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Examine the importance of Act 3: Scene 3 of Othello, considering its significance in terms of plot, character, theme and dramatic power.

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Introduction

Examine the importance of Act 3: Scene 3 of Othello, considering its significance in terms of plot, character, theme and dramatic power. Othello is a play about a black 'noble moor' who has an ideal marriage. This 'ideal' marriage, however, is destroyed by Iago's deception and disloyalty; his motives for causing this uproar are unclear. Through encouraging the growth of doubt in Othello's mind his marriage expires and in its place jealousy and anger grows to the point of death. There are many key scenes throughout Othello, although act3/scene3 is important as it contributes greatly to the outcome of the play. There are a great range in characters and a long list of themes explored. These factors are both significant to the story, as without the variety it would not have appealed to such a range of viewers when performed to a Shakespearean audience in the Elizabethan era. When studying this book it was important to think how this would have been performed on stage and its affects on the audience. Othello was black therefore there would have been a heightened racist response from the audience. His race was linked to evil so his character would have been expected to be sexually immoral, ignorant and brutal. However, Othello betrayed this stereotype until the end of the play. This play, in particular, would have interested all as the vulgar language and sexy scenes would have appealed to the groundlings, and the Lords and ...read more.

Middle

By having these flaws he gives in to temptation from Iago - whereby he sets him self up to be vulnerable/paranoid and loses control. Once this happens Othello is led into a journey of mad jealousy. Iago's methods used to destroy Othello's faith in Desdemona throughout act3/scene3 are greatly significant. He used beastial imagery to make Othello jealous and aroused suspicion to cause Othello to doubt his wife. Repetition was used to emphasise important points, "...Honest...honest...honest" Page 171, line 104, and as a whole Iago really sucks up to Othello by being over loyal, "My lord, you know I love you" Page 173, line 116. Iago often leaves a point mid-sentence as though to raise Othello's suspicion, "Nothing my lord; or if I know not what" Page 167, line 35. He often contradicts himself as though to not give too much information away but this also keeps Othello's interest, "Why then I think Cassio is an honest man" Page 173, line 129. Iago wants Othello to stay interested in what he may or may not know so that he can play on Othello's doubt to cause travesty. Iago graphically lies about sexual relations between Desdemona and Cassio. This rages Othello and causes him to doubt, "...His leg over my thigh, and sighed and kissed..."page 193, line 420. There are many dramatic moments throughout Othello but the following are the most significant. ...read more.

Conclusion

Dramatic irony occurs when the meaning intended by a character's words or actions is opposite of the true situation. Often the character cannot see or understand the contrast, but the audience/reader can. In this play dramatic irony occurs frequently i.e. Othello refers to Iago as "honest Iago." Unknown to Othello, Iago is a villain who deceives him into thinking that Desdemona has been unfaithful, this resulting in Othello unjustifiably killing his wife, believing the whole time in Iago's honesty. Act3/scene3 is significant to the plays rhythm as it is in this act/scene that the audience sees the breakdown of Othello's personality and begins to realise this is a tragedy in the making. Dramatic irony is important because it makes the audience part of the play as it encourages them to think about what has happened and it imposes the question upon the audience as to why it has happened. Shakespeare does not make it clear what Iago's motives are so we are left with many questions unanswered. Each of the themes; love, jealousy, appearance and reality (of characters) and revenge, are significant as they all raise valid points of the era and subject of the play and the variety of characters allows the play as whole to appeal to many. Othello as a character is fundamentally flawed, this allows Iago to exercise manipulation and control Othello's mind. It is these flaws, which allow the tragic deaths of Emilia, Desdemona and eventually Othello himself to occur. Sophie Wilson 11H2 - 1 - ...read more.

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