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How does Act 1 Scene1 of "Othello" prepare the audience for the rest of the play?

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Y10 Coursework How does Act 1 Scene1 of "Othello" prepare the audience for the rest of the play? Shakespeare uses many amazing devices to show the themes of the play. In the first scene, themes are introduced to the audience theses are expressed through the characters and there actions. Iago is the first character we see, a very important character. The first impressions of the play are expressed from Iago and Roderigo. They use phrases and curses associated with conflict, hatred and jealousy. Othello is referred to as "fat lips" which expresses hatred and jealousy. There impression of Othello is slowly built by two villains who are evil. Iago then reveals that he is jealous of Cassio because of his higher rank. He then talks of hatred for Othello for promoting Cassio instead of himself. So in the first scene Othello's portrayal is being built, tinted by evil. The audience is being prepared for jealousy and hatred when Iago says "unless the bookish theoric" and "mere prattle without practice". These explain his reasons for his hatred and jealousy for Cassio. He is saying he maybe good in front of a book but not well trained on a battlefield like himself. Hatred and jealousy are entitled are entitled in evil and prepare the audience for later in the play. Evil is expressed again when Iago and Rogerigo awake brabraintio. Iago uses a metaphor, which grips the attention of brabrantio. He says "thieves thieves". ...read more.


Othello is referred to as "lascivious" meaning lustful and doesn't really love Desdemona; we later discover he is madly in love with Desdemona, which changes the expectation of the audience. To build an evil portrayal of Othello Iago once again refers to Othello of using witchcraft, maybe to make Desdemona love him. He also is portrayed as being associated with the devil and some people think Iago was the devil. People think this for his drive and ambition to ruin Othello's life. Othello is modest and uses eloquent speech to win over the duke and the audience in scene two. He is smart and well dressed and the portrayal created by Iago is very different and there isn't a hint of evil in the wasy he talks. Iago also says Othello is "lascivious" meaning he is maybe with Desdemona for a sexual purpose. Iago refers to him as "making the beast with two backs" and "the black ram is tupping your white ewe". He says these words to Brabrantio, which feeds the evil mind when he encounters the Duke and Othello in Scene two. Othello being the nice man that he is in scene two says he loves Desdemona and says "It is most true; true I have married her". Iago accuses him of being manipulative when he persuades the Duke he has done nothing wrong in marrying Desdemona. ...read more.


The evilness and hatred talked by Iago continues to tint the lives of Othello and Desdemona. So character portrayal of Othello in scene one tells true in his inner self, causing disaster and tragedy. Scene one is a perfect starter to the play, which builds expectation and character portrayal of Othello. Only for the portrayal and expectations to be untrue and expectations broken. Shakespeare made his plays so good leading the audience to expect maybe things that are very obvious about certain characters. Expectations would be exceeded and character portrayal changed to build suspense with the audience. Then the audience maybe doubt Iago because his accusations are false. So Iago's portrayal changes which also builds suspense. Shakespeare knew suspense would make good plays and used this in others also. In Macbeth he also changed portrayal and expectations to build suspense. Macbeth himself was an honourable man and was tainted by evil like in Othello to do something terrible and his life ended also in misery. The first scene was perfect to set expectations and portrayal but the man he used to do this was still alive at the end of the play but Desdemona, Emelia nor Othello were alive at the end of the play. Iago was a strong man to keep alive and that is why he used him because he was the strongest character and no other would do. Maybe Shakespeare himself said to other people when writing his plays "I am not what I am" Luke Jarvis 10SH 1 ...read more.

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