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Explore how Shakespeare examines the themes of jealousy and deception in 'Othello' the play and Othello the character.

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Introduction

Explore how Shakespeare examines the themes of jealousy and deception in 'Othello' the play and Othello the character. In this essay I will be analysing the play Othello and exploring the main characters. William Shakespeare is one of the main icons of the 17th Century and of all time. Othello is a story of jealousy, betrayal, deception and murder. The main character, Othello is a general of the Venetian army. He has a loving but strong, patient and romantic personality. He loves his wife Desdemona very much. Othello's ensign is called Iago. Iago hopes to get promoted to lieutenant. However Cassio gets the job. This is the first use of jealousy in the play. Iago is very jealous and tries to get revenge on Othello, telling him his wife is being unfaithful with Cassio. The story was set in Venice, Italy. Elizabethan audiences would think this is a foreign and unknown place because travelling was very expensive and not as common as today. Audiences had a preconception of Venetian people as people who were people who were romantics and had affairs regularly. The first use of jealousy is in act 1 scene 1, when Iago finds out that Othello has chosen Cassio as his lieutenant, instead of himself. Iago feels he deserves the promotion for being so loyal to Othello. "And what was he? Forsooth a great arithmetician, one Michael Cassio, a Florentine (A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife) ...read more.

Middle

However Iago tells Roderigo this; "I have told thee often and I retell thee again, I hate the moor." This is another example of deception; he acts like Othello's friend but talks bad about him to others. Then in Iago's soliquay, the audience realise his plan to break up Othello and Desdemona. "After some time abuse Othello's ears, that he is too familiar his wife. The moor is of a free and open nature that thinks men honest." This means that he will lie to Othello, and tell him someone is being too friendly with his wife. Also Othello is a trusting person so will believe him. This dramatic effect that Shakespeare uses of Iago just talking to the audience gets the audience involved; the audience would be shouting and booing by now at Iago's evil plans. In act 2 scene 1, Iago is having a conversation with Roderigo about Othello. Iago is very jealous of him "For I suspect the lusty moor hath leaped in into my seat. The thought whereof doth like a poisonous mineral gnaw my inwards." He is totally jealous of Othello, and the jealousy is gnawing away at him. After the war is over, Othello has a celebration in honour of his marriage and the war being over. Iago uses the party as the scene to get Cassio fired. Cassio is offered a drink from Iago, but declines because he knows he cannot handle his drink. ...read more.

Conclusion

He believed that Desdemona would never cheat on him. However now he has strong feelings of hate and love. In the end of the play, when everyone except Desdemona realises Iago's evil plot, Iago shows a different side to the other characters for the first time, when Roderigo and Cassio find out his evil scheme. Iago murders them both. I think this is the first time the audience would have realised Iago is not just evil but violent also. Othello goes into Desdemona's room and tells her he knows she has been unfaithful; she has no idea what he is talking about. He then smothers her and she dies. Emilia then tells him Iago was lying and blames herself. Othello then kills himself because he feels so guilty. My conclusion is, after analysing this play, Iago is the most deceitful and jealous character out of all the characters. He wasn't uncovered as a villain till at the end of the play, because of his manipulative stories and twisting of the truth. He was referred to as 'honest' Iago throughout the play; because everyone was naive and gullible and believed everything they were told. He was jealous of Cassio because he got an important promotion that Iago wanted, also jealous of Othello; because of the important job and beautiful wife, so decided to plot Othello's downfall. The other characters shouldn't have been so gullible and more trusting. Shakespeare uses dramatic effects like a soliquay from Iago, to get involved with the performances. By Emily Bowles ?? ?? ?? ?? Emily Bowles 04/05/2007 1 ...read more.

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