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GCSE: Othello

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  1. Is Racism the most important factor in the tragedy of Othello(TM)?

    When he is with the other Venetians he is polite and sociable. He impresses people by his interesting history, in act 1.3 when Othello is trying to explain his love he uses his story and explains it in a more interesting way than it may really be. Othello will never really be accepted properly as he is black.

    • Word count: 516
  2. 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
  3. "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
  4. How does the presentation of Iago in Act1 sn1 lines 41-66 and Act1 sn3 lines 365-385 prepare the audience for the tragedy of Othello?

    Iago's exploitative nature is communicated to the audience when he is talking to Roderigo about how he dislikes the "Moor" and says, "I follow him to serve my turn upon him." This statement reveals Iago's feelings towards Othello, as well as an insight into the way he thinks and his priorities in life. This suggests that Iago's motive is just to climb to the top of society without regard or respect for anyone else's emotions. An example of this is when Iago is telling Roderigo how he feels about certain types of employees, the types that "line their coats".

    • Word count: 1782
  5. Othello: Did Othello(TM)s Nobility Lead Unto His Own Demise?

    Othello's lack of knowledge about Venetian people (primarily women), is something which Iago has knowledge of, and which he uses in a Machiavellian way. His origin is that of Africa, which ties in with his insecurity, as he may think aside to himself, "I'm not of Venetian origin, yet Iago is. So how do I know whether these women are tainted or not?" These very thoughts could raise his doubts towards his belief of whether Desdemona is deceiving him or not.

    • Word count: 1609
  6. Othello-Differences and similarities of the movie and play

    This is a parallel between the book and the film, where the army is replaced with a basketball team. The similarities between the movie and the book at this point are, in the book the post of Othello's lieutenant is given to Michael Cassio and not Iago, just like in the film were Hugo is not given the place as Odin's "go to guy". In both the film and book Iago and Hugo are both very angry and upset at this decision by Odin or Othello. Odin is in a powerful position as one of the most respected basketball players in the team, and everyone in the school respects him.

    • Word count: 522
  7. Othello Essay

    He gets the help of Iago to help him fit into this society. Iago becomes a tutor to him. This is shown when Othello asks 'What should I do now, Iago?' as though he needs permission and confirmation from Iago before anything is done. Iago helps him understand his environment which Othello seems may be unclear of like when marrying Desdemona he couldn't understand that she belonged to her Father and that Othello needed her Father's permission for Desdemona's hand in marriage. Iago is a master manipulator and possesses coldness in his heart and effortlessly manipulates everyone around him.

    • Word count: 1015
  8. Speaking and Listening: Othello

    But now I wish that Moor should rot in hell. Anyways let's stick to the story. I had recently married that HOE Emilia. At first we were in love and I respected her. But after getting to live with her I hated her. She was just another woman to me and she never was any more. Then she got hired as Desdemona's maid, but really she was no more than a glorified BUTLER! So after Michael Cassio was chosen to be the next Lieutenant of the Venetian army, I was outraged.

    • Word count: 691
  9. Speaking and Listening Othello Evaluation Act 1 Scene 3, lines 238 " 270

    Emphasising Othello's speech through stage directions would give the audience an insight to how he feels and his reactions. The lines I emphasised were; line 253, this was the first line of his speech "let her have your voices" here I made Othello look angry through his facial expression by writing that he should bring down his eyebrows and look really annoyed, he would also have to raise his voice a little but not too much. The reason I made him angry and frustrated was because Desdemona, his wife, had to plead for her voice to be heard; when she was speaking she was just being ignored.

    • Word count: 1086
  10. I am not what I am. Explore Shakespeare(TM)s presentation of Iago

    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. He knows what position the other characters hold him in, he knows that he is a position of trust with Othello. He is able to tell the audience, "And what's he then hat says I play the villain," knowing that the reaction of the audience will be humour and amusement.

    • Word count: 1441
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. Who is responsible for the death of Desdemona?

    of the play, by doing this he would have had to make the play dramatic by adding different types of characters and going into great detail by making things spectacular. Shakespeare knew in attempt to make this successful he had to expect certain things from his characters. The woman would have been vulnerable, sex objects and practical realist. The duke would have been superior and powerful. Othello would be honoured and proud to be a loyal general in the army.

    • Word count: 1477
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. honesty in othello

    Possibly Iago was always a villain and confidence trickster who set up a false reputation for honesty. Alternatively Iago may e a man who used to have been honest in the past and has now decided to abandon this virtue, although this interpretation is less likely to be correct. One could argue that from the start it is clear that all the other characters believe Iago to be honest, creating an undercurrent of dramatic irony throughout the play. Othello's decision to leave his wife in Iago's care in Act 1 Scene 3, is alarming, however it shows how high a regard the General has for his ensign "If you please your grace/my ancient/a man he is of honesty and trust".

    • Word count: 3111
  17. For a tragedy to be effective, the audience must recognise in the hero, the vulnerable qualities of human nature. Discuss

    He is presented as a courageous war hero; 'I fetch my life and being from men of royal siege, and my demerits may speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune as this that I have reached' also further indicating his pride and success on the battlefield has given him a social status comparable to royalty. Furthermore the quote, "were it my cue to fight I would know it without a prompter" and the Senators referral to Othello as the "Valiant Moor" are all indicative of Othello's confidence and a man of high esteem within society".

    • Word count: 1174
  18. Explore and describe the devices and techniques used by Iago to ensnare Othello in Act 3,Scene 3 of Othello

    Othello is the general of the Venetian armies who are at war with the Turks and has just eloped with the fair and beautiful Desdemona. Iago, Othello's seemingly trustworthy companion, is in fact plotting Othello's downfall because Cassio was given the position of lieutenant not him. It is in this scene that Iago plants the seed of doubt in Othello's mind about Desdemona's faithfulness and her close relationship with the Florentine, Cassio. Shakespeare brings to us a cynicism that we should always look to people's motives before trusting what they say.

    • Word count: 1745
  19. Othello coursework

    Many directors such as Sam Mendes have chosen to present their adaptation of the play as a homoerotic thriller and have portrayed Iago as the lusty servant who is in fact jealous of Desdemona, whereas other performances like Michael Grandage's production portrayed Iago as simply a motiveless character. In my opinion, Iago is undoubtedly one of Shakespeare's most notorious villains; without him there would be no story line. It is him who influences the characters to carry out the terrible tasks that keep the play entertaining and full of suspense.

    • Word count: 1556
  20. Shakespeare - Othello

    Shakespeare, at first, shows us the importance and qualities that the Othello posses. He is shown to be calm and polite. For example, when Iago pretends that Roderigo's insults against the Moor almost provoked him to attack the young man, Othello is pleased that the matter did not come to blows-"Tis better as it is." Without being vainglorious, he realizes his own worth-"My services which I have done the signiory shall our tongue his complaints" (Brabantio's).

    • Word count: 565
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. Racism Questions

    He says "An old black ram/Is tupping you white ewe" (I.i.88-89). This vulgar statement creates a contrast between race as well as Iago's opinion of Othello. This "black old ram" is corrupting this innocent virgin, Desdemona. He may have said this to Brabrantio to influence his opinion of the marriage and express his own distaste of the event. At the end of Act I, Iago expresses his hatred for Othello in a speech. In this speech he informs the audience of his plans: Cheating Roderigo out of his money, making Othello believe that Desdemona is cheating on his with Cassio, and using Othello to bring him to his ultimate demise.

    • Word count: 747
  24. How is Othello and Desdemonas relationship doomed from the opening of the play?

    One of the techniques that Shakespeare uses is context, linking the audience to the play. In Venice, at the time, some Venetian woman were seen as 'whores' because or their bad reputation for having affairs with sailors that came to and fro from the port of Venice. Hence, Venetian women were thought to be ignorant and headstrong. Shakespeare uses this context to link to the fact that Desdemona who is a Venetian woman herself acts in a questionable manner. Although, Desdemona is spoken of as a girl and is first thought of, even by her own father, to have fallen prey to Othello's lusts and charms and is uncapable of knowing her wishes in life: 'She is abused, stol'n from me and corrupted by spells and medicines...'

    • Word count: 1522
  25. Analyse the style and structure of Othello, Act 3 scene 3, showing what it contributes to the plays major concerns.

    Also the philosophical context of the play emphasise the theme of racial prejudice as Iago's hate for the 'moor' resemble how people of colour were treated. In addition I believe Shakespeare included this aspect in the play to ask the question: who is the real monster? This is because Othello is not the most 'monstrous' person on stage but he is very vulnerable to words of jealousy which make him feeble. The scene begins in a calm yet aggravating mood as Cassio is uncertain Othello will reinstate him as lieutenant.

    • Word count: 4046

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