• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How and why does Othello's character change during the course of the play? How does Shakespeare present this dramatically?

Extracts from this document...


How and why does Othello's character change during the course of the play? How does Shakespeare present this dramatically? When Othello is sent to war in Cyprus, the Moor's character changes over the course of time. His language and attitude towards people, including his innocent wife, begins to differ for the worse. Othello's wild behaviour worries Desdemona incredibly as he changes a lot from his calm and gentle nature from before. Shakespeare presents this transformation through Othello's syntax and dramatic irony. His confused logic is evident in his actions whether they are violent or passionate. When Othello is in his home city of Venice, his attitude towards others is calm, shown when Cassio enters warning him that Brabantio is after him, he replies, "'Tis well I am found by you: I will but spend a word here in the house and go with you." Othello doesn't react to the words of Cassio, he stands confidently as he hasn't done anything wrong. He is a man of bravery and self-assurance. When Brabantio arrives, he orders his officers to seize Othello, but in reply, the Moor says, "Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them." This humorous comment breaks the tense atmosphere and relaxes the viewers' thoughts on the situation. ...read more.


Othello doesn't do this in a dramatic style, which shows that Othello is not a man for violence. Because Othello asked Iago for his view on the brawl, he feels he can trust Iago in the future. Originally, the Moor would seek advice from Cassio, but now because of the current circumstance, he will refer to Iago. Everything up until now Othello is in control of himself, but as Iago gets more and more involved, Othello slowly looses grasp of his life. Now closely monitored by Iago, Othello is hidden from the real truth concerning him and his wife. As the Moor and Iago come to terms with each other more often, they become best of friends, with Iago giving him slight nudges of information which aren't wholly true. Now away from his home, and the loss of his apprentice, the only thing that Othello has to keep himself together is Desdemona. His fragile state of mind enables him to be fooled. Surprisingly, Iago tells Othello that Cassio has been seen alone with Desdemona. Because Othello's love for Desdemona is so strong and is incredibly protective about her, doubt is struck into his mind. As time continues, this uncertainty about her destroys his sensitive and romantic nature, which is replaced with spite and resentment. ...read more.


He begins to talk to her pleasantly, but the sight of her and Cassio torments his minds and unleashes an irritated tone and spite. After everything that has been going on, Desdemona fears for the worse but still worries for Othello. After their argument, Othello based his actions to kill her on the handkerchief happening, which is the only real evidence Othello uses against his wife. He claims that witnesses have seen Cassio and Desdemona together but she doesn't believe him. When Desdemona admits to the handkerchief saga, Othello assumes everything is true. Othello chooses to ignore the possibility of misunderstanding and takes every reply from his wife as an offence. Once killed her, Othello's guilt returns to him and haunts him until he stabs himself. He feels the only way of gaining respect again is by killing himself. After Iago confesses to his troubles he has cause, Othello is surrounded with disbelief and a tremendous sense of anxiety fills the atmosphere. To conclude, Othello is a man who needs to be in control. He needs to know everything what is going on around him otherwise he changes, as the story demonstrates. Although he is a witty character, Iago is one step ahead of him, and uses Othello constantly throughout the play. Jack Conway English 'Othello' Coursework 10XY Mr. Oliver ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Othello section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This response shows some good level analysis; however the essay is lacking cohesion and structure. To ensure focus on the question make sure that a clear plan is used to direct your response to link points to each other and to the question. There is a clear understanding of the character here - there just needs to be more of a contextual understanding of how the way he changes reflects the tragedy of the play.

4 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 24/06/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Othello essays

  1. How Is Othello Viewed By Others And How Does He View Himself

    His willingness to manipulate and take advantage of other characters (such as Roderigo) in order to force Othello into the deepest amount of torment proves just how much of a cunning and dangerous actor Iago can be. The 'stage managing' techniques he uses throughout the play portray just how determined

  2. Why Desdemona falls in love with Othello and marries him secretly

    Shakespeare, in developing the power struggle of Othello's marriage, reminds the audience that to control a person fully only brings about turmoil. Like the sexual relationships, the non-sexual relationships in Othello emphasize the vulnerability of people when involved with other people personally and especially when dealing with people of shady character.

  1. How does Shakespeare present Othello in Act 1? What is his intent here?

    Elizabeth 1 issued two edicts for the deportation of their return to Barbary after it was decreed that too many had crept into England. By presenting Othello as the black hero and setting him against Iago, and evil, 'black' man, Shakespeare is reversing the racist prejudice of his time, that evil is indicated by skin colour.

  2. Jeremy Kyle Othello Script

    Othello: If I do prove her haggard, though that her jesses were my dear heart-strings, I'd whistle her off and let her down the wind to prey at fortune.

  1. Victims in Shakespeares play Othello.

    In Act One, Othello suffers from victimisation from Brabantio his father in law. Brabantio does not believe that Othello is good enough for Desdemona his daughter, he believes that Othello has 'practised on her with foul charms enchantments and black magic'.

  2. Is Desdemona a figure of weakness or strength? Discuss with relation to one key ...

    She is convinced that she can "talk him out of patience" but she does not understand that, in Othello's public life he may be a different person to what he is in his private life. Desdemona fails to see that she is mixing both Othello's public and private life, therefore this interference is causing problems for her marriage.

  1. Who is responsible for Othello's downfall?

    This is hardly surprising, as in the play we see his two incompatible roles of General and husband clash upon many occasions. An example of this contradiction would be when Desdemona is trying to set a date for dinner so that Othello and Cassio can overcome their differences and Othello replies, 'I shall not dine at home.

  2. How is Othello presented in Act 1.

    People in Elizabethan England also were afraid of thing that they were not familiar with or things that were different to what they thought of as normal. Therefore when watching the play, the audience whom the play was aimed at may have sided with Iago's first impressions of Othello, it

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work