred for Othello is because (in his soliloquy), Iago tells us of his suspicion that Othello has slept with his wife, Emilia: "And it is thought abroad that `twixt my sheets He has done my office."

    • Word count: 591
  16. Peer reviewed

    All About Iago

    3 star(s)

    Iago is not only considered honest by other characters. He is also perceived as vulgar at times. Brabrantio asks "What profane wretch art thou?" (1.1.113), when Iago makes a sexual comment regarding Desdemona and Othello. Iago says vulgar things and knows exactly how he is perceived. He is manipulative with his words, tricking others into believing what he wants them to believe about him and the other characters. Iago even knows that others see him as an honest man, he knows exactly what he can do with their trust: "O, you are well tuned now!

    • Word count: 803
  17. Peer reviewed

    What techniques does Shakespeare use to reveal Iago's villainy?

    3 star(s)

    Othello interestedly says "what dost thou say, Iago?" Iago the produces a question "Did Michael Cassio, when you woo'd my lady know of your love?" which is, in this case, the first question to doubt Othello's mind. Othello replies with "he did, from first to last, why dost thou ask?" meaning Cassio did know about their love, Othello is a it confused by the question so asks Iago why he asked, Iago then sneakily continues with "but for satisfaction of my thought, no further harm" and this is to keep Othello interested but still in doubt of what's going on and what's the point of it all.

    • Word count: 1931
  18. Peer reviewed

    How does Act 1, Scene 1 of Othello prepare you for the rest of the play

    3 star(s)

    One of the lines in the beginning of this scene is "Thou toldst me thou did hold him in hate" We do not know that it is Othello they are discussing at this point. Iago begins to tell Roderigo of his hatred for the Moor (Othello). He has been passed over for promotion and feels betrayed and let down. Othello has given the job of Lieutenant to a Florentine (Michael Cassio) and has given Iago the lesser position of Ancient.

    • Word count: 788
  19. Peer reviewed

    Iago acts like a villain in this play. He uses racism as a way to hurt Othello. He also plots against Othello throughout the play.

    3 star(s)

    Shakespeare would try also to make the villain sound innocent whereas, not true to their self. Shakespeare starts off the play with Iago and Roderigo arguing, on line 7, when Roderigo says 'Thou told'st me thou dud'st told him in thy hate." Iago must have lied to Roderigo and told him that he did not hate Othello. But he does hate him or Roderigo would never have said this. Iago uses 'Love, honest and soul' a lot in this scene.

    • Word count: 569
  20. Peer reviewed

    Examine the techniques Iago employs to achieve his aims in the play Othello.

    3 star(s)

    Even after he manages to get Cassio dismissed and replaces him as lieutenant, he still continues to carry out his plan of destruction. This reveals that the reason of Iagos plans are merely just for fun. Iago deceives everyone even Roderigo who supports him, not knowing everything about Iago's plans, he even questions why he "ever made a fool my purse" which shows he is only using Roderigo for his own benefit. No-one in the play seems to know what Iago is really like.

    • Word count: 783
  21. Peer reviewed

    Examine the significance of Act 3 Scene 3 in Othello

    3 star(s)

    This brings out a desperate side in Othello that we have not seen before, as he wants to know as much information as he can. The reference to a "green-eyed monster" is another link to jealousy as it is a commonly used personification of jealousy. The colour green is a connotation of envy this is the feeling that Iago is tying to warn Othello of, but by saying this Iago is making Othello paranoid and for him to think what he could possibly be jealous of.

    • Word count: 2150
  22. Peer reviewed

    How Do Iago's soliloquies set the play up for act 3 scene 3?

    3 star(s)

    Initially the play is set in Venice, where all is well. A land of peace without confusion and conflict, it is here where Othello is regarded as a highly respected general, and a war hero. His status is shown by the articulate nature of his speech, which is apparent in his meeting with the Duke in Act one, scene three "Most potent grave and reverend signors," "my very noble and approved good masters," The rhythmic pace and fluency of the lines is superb.

    • Word count: 819
  23. Peer reviewed

    Examine the Method that Shakespeare Employs to Make the Final Scene of "Othello" Dramatically Effective

    3 star(s)

    Throughout the play audiences sympathy for Othello has been preserved, as he has been the innocent party. This innocence is now at stake as he contemplates with increasing intent, the possibility of killing her. It seems that for once in the play, time slows down to a crawl as Othello's mind races back and forth over this moral dilemma. What only increases this tension is greatened by Othello's persistent wavering indecisiveness that can be illustrated by the first line of his soliloquy, "It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul".

    • Word count: 853
  24. Peer reviewed

    Women in 'Othello' In Shakespeare's tragic play 'Othello' various issues are explored, such as the role of women.

    3 star(s)

    state matters, which is shown when she states that "If haply you my father do suspect/An instrument of this your calling back/Lay not your blame on me". This quotation shows that her poignant evidence is used to rationalise Othello's actions, and shows Desdemona is ignorant of the truth. She is very loyal to Othello as she takes both physical and mental abuse, forgiving Othello for what he has done due to stress of his work as a general.

    • Word count: 575
  25. Peer reviewed

    Iago's Homosexuality is the key to understanding Shakespeare's characterisation

    3 star(s)

    Shakespeare set's up their rocky relationship from the first exchange we see between them. This means there could be more tension to come from the loveless couple. Iago tells Othello, " I am yours favour" this almost sounds like vow for a marriage and sets up the indication that Iago might be gay. Iago describes to Othello, how he "laid" with Cassio, and in Casio's dream, he mumbled his love for Desdemona and how Cassio started feeling up Iago; perhaps this is an indication of Iago's 'lust' for Cassio in that he is describing to Othello, what he wants Cassio to do to him.

    • Word count: 542

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?

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