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

    Along with most other characters in Othello, Iago's speech is in iambic pentameter. This makes the things that he says seem more dramatic to an audience than if they were written in standard prose. At this stage Iago is successful in his plan.

  1. How Does Iago Successfully Manipulate Othello in Shakespeare

    Othello hears the commotion and thinks that Iago has carried out the killing of Cassio, though unfortunately to Iago, Cassio is only wounded. Roderigo is also wounded so Iago finishes him off in order to prevent his fiendish scam from being promulgated.

  2. How does the presentation of Iago in Act1 sn1 lines 41-66 and Act1 sn3 ...

    This again communicates his exploitative nature and alludes to the idea that eventually Othello will become his "purse". He then goes on to say "I hate the Moor,". Once again Shakespeare has used structure to emphasize a certain point. This being that Iago despises Othello.

  1. In Which way does Iago manipulate characters and contribute To their downfall in Shakespeare's ...

    At the beginning of Act 3 Scene3, Cassio seeks Iago's advice in how to go about getting his job back, which is quite ironic, seeing as it is Iago that lost him the job in the first place. Iago recommends that he speak, to Desdemona, because she would be more sympathetic towards his situation.

  2. How does Iago manipulate characters and bring about their downfall in Shakespeare's Othello?

    Iago constantly says bad things about her, so that Cassio will say better until he admits that he feels that Desdemona is the image of perfection, "She is indeed perfection." Iago then goes to Montano and says that Cassio is a man who enjoys a drink a bit too much,

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

    most part of their fleet" When Othello meets Desdemona again, it is clearly visible that he loves her very much, but seems to be almost obsessive, and you get the feeling that he would kill for her. Also he seems very jealous and protective when it comes to Desdemona, and

  2. How does Act 1 Scene1 of "Othello" prepare the audience for the rest of ...

    Iago fulfils himself as the villain by scheming and plotting against Othello and Cassio. He uses Cassio as an instrument to plant suspicion and doubt into his mind about Desdemona. He talks of Othello being evil and shows hatred to him so prepares the audience to maybe do something to him to make his life worse.

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