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GCSE: Othello

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  1. With particular attention to Act III, Scene III, discuss whether Othello is a victim of circumstances or snared by his own weaknesses.

    Though 'Othello' is certainly partly to blame, how much is a subject of critical debate, the contribution of Iago to the tragedy is certainly greater than that of any other of Shakespeare's tragic villains. In contrast to the previous two scenes of this act, Act III Scene III is lengthy and fuelled with tension as the audience watches Othello's mind become poisoned. Shakespeare focuses tightly on all of the characters, making the scene not only psychologically convincing but also a timeframe is created, where time appears to move much more swiftly that it actually does.

    • Word count: 1657
  2. Othello is Shakespeare's one of the great tragedies

    Due to his pride, jealousy and nature of over trusting people, Othello killed his innocent wife on base of his evil doubt and brought great tragedy to many people's lives including himself. First of all, Othello and Desdemona married each other against will of Desdemona's father. While giving his daughter to Othello, Brabantio told him that "Look to her moor, if thou hast eyes to see: She has deceived her father, and may thee". Othello counts this quote as proof of Desdemona being a betrayer and he doesn't trust her.

    • Word count: 1099
  3. How successful is the character Iago in fulfilling his ambitions in Shakespeare's Othello? Use evidence fro the text to support your answers

    Overall the statement shows what his intentions are, in many Shakespearean plays the soliloquy is used as dramatic irony to get the audience involved into the story; it is also used for the character to enlighten the audience with his version of events. The plan could be to ruin Cassio's life. 'To get his place and plume up my will in double knavery' (Act 1 sc.3 L.374) Iago wants Cassio's job, as Cassio was promoted with the job that Iago wanted to get, but 'plume up my will' is an unusual phrase to say, it suggests that Iago wants to

    • Word count: 1894
  4. How does Othello's Character Develop throughout the course of the play and how would 16th century and modern day audiences respond to this?

    And, most memorably, he turned the ensign, a minor villain, into the arch-villain Iago. Othello is a black army general in the service of the Duke of Venice and he secretly marries Desdemona, daughter of the senator Brabantio, who is against this marriage. The first time we are introduced to Othello in the play is act 1 scene 2 in which he is confronted by Brabantio about his secret marriage. Othello is accused of stealing his daughter, using witchcraft, and drugging her to fall in love with him, saying that he 'hast practised on her with foul charms, abused her delicate youth with drugs on minerals'.

    • Word count: 2650
  5. Why does Iago destroy the other characters in the play?

    In his soliloquy, Iago states 'he's done my office' referring to Othello, which means Othello has slept with his wife making him even more jealous, even though he does not know if it is true or not. Iago is also jealous of Desdemona. He wants to be in her place- he wants to be an influential person to Othello- he wants to be closer to him thus closer to power. He twists the fact that Othello is passionate and obsessed with Desdemona to his own advantage.

    • Word count: 2237
  6. Commentary on Turning point in Othello

    Firstly, the use of metaphors are essentially to provide the atmosphere of the scene. Then, Shakespeare uses dramatic irony to foreshadow what Iago is going to do. Finally, the setting is used to position and set up the scene as the turning point where Othello's tragic flaw will be exposed. All of this helps to achieve the purpose of showing how this is the turning point in the play. The first literary device used is vile metaphors. Othello, who is the one who talks the most during this passage and uses very contemptible language, which is quite different to how people talk before this point.

    • Word count: 697
  7. The importance of language in Othello

    'Quick, quick! Fear nothing; I'll be at thy elbow'. This quote shows Iago reassuring Roderigo of the ease of the task he wants him to carry. It seems as though Roderigo is not as sure of the plan that he agreed to undertake now that the moment had come. 'Be near at hand; I may miscarry in't' shows an element of doubt creeping into Roderigo's mind and this is further cemented by him saying, 'I have no great devotion to the deed, and yet he hath given me satisfying reasons' which shows he feels no passion towards the job he is to undertake.

    • Word count: 649
  8. In Act 3 Scene 3, we can see that Iagos plan of revenge is on progress. He lies and cleverly persuades Othello to believe that his wife Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio

    The audience responds in different ways. At the beginning of the play, when Iago is talking to Roderigo, we think that Othello is the bad one. However as the play continues we see Iago's hatred towards him. The audience does fear Iago to a certain extent as he seems so faithful on the outside but is deceit and clever from inside. However, I believe the audience admires Iago, as the way he manages to get everyone participated in getting revenge on Othello. Iago focuses on Othello's insecurities and uses them to bring about suspicion and jealousy from Othello.

    • Word count: 1467
  9. Othello: Explore the character of Iago

    Iago doesn't plot his jealousy he makes up his plans throughout the play. He instead starts to manipulate Othello's open nature to imply Desdemona's infidelity, which confuses Othello. This is both partly jealousy and revenge because of the promotion, and in affect Othello starts believing Iago in what he said about Cassio and Desdemona, and loses sight of Desdemona's innocence. This shows us that Iago's plan is working and that he's kept his jealousy disguised and changed his real personality into a loving caring person who cares for Othello and what's happening with the 'imaginary' affair.

    • Word count: 898
  10. What techniques does Shakespeare use, in order to involve the audience in the plot of the play and g

    This is why William Shakespeare achieves this, by starting with an argument so that the audience are focused immediately. Iago and Roderigo are arguing because Iago has stole money from Roderigo, 'That thou, who hast had my purse' and Iago was given the money to get Desdemona to fancy Roderigo. Shakespeare includes this to show unrest tension, it makes the atmosphere feel like there's going to be arguments later on. In the opening, Shakespeare gives us a huge insight on Iago's character.

    • Word count: 920
  11. Othello - How Iago manipulates Othello according to Act III, Scene iii

    I like not that" Iago says "seeing you coming" this makes Othello suspicious of Desdemona and Cassio. On page 76 of the script, Iago asks "did Michael Cassio, When he wooed my lady, know of your love" Iago is suggesting when Othello was seeing Desdemona, Cassio was without knowing of Othello and Desdemona, having an affair with her. Iago also says to Othello "But for the Satisfaction of my thought, no further harm" Iago is referring to his last quote, this is where you see the irony, as Iago is intent of causing harm to Othello mentally.

    • Word count: 1178
  12. Iago as stage manager and through the language of the play

    Iago is greedy and wants to take money from Roderigo he proves this by saying "put money in thy purse" several times in speech. Iago is clever and knows how to get Othello to think that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio, he also makes Roderigo think that the money he gave him is going to Desdemona. Iago is racist and uses other people's racism against Othello.

    • Word count: 595
  13. How Desdemona is presented as acharacter and perceived by others in Othello.

    He concludes: 'trust not your daughters' minds by what you see them act.' Throughout this scene before even meeting Desdemona as a character in the play, we gain an idea of the way she is perceived by others as a 'fair daughter' and 'white ewe' and her actions in marrying Othello are greeted with surprise and anger by her father who instructs for the two to be apprehended immediately. The real reason for their marriage being unknown at this point in the play, the audience are aware of the importance of her character, and from this one act Iago sees opportunities of betrayal towards Othello who he hates.

    • Word count: 3697
  14. Children's Learning in Science - the nature of 'children's science'

    However Iago may have a harder time convincing Roderigo of Cassio and Desdemona having an affair as Roderigo speaks of her as 'She's full of the most blessed condition' This reveals the purity and innocence that is thought of about Desdemona, and this imagery helps to contrast against the evil and dark plot of Iago's, making it seem all the more treacherous. This is shown throughout Iago's speech more than any other characters through his frequent use of imagery connected to the devil and hell.

    • Word count: 1166
  15. Lealands High School

    Famous literary villains such as Macbeth have a great and growing ambition. Once he got a taste of power, his greed started building and the more power he gains the more ambitious and ruthless he became. For example once he has been given Thane of Cawdor and has been promised (by the three witches) that he will become King, his greed builds and inevitably results in him murdering Duncan. This proves that once a thought of ambition is embedded in the mind of a villain, it feeds and grows until they reach their desired status.

    • Word count: 2576
  16. What drove Iago to become so evil?

    He comes from Venice. He is the general of a Venetian army, has power but only to a certain degree. He is good at his job and that's why he is where he is. These are the few facts we know about Othello. In Act 1 Scene 1, Iago and Roderigo are arguing about Othello. They both seem to have separate complaints about the same person. Iago is arguing over the fact that he did not receive the job in the army that he wanted.

    • Word count: 1602
  17. Oral Commentary Response to 'Othello' 1.1.34-72

    From this we can clearly see that Iago is the dominant character in this relationship and it also hints that Iago is the more intellectually capable, a view that can also be inferred from the content of Iago's speeches, as I will discuss later on. Iago's first complaint in this passage is that there has been favouritism in Othello's choosing of his lieutenant, shown in 1.1.35 where Iago says 'Preferment goes by letter and affection'. Iago is angry that he has not been chosen and is here expounding his dislike of the system as he sees it and is complaining to both Roderigo and himself that there is no meritocracy involved.

    • Word count: 2120
  18. Analyse Iago's Motives and Language in Acts I and II

    In Act I scene1 Iago speaks of his disgust that Cassio has become Othello's lieutenant, and not him. He makes a jealous sounding comment about Cassio, in saying: "And what was he?/ Forsooth, a great arithmetician" claiming Cassio lacks practical experience of warfare, which of course Iago has. He also admits to the personal envy of the "daily beauty" in the lieutenant's life. This could form the basis of why Iago plots to have Cassio lose his title and become hated by Othello. Iago is not afraid to speak of his racist view of Othello, who incidentally is a higher rank than him.

    • Word count: 1239
  19. Iago's pure hatred for Othello

    Iago was originally written into Shakespeare's play "Othello" as a form of entertainment for the audience. The Merchant classes and the ordinary people were often the only spectators of the plays. The ordinary people would have found Iago entertaining because of his sexual innuendos and his violence towards others. However, the Merchant classes would have been more entertained by the amount of shock portrayed in the play by Iago. Iago, being evil in the play, could symbolise the evilness in society at the time when the play was written as the government attempted to ban Catholics from the towns and cities, furthermore Iago's character could have been written to criticise the government as Shakespeare himself was Catholic.

    • Word count: 2935
  20. Othello - Examine the importance and effectiveness of Act III, scene 3, considering the significance in terms of plot, character, theme and dramatic power.

    The Duke and Senators take no further action against Othello, so Brabantio is overruled. As this doesn't work out as well for Iago as he hoped it would, he decides to plan a second move. He cunningly cons a man called Roderigo (a gulled gentleman) into believing that Desdemona will get in bed with him if he gives Iago money. As Roderigo isn't the smartest person in the world he agrees. Othello is sent to Cyprus with the army and Desdemona is left in the hands of Cassio.

    • Word count: 5286
  21. At The Beginning Of Act 3 Othello Is Entirely Confident Both In Himself And In The Love Between Himself And Desdemona. By The End Of The Scene He Has Sworn To Kill Her. Explain How And Why This Change Occurs. How Convincing Do You Find This Change.

    Iago feel that he needs to get back at Othello had he wanted to be in Cassio's place. He is trusted and fooled by such 'honesty' toward all the characters in the play. The man that Othello thought he could trust also betrayed him. Othello's belief in Iago is quite logical because he has worked with him for years and fought many battles as well. Iago is very conceiving because he plots to put such images in Othello's mind and convince him that something is going on between Cassio and Desdemona. He would go down to anything to see what he gets and also involves his wife in taking a handkerchief.

    • Word count: 1756
  22. What impressions do we have of Desdemona from the first three scenes of Othello

    The suggestion that she has fallen in love with a stranger, hints that she is very innocent, which completely contradicts Iago's interpretation of her. When Brabantio is manipulated into thinking his daughter has disregarded him, he exclaims "Oh heaven, how got she out?" This brings about the idea that Desdemona is a prisoner in her own home, so one can now begin to understand that part of her intention may have been to gain freedom from her father and find the compassion that she never received from her father.

    • Word count: 1122
  23. Which of these two critics do you feel most closely represents your own view of Iago?

    Although some could see the term 'honest Iago' as very ironic, it could be seen that in fact Iago is honest in the sense that he reveals the true characteristics of other people in the play. Iago causes Othello to fulfil the perceived stereotype of a violent, irrational black man, which would be the typical beliefs of a Jacobean audience. Black people were looked upon as sub-human, closer to animal than man and therefore more vicious and volatile, they tended to be viewed as something of a spectacle and were even used in travelling circuses.

    • Word count: 1807
  24. How Does Shakespeare use Language to show Othello's ChangingState of Mind in Act 3 Scene 3?

    When Iago attempts to look like it wasn't anything big, this only makes Othello more inquisitive. Having made Othello inquisitive into what his thoughts are, Iago can begin to adjust fact to his own want, and make Othello believe it, if it were realistic. Iago then makes Othello think Cassio left, guiltily, as he saw Othello. This plants the idea of Cassio doing no good in Othello's mind, Iago working on this idea throughout the rest of the play. Shakespeare shows the audience Desdemona and Othello's love at the beginning of this act by the way they talk - he calls her "sweet Desdemon", while she shows that she'd love to spend any time he had with him.

    • Word count: 2196
  25. Double Knaves, Why Are These the Worst Villains in Society

    Double Knaves are two-faced. They change sides to who ever they think they will benefit most from. Double Knaves are the complete opposite of chivalry-a medieval code which stressed truth, generousness, honor, and courtesy. Double Knaves are devious villains that will destroy anyone that gets in there path. In Shakespeare's "Macbeth" the double knave was Ross. Ross is a very manipulative person and try's to be in the good graces of all. His aspirations of power begin when Macbeth kills King Duncan and "Malcolm, and Donalbain, the King's two sons, Are stol'n away and fled; which puts upon them Suspicion of the deed."

    • Word count: 1273

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