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Explain how dramatic and linguistic devices are used when Iago persuades Othello that Desdemona has been unfaithful in Act III Scene 3?

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Introduction

Explain how dramatic and linguistic devices are used when Iago persuades Othello that Desdemona has been unfaithful in Act III Scene 3? Shakespeare's 'Othello', in my opinion is one of his most cleverly written plays. It is a tragedy, similar in a way to the likes of the famous Romeo and Juliet, as there is a definite romance in the play, which quickly turns sour, due to lack of trust and jealousy, or as some might think, the tragedy is all down to manipulation and deceit. The play deals with many controversial issues such as racism which makes it unique. In Act III Scene 3 Iago convinces a man who loves his wife completely that she is having an affair with one of his most trusted subjects without using one shred of proof or any real basis. This is a man who can make the most innocent of people guilty and the most loved, hated. He uses many tactics to persuade Othello that Desdemona is cheating on him with Cassio, the reason, is revenge. Scene 3 is the most important scene to the rest of the play because it accelerates the plot. Othello is a black man in the play, of extremely high authority; he is a proud army general who is looked upon with respect by the state and many leading Dukes. He first comes across to the audience as being very composed and a gentle character towards others. ...read more.

Middle

"Think" could also be an important word. Think leaves no room for doubt, you are not certain he is honest. Iago later behinds to hold back his thoughts and lets Othello try to dwindle him down into saying them. By Iago playing this sly game, it makes Othello more intrigued to know his thoughts; he uses Othello's curiosity against him. Another technique Iago uses to warn Othello is jealousy. "Oh beware, my lord, of Jealousy, It is the green-eyed Monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on". Whilst pretending to maintain his integrity by not telling Othello, Iago now releases monster. He had said nothing that would indicate that Othello should have reason to be jealous, but by warning him now of jealousy, he suggests that there may be something about which to be jealous. Iago does this to show his pretence companionship towards Othello, as if he's looking out for him when really it's quite the converse. This however builds great tenseness towards the audience because the audience don't know what Othello is thinking right at this moment due to the fact that Iago has planted the seed of jealousy into Othello's mind leaving him confused. One of Iago's final techniques in undermining Othello's trust in Desdemona is his use of imagery to 'sicken' Othello. Iago uses images of "goats" and "monkeys" to represent Cassio and Desdemona and describes them having a sexual relationship together. ...read more.

Conclusion

Shakespeare uses this technique to show us that Othello has lost his confidence and is no longer self-assured. As he becomes more and more angry his control through his speech begins to slip, no longer does he speak in long flowing sentences but now in exclamations, which hints at his loss of capability to loose his temper. He is also speaking in a similar way to Iago and this may symbolise that he has come to think in the same manner. These images show the audience the depth of Othello's jealousy, the woman he loved he now criticize. However the most effective method that Iago uses to convince Othello of Desdemona's infidelity is by using one of Othello's most treasured possessions and telling Othello that his wife, Desdemona has given it away to her lover, Cassio. The handkerchief was the first gift he gave to Desdemona, so it possesses enormous sentimental value to Othello. Finding out that Desdemona has given it away shows her as inimical. It must have hurt and angered him, after all the woman he loves and is married to has given away without a care for him, would almost certainly anger him, for in Othello's mind she has thought the handkerchief to be a meaningless piece of cloth. This is enough proof for Othello to be convinced that Iago is telling the truth and for him to kill both Desdemona and Cassio. ...read more.

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