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

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Introduction

Examine the techniques Iago employs to achieve his aims in the play Othello. In traditional Shakespearean tragedies the protagonist is destroyed through their own fatal flaw. The play Othello is different because there is a villain which is unusual for a Shakespearean tragedy. In the play Macbeth, the tragic events occur because of Macbeths own fatal flaw of ambition. However in the play Othello; Iago, one of the main characters manipulates Othello's fatal flaw of jealously which leads to the tragic ending of the play. He says how he is using Othello by "following him I follow but myself"; he is pretending to be loyal to Othello but is really doing it for his own benefit. Iago plans revenge on Othello when he gives Cassio the job of lieutenant instead of to him; he describes himself as "worth no worse a place" and is showing that he thinks highly of himself. ...read more.

Middle

your white ewe", he uses crude, sexual imagery to make their marriage seem worse than it is to make Brabantio angry because his daughter got married without his consent. He constantly makes racist comments about Othello; by referring to him as "thick-lips" and tries to make him seem like a bad character, because in Shakespearean times it was seen as wrong for a white woman to marry a black man. Iago tries to convince himself that Othello has had an affair with is wife; "I hate the Moor, And it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets He's done my office." Iago is jealous even though he is not completely sure that Othello has had an affair with his wife. He treats Emilia badly he tells her to "be not acknown on't" he makes her do what he wants and tell her to pretend she does not know anything about Desdemona's handkerchief. ...read more.

Conclusion

Othello gave Desdemona a handkerchief which had been passed through his family, Iago tells Emilia to steal it for him and plants it in Cassio's bedchamber. He tries to wind up Othello by discretely reminding Othello that Desdemona did not have the handkerchief anymore: "But if I give my wife a handkerchief", he is tormenting him with the thought that Desdemona is not acting truly loyal to Othello, like Emilia would to Iago. Shakespeare uses asides and soliloquies throughout the play as a dramatic technique. While talking to Othello, Iago says "O, you are well turned now! But I'll set down the pegs that make this music, As honest as I am" it reminds us of Iago's evil nature, and shows how he is planning Othello's destruction. Soliloquies are similar to asides in what they do in the play. They remind us of what Iago is planning and also show us what he thinks about what he has achieved so far. ?? ?? ?? ?? Shabnam Begum OTHELLO 1 ...read more.

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Response to the question

This essay engages well with the task, giving a good range of points. I liked how the introduction addresses the difference in Othello's tragedy to Shakespeare's typical protagonist. In my opinion, this introduction is simply missing a sentence which acknowledges ...

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Response to the question

This essay engages well with the task, giving a good range of points. I liked how the introduction addresses the difference in Othello's tragedy to Shakespeare's typical protagonist. In my opinion, this introduction is simply missing a sentence which acknowledges Iago's significance in this tragedy, and summarises the techniques to manipulate Othello. By doing this, the question would have been fully addressed in a strong introduction.

Level of analysis

The analysis is sound, but it does not discuss the audience response enough to gain top marks. The essay tends to retell the play, rather than analysing. Quotes are well embedded, but they are not analysed closely. When looking at Othello, and in particular Iago, it is so easy to gain analysis marks by looking closely at Shakespeare's choice of words or imagery. Simply analysing "black ram" would show these skills. My biggest query with this essay is the way it addresses Iago as if he was making the decisions - it is key to note that Shakespeare constructs the play. Everything Shakespeare has Iago do is for a reason, and by showing this understanding you then naturally go on to analyse why certain techniques were chosen. Dramatic effect is key to gaining top marks, and this essay doesn't engage at all with how the audience responds. The last paragraph had potential when talking about soliloquies, yet it ends abruptly and does not talk of the significance in Iago's plan being revealed on stage.

Quality of writing

This essay is rather short and although it has a clear introduction, it does not have a clear conclusion. It is always wise to do a conclusion, albeit short, to summarise the points and pose a final point evaluating the significance of Iago's manipulation. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are fine, but there is a lack of any real content which makes this essay quite short.


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Reviewed by groat 19/02/2012

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