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How does Shakespeare make the change in Othello in Act III Scene iii Dramatically Credible?

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How does Shakespeare make the change in Othello in Act III Scene iii Dramatically Credible? Raphael von Blumenthal 10N In order for us to be able to judge how credible Othello's change is in Act III Scene iii, we must also take into account how credible Iago's actions are. This is the turning point of the play, and Othello begins the scene in a loving manner, expressing his love for Desdemona, yet by the end, Iago has fed him so much poison, that he is declaring his hate for her, and is willing to kill her. It is the longest scene in the play, obviously to help give the poison time to sink in to Othello, and also to help us see how effective Iago really is. One must also consider a woman's status or social standing in Elizabethan society, to be able to say whether how Othello treats Desdemona towards the end of the scene. Women weren't considered as high as men in the hierarchy of Elizabethan society, and were generally treated quite badly, which is quite ironic as the most powerful person in Britain at the time was queen Elizabeth. The Scene is split up into various sections, just as Iago's attempt to poison Othello is split up. The scene opens with Desdemona pledging to help Cassio. In effect, she is walking straight into Iago's trap, which we learn about in Act III scene i. There is a bit of irony in this section, as even though she is falling into Iago's trap (obviously without knowing it) she mentions that Iago's honest when she says, 'O, that's an honest fellow'. This issue is arisen throughout the play: does anybody realise that Iago is feeding this poison to Othello, and that he is in fact not at all as honest as he seems? Just before Iago and Othello enters, Desdemona states, 'Thy solicitor should rather die than give thy cause away', this is another example of irony, yet this is dramatic irony with hindsight, as we later see that Desdemona does die, and as she said she hasn't given Cassio's cause away. ...read more.


We have just seen how incredibly un-honest Iago really is, and it's quite ironic to see how much Othello thinks of him. He also believes that Iago has experience of human beings and is a man of the world, a good judge of character. Does this therefore mean that Iago is such a good judge of character that he in fact will know how Othello will react, in which case Othello's change is believable. He then questions himself, and his relationship with Desdemona, almost picking up on what Iago mentioned earlier, and how unusual their relationship is. He is black, unrefined in his speech and considerably older. He gives off a sense of insecurity and paranoia. The hawk imagery when he says, 'Though that her jesses were my dear heart-strings, I'd whistle her off and let her down the wind To prey at fortune.' refers to his courtly pursuit of Desdemona. He then picks up on sexual appetites and saying that it's the curse of marriage, representing unfaithfulness. His language in this soliloquy is much like that of Iago's, and we would not have seen him use it up to now, where we see how not just physically and emotionally has Iago poisoned him, but through his own language. This all shows the effectiveness of Iago's plot. Although he says he cannot believe she is unfaithful when he says, 'If she be false, O then heaven mocks itself', I believe that before his soliloquy he's already made his mind up, and he believes that she is guilty, as in the next scene we see section that he has made his mind up. I think that in his soliloquy, he's looking for an excuse, but can't really find any, and is silent on her and Emilia's entry. On Emilia's and Desdemona's entry, she asks, 'Are you not well?', upon which he answers, 'I have a pain upon my forehead here.' ...read more.


In order for us to be able to judge how credible Othello's change is in Act III Scene iii, we must also take into account how credible Iago's actions are. Throughout, Iago presses further and further to cause Othello misery, and we see how further and further Othello is poisoned. There are many reasons as to why Iago might have done it. One must also consider the other characters involved, and why never of them became suspicious of anything. It could be because they hold Iago as such an honest character, but still, would they have usually seen such unusual behaviour from Othello? Othello's and Iago's relationship is also a factor in this. Othello strongly trusted Iago, and before this repeatedly mentioned how honest Iago was, but still, is the enough for someone to go from loving a person intensely to hating them so quickly? Othello's love for Desdemona was great at the beginning of the scene. Was Othello such a bad judge of character, and so ignorant as to what Iago was doing that he allowed this to happen? I believe so. If you trust somebody like Othello trusted Iago, you wouldn't ever think that they would want to do something so hideous. Othello wouldn't have thought that Iago had any reason to want to either physically or mentally harm Othello. Love may have also contributed to the poison that Iago was feeding him. Othello had overcome many obstacles to be able to express his love for her, and to marry her. It would have taken something very strong to break this love and his bond between the two, and this isn't a small thing. Iago's poison, Othello's trust of Iago and his love of Desdemona, all contributed to why Othello changed so dramatically. They all worked together to severely damage Othello and to destroy his love for Desdemona. If it happened to anyone else, they probably would have felt and done exactly the same as Othello did. As were Iago's action's quite believeable. That is why I believe that Othello's actions were dramatically credible. ...read more.

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