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

How does the opening act of Othello prepare the audience for the outcome of the play?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How does the opening act of Othello prepare the audience for the outcome of the play? The play Othello portrays the story of the protagonist Othello (The Moor) and his loved one- Desdemona- and his struggles to overcome a racist society in 17th century Venice. In the meantime Iago, one of Othello's closest friends' plots revenge on him, as Othello passed him over for an important position in the army and gave it to Cassio, an outsider from Florence. The outcome of the play reveals that Iago's plan has been successful- Desdemona is murdered by Othello in a spate of jealousy and anger, caused by Iago's cunning machinations. Othello soon realizes his mistake and damns himself by committing suicide. While Iago is found out and taken away to be tortured, the audience still realizes that his plot has succeeded- he took over the military position and took revenge on both Cassio and Othello. The opening act provides the audience with clues which hint at the outcome of Othello. Act one establishes Othello's and Iago's characters, and how they are diametrically opposed. It establishes the prejudice faced by Othello as a black man in a white society, Desdemona's loyalty to him as his wife, the setting of conflict and war, the themes of jealousy, betrayal and pride and the insecurity which Othello has in himself. ...read more.

Middle

Again, Othello uses complicated language to put forward his point, and reinforces it by using repetition of "of" as well as alliteration of "flood and field". This again makes him greatly different from Iago, who uses crude language. This also shows Othello's honesty, integrity and transparency- Othello never once speaks falsehood and does not speak lies even when it would be better for him to. However, this puts him at a disadvantage- Othello's honesty is something Iago can manipulate. Indeed, Iago is one of Othello's most trusted servants: "Honest Iago... I prithee, let thy wife attend to her, [Desdemona] and bring her after in the best advantage" Othello trusts Iago with such a degree that he entrusts his very own wife to him. The irony of Othello using "honest" is great- it is a word Othello should use to describe himself, not his servant. Iago, the eternal deceiver can take advantage of his blind trust, using it against him. Only the audience and Roderigo know of Iago's wicked intentions, and it creates a sense of dread that such confidence can only lead to disaster. In act 1, Othello and Iago are established as conflicting characters- opposites in all they stand for. Othello, the black moor is truthful, educated, loving and peaceful, while Iago is a deceptive, crude, destructive and war-loving. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is engendered Hell and Night Must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light" The use of inversion of black and white- night and light- is ironic, and offers a contrasted vision of Iago's plans. This irony is further emphasised by the use of light, which makes it seem like a good plan- which it is, in Iago's vision. But most importantly it is the rhyming couplet- Iago's use of speech for once is not crude- rather it is as sophisticated as Othello's. This is the only time when Iago speaks in such a way- and its rhyme implies its perfection. The audience, at the end of act one will without a doubt realize that Iago's plan will work. It is thus possible to see that act one provides a plethora of hints and visions for the end of the play- it shows us how Iago could possibly exact his revenge on Othello and how others are fooled by him, as well as the end result. Probably the most important factor in act one which decides on the ending of the play is the establishment of Othello's and Iago's contrasting personalities. Shakespeare establishes a definite good side and an evil side with a definite split between the two. Thus, it encourages the notion of a final battle in the end of the play. The audience will expect one of the sides to win- and indeed Iago, the antagonist prevails over Othello. ...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

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. Peer reviewed

    How does Act 1, Scene 1 of Othello prepare you for the rest of ...

    3 star(s)

    Brabantio comes out to see what the matter is and is greeted by more shouting. Iago tells Brabantio that his daughter (Desdemona) is secretly marrying the Moor (Othello.) Iago uses vulgar language of a sexual nature to provoke Brabantio and make him as angry as possible at Othello.

  2. How Does Shakespeare Present The Theme Of The Outsider In Othello(TM) Act 1?

    However, though he did love the adventurous life he once was engulfed in, he is willing to give it all up just to be with Desdemona for the rest of his love proving that he is extremely committed. Brabantio's quote "look to her Moor, if thou hast eyes to see

  1. How Does Iago Successfully Manipulate Othello in Shakespeare

    Emilia comforts the weeping Desdemona and tells Othello that "I will be hanged if some eternal villain, some busy insinuating rouge, some cogging cozening slave, to get office, hath not devised this slander!", meaning she thinks somebody has put ideas in Othello's head for personal gain, which is in fact the case.

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

    ideas directly to his face, maybe because of his strength as a character, or possibly because of his incessant reputation of being composed and carefully resilient with his language. Each character that states negative views towards the general however is proved at the end of the play to be completely incorrect, and in most cases foolish.

  1. 'Hell and Night must bring this Monstrous Birth into the World's Light.' How Successful ...

    He says," Make the Moor thank me, love me and reward me," (Act 2, sc 1, line 289) which shows that he wants to be rewarded, a promotion. However, he also contradicts himself as he has earlier said that he hates the Moor.

  2. How is Act 1 Scene 1 an effective opening to Othello?

    to see is dramatic irony used, as the audience, by now, know he is superficial and playing a role. Add the crucial quotation 'I am not what I am', the epitaph of the play, Iago has made it clear he is pure deception and hides behind an image of his on creation.

  1. Rewrite episodes from 'Othello' which to you reflect crucial points of the story. Ensure ...

    through it was perfect, but unknown to them in the background walking quietly trying not to be noticed was Honest Iago, what could he be doing? Why is he following them? And why doesn't he want to be noticed, but to his surprise a figure emerged from a dark alleyway.

  2. How does Othello's character change from the beginning of the play to the end ...

    Eventually, however, he gives into her by saying "I will deny thee nothing" this shows that once again Desdemona is in control of this relationship, and Othello is powerless. This would probably have been said by the actor playing Othello (this is if I were directing a play)

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