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How Does Shakespeare use Language to show Othello's ChangingState of Mind in Act 3 Scene 3?

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Adam Smith How Does Shakespeare use Language to show Othello's Changing State of Mind in Act 3 Scene 3? The opening lines of the scene establish Desdemona's innocence to with the audience. She also says: "Assure thee if I do vow a friendship, I'll perform it to the last article." This also demonstrates her loyalty, and that she'd die before break a friendship. This is dramatically effective, being at the beginning of the scene because all through the scene Othello is seen thinking and talking about how disloyal she is. It also makes the tragedy at the end of the play more awful, as the audience knows she really is innocent. Iago then cunningly preys on the inquisitive nature of all humans, including Othello, to mould his mind to thinking the way he would like. He says unbeneficial things, dropping hints as to his feelings. "Ha! I like it not." Iago exclaims as soon as Cassio has left the stage. This causes, as it would anyone, Othello to enquire to Iago's exclamation, as "it" is an ambiguous phrase to start talk; Othello would instinctively be wondering what the "it" is. When Iago attempts to look like it wasn't anything big, this only makes Othello more inquisitive. ...read more.


Othello has a brief soliloquy as Iago leaves. In this, we discover that he is beginning to question whether he should have got married; it is another turning point into him almost totally believing Iago. Briefly after Iago leaves, he returns, telling Othello not to think about the affair. This is reverse psychology, so he will now think about it more, forming more opinions along the line of Iago's, just of his own accord. There is a great irony that courses throughout the play that is exemplified in this soliloquy - Othello's interpretation of Iago. Until very near the end Othello describes Iago very positively, usually referring to how honest Iago is. The irony here is that Iago is quite the opposite; most things he says to Othello are misleading and for his own gain only. The following soliloquy of Othello's shows how he feels unworthy of Desdemona, due to his colour, the age difference and his poor speech - ironic because he has already proved his eloquence to be very high. This is due to Iagoisation - many of Iago's character traits have rubbed off onto Othello, making him think as Iago does, including the thought that black skin is undesirable to a young white woman, who would rather want someone more like her. ...read more.


He would be thinking that it is such a strange thing to lie about, so it must be true. The climax to the scene comes at the end as oaths of death are sworn. Othello kneels, in almost a marriage of death between them. Iago's language changes in this section to become very commanding; he never asks Othello, but instructs. He is also physically higher than the kneeling Othello, and so, both of these combined, has, symbolically, more power than Othello; the evil has prevailed and beaten the good side to Othello; the murderous, revengeful side to him shall dominate from this point forth. Following Othello's oath, Iago kneels, symbolically now Othello's equal, though both closer to hell, to which they can be interpreted to be joining when they make a pact to kill. Othello's mind changes drastically throughout this scene; the invisible battle of good and evil constantly occurring, with evil most often having the upper hand, mainly due to Iago's evil manipulation and exploitation of Othello's emotional weak spots. At the end of this scene, evil has won, Othello unable to change the course that his evil will take, resulting in the manslaughter of Desdemona - I cannot be called murder, because Othello didn't really want to do it, and wouldn't have should Iago have not intervened. ...read more.

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