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GCSE: Othello

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 5
  • Peer Reviewed essays 24
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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Othello Revision Notes - themes and quotes.

    Quotes on Jealousy... o "A jealousy so strong that judgement cannot cure" - Iago o "Good God, the souls of all my tribe defend from jealousy" - Iago o "Think'st thou I'd make a life of jealousy to follow still the changes of the moon with fresh suspicions?" - Othello Race... * Othello always referred to as the Moor * Before Othello black characters in Othello were usually villains therefore the presentation of a NOBLE MOOR must mean something * Othello's race make him an outsider - dislocation and opposition * Early on in the play positive descriptions of Othello's

    • Word count: 2237
  5. How Does Shakespeare Present The Theme Of The Outsider In Othello(TM) Act 1?

    He falls from the honour in which he is held by allowing himself to be deceived by Iago about the faithfulness of his wife Desdemona. Desdemona represents purity in the play, as she is an innocent white aristocratic female who was murdered by the love of her life because of the evil and anger of one person. This play is home to many themes including the theme of the outsider. Although the Venetian senate consider him to be a 'valiant Moor', some sections of society consider him to be an outsider because of his skin colour and possible because he elopes with Desdemona.

    • Word count: 2426
  6. Analyse the significance of Act 3 Scene 3 of Othello commenting on plot, characters, themes, language and structure.

    The characters who participate in this particular scene are: Desdemona; Emilia; Cassio; Iago and Othello. It is clear that the closer Iago and Othello become in regards to their social relationship, the further apart Othello and Desdemona become. Iago acts as a wedge between the two. Cassio and Amelia, though they are not big characters are probably the reason that this scene is so pivotal: if Emilia didn't provide Iago with the handkerchief would Othello have believed him?; it as at the receiving of the handkerchief that Iago and Emilia get 'personal' and Emilia is begging and pleading for Iago's attention; however at the end she doesn't want anything to do with him because of his destruction.

    • Word count: 2326
  7. "Damn her, lewd minx O damn her, damn her!" Is Othello's tragic conclusion solely the result of Iago's machinations

    An example of this is immediately after the initial "ha, I like not that" (34), when Iago is asked "what dost thou say?" (35) by Othello, showing some interest before any conspiracy has been mentioned, only a curious remark having been made. In Iago's reply to this question, he intrigues Othello by holding back some information, thus giving Othello a greater desire to know what he is talking about: "Nothing, my lord; or if - I know not what" (36).

    • Word count: 2016
  8. Why is Iago's manipulation of Othello successful?

    He consolidates this idea later on in the scene saying, 'Away at once with love or jealousy' that there is only room for complete love or complete jealousy, he cannot compromise. Iago, knowing this would want to turn him to complete jealousy so as not to love Desdemona, therefore ultimately causing chaos. Othello being a solider also contributes to Iago's successful manipulation of him, as soldiers are used to fighting, a thing Othello is very good at, he will be a man of action and once told of his wife's supposed adultery, will have to act on it.

    • Word count: 2105
  9. Why did the marriage of Othello and Desdemona end in tragedy?

    This would have been at a time when much of England would have questioned these views. Shakespeare may have been making a social comment and putting forward a negative attitude towards racism. Othello and Desdemona, as portrayed in the play, are the two greatest innocents there ever were. The two appear to love one another romantically at first, but there is no foundation for a relationship here. There is no trust, no communication, and no understanding and therefore it could be broken down so easily, as it was by Iago in a matter of days with the marriage ending with both Othello and Desdemona dying.

    • Word count: 2648
  10. How was Othello(TM)s and Desdemona(TM)s relationship doomed from the start?

    Later on in the scene, Shakespeare decided to build the climax by allowing Iago to wake up a furious and confused Brabantio with his loud shouts, but also to create chaos and disturbance. Brabantio describes the unwelcome wake up call as "terrible" and it would "awake the snorting citizens." Also, Brabantio was told by Iago that he has been robbed, which put Brabantio in shock and unease to realise that his daughter has gone missing. Iago knows that Brabantio is a senator and a man of law and Desdemona is of a great importance to him; and so if Othello

    • Word count: 2145
  11. To What Extent Can It Be Argued That Othello’s Downfall Is the Result of His Own “Tragic Flaw”?

    This is a stereotype of the time towards North-African men suggesting that they are evil and steal from people. In my opinion, I think that this is also an indication of the stereotype of women at the time, that they could be "owned" by their father, then by their husbands. Furthermore, Iago states "An old black ram / Is tupping your white ewe," which highlights the age-gap between Othello and Desdemona, while being racist towards him and dehumanises him by taking away his identity. Shakespeare uses bestial imagery, implying that Othello is lustful and promiscuous while being little more than a wild animal.

    • Word count: 2068
  12. What Destroys Othello

    Most of the people that live near and around Othello are quite raciest towards him. 'Even now, now, very now, an old black ram'. This is because around them times the world wasn't very multi-cultural especially where Othello was living. Iago has hated Othello since the beginning of the play; he shows this in a racist way. 'I hate the moor'. This shows that Iago has no real respect for Othello even thought though out the play he pretends to like Othello and be his loyal friend. Othello later then tells the story of how he charmed her.

    • Word count: 2304
  13. 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 themes that are raised in the play include; race, religion, love, hate, jealousy, deceit, betrayal, manipulation, appearances, truth, trust, desire and ambition. When we first meet Othello he has been taken to the council because Brabantio, Desdemona's father, refuses to believe that he and Desdemona are genuinely in love with one another. Brabantio thinks Othello must have used some form of witchcraft to win his daughter over. Whilst at the council, Othello's qualities shine through. He calmly begins to explain that once he spoke of his past, Desdemona fell in love with him.

    • Word count: 2671
  14. How Shakespeare creates chaos in Othello's mind

    Where he mentions his 'parts', 'title' and 'perfect soul' Othello is referring to all that he has worked for and the rank he has earned, then where he says that they shall 'manifest him rightly' he conveys that they will be made known to people, again showing how he is proud of his job. It is this sense of nobility Othello has that makes Iago jealous of him, then leading to later events of manipulation in the play. In the opening of the play it is Iago's goal to take over Cassio's position as lieutenant, which he goes about by getting him drunk, later forcing Othello to fire him and promote Iago to Cassio's previous position.

    • Word count: 2085
  15. Analyse how far Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca challenge the expectations of the male characters in the play and those of the audience

    Even though Cassio is spends a great deal in how he presents himself to the women in the play he does not know when to stop nor does he notice when he hits a nerve of one of the other male characters in the play. There is an exemplification of this, where Cassio kisses Emilia infront of Iago in which Iago retaliates by saying snide things about Emilia. This brings us to Iago, who is the opposite of Cassio, when presenting himself to the female characters of the play he is vulgar towards them and only see them as lust seeking creatures.

    • Word count: 2233
  16. how iago convinces othello of desdemona's infidelity

    However it is Othello's reaction that is interesting, at this point he is very confident and does not take much notice of Iago's trickery, he replies to Iago's lying with 'Let him (Brabantio) do this in spite, my services... shall out-tongue his complaints.' This is a very powerful and sharp answer to Iago which shows that at the beginning of the play their relationship is not that friendly. Othello's relationship with his lieutenant Cassio, in this same scene, seems much more friendly 'My lieutenant, the goodness of the night upon you, friends.'

    • Word count: 2487
  17. Othello Dramatic Impact Essay

    In the Poetics, Greek philosopher Aristotle says, that the tragic hero is "... a [great] man who is neither a paragon of virtue and justice nor undergoes the change to misfortune through any real badness or wickedness but because of some mistake." In this scene, we learn not only of Othello's 'mistake' or 'flaw', but also see through the actions of the other characters, how the plot will unfold and the inevitable tragedy will happen. The opening stage direction tells us that the scene is set in "The Duke's council chamber... set at a table with lights".

    • Word count: 2993
  18. Othello: 'Shakespeare has presented the three female characters as merely stereotypes.' How far do you agree?

    She says, "I pray talk me of Cassio." (Act 3, scene 4, 85) Desdemona is considered to fit her stereotype very well. This is because she hardly ever does anything which would be unholy and never thinks an evil thought throughout the play. "That there would be women do abuse their husbands /In such gross kind?" (Act 4, scene 3, 59-60) When talking to Emelia in Act 4, scene 3, Desdemona's innocence is shown. The quotation shows that adultery seems very wrong to her and she does not even believe that women could do such a thing.

    • Word count: 2367
  19. To what extent do you consider the character Othello to be responsible for his own downfall?

    Shakespeare wrote Othello with renaissance view. Around this time people had just started to believe in free will rather than the Greek view where everything was controlled by Gods. Thus to Shakespeare, Harmatia, a Greek idea of tragic flaw, is changed from human ignorance to a character defect in the hero himself. Hence the terrible consequences are not the result of angry gods playing tricks on humans, instead they are the result of character defects which lead to sinful behavior and subsequent downfall.

    • Word count: 2399
  20. What does Iago's use of language in his soliloquies reveal about his true character?

    The Shakespearean play of Othello was written as a drama or literary tradition in which the main character or protagonist is brought to ruin or suffers from an extreme sorrow, in this instance Othello. The tragedy in literary tradition normally revolves around a consequence or Achilles heel in which the character is exploited through a tragic flaw or inability to cope with unfavourable circumstances. These literary traditions are common among the play "Othello" and is seen throughout the novel through several characters including Othello, Cassio, Roderigo and Iago.

    • Word count: 2023
  21. Othello Essay

    Iago also uses childlike language like Desdemona; however, this does nothing to endear him to Othello. Othello gets annoyed at Iago constantly repeating him with words like "honest" and "think". When Othello realises this he starts to get angry "By Heaven, thou echo'st me". This shows us that Othello has turned against the childish language and doesn't still completely trust Desdemona and has begun to feel that she isn't as sweet and innocent as she appears. This is effective as Iago is using the same language style as Desdemona but using it when implying that she is cheating on Othello.

    • Word count: 2020
  22. How Does Iago Manipulate the other characters in the play To Destroy Othello

    Iago is a bitter character. He is deeply jealous of Othello. At one point he says, "O beware, my lord, of jealousy: It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on." He is warning Othello, but in the sub-text he is talking of his own situation. He never explains why exactly he is so jealous but we can guess that it is for several reasons, the main three being that Othello was promoted above him and then Othello promoted Cassio up to be his second in command and not Iago.

    • Word count: 2133
  23. This essay will explore and explain the different views the audiences have on Othello at the end of act 1 scene 3. I will do this by analyzing what each character met says and does, and how it would affect the perceptions of Othello

    However this would not have been the view of all Elizabethans due to everybody being unique and individual. Even though large amounts of people were racist, few weren't. This meant that finding out Othello was black would not have affected their view of him. The majority of an Elizabethan audience would have been racist, but they all displayed their feelings in different ways. This was partially due to their personal feelings, and partially due to where they were sitting in the theatre. Different social status's sat at different sections of the theatre. Sat at the bottom of the theatre were the viewers known as the groundlings.

    • Word count: 2040
  24. To what extent is Othello's jealousy aroused by Iago's cunning and to what extent by his own temperament?

    In these short quotations Iago admits openly that he is a self-serving deceiver. Act 1 scene 1 makes out Iago as a powerful and manipulative figure who instigates chaos, proving himself masterful in getting out of and avoiding trouble. From the opening lines of Act 1 scene 2 we see the deceitful loyalty and indignation of Iago designed to evoke the trust and favour of Othello, while still trying to provoke a reaction from the Moor. Iago seems to be recounting the events of the previous scene to Othello, emphasizing the insulting way Othello has been spoken of and Brabantio's negative reaction to his daughter's marriage.

    • Word count: 2550
  25. How do you react to Shakespeare's presentation of Desdemona, in Act 5 Scene 2, lines 21-85, and elsewhere in the play? How have your opinions been formed by what Desdemona says and what others say about her?

    "The rites for which I love him are bereft me, let me go with him" Yet her innocence and purity means she is blinded by her love for him and does not truly understand the situation. Throughout the whole play Desdemona has been loyal to her friends but especially Othello. She had been brought up in a good family but still she disobeyed her father and married Othello and went to war with him. She goes on to lie to her husband about losing her handkerchief.

    • Word count: 2011

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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