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How is Act 3 pivitol to Othello?

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Introduction

Explain why Act III Scene iii is pivotal to the play, Othello. Shakespeare's play, Othello, is portrayed as a tragedy as it shows betrayal in love, sadness, death and disaster; just some of the features the audience expect a traditional tragedy to have. The main feature in this play that makes it a tragedy is how fate conspires against the hero. Shakespeare was inspired to write this play by the works of Giovanni Battista Giraldi, an Italian writer. Dramatic irony is used throughout the play to fulfil the expectations the audience have of deceit. Characters such as Iago add dramatic irony by performing soliloquies, which reveal things to the audience that the other characters have yet to find out, and then saying something that we know is not true, but the characters do not. Other expectations they will have of the play include betrayal, duplicity and pretence. The play is set within roughly 2 days, which is supposed to make the play more intense as all the events happen on a close time scale. This will again allow the audience to realise that the play is a tragedy. ...read more.

Middle

It also makes iago sound loyal, so suggesting honesty and it also emphasises the respect he has for him. Another example of repetition Iago uses is the repetition of what Othello says. Iago does this regularly throughout their conversation, making it clear that he is doing it purposely. An example of this is when Iago replies, " Think, my Lord". By doing this Iago slowly draws in Othello and makes him eager to know more. This technique also makes Iago seem hesitant when answering the question, making it look like the news he has to reveal is bad. An alternative technique Iago uses to make himself sound honest is by using comparisons. He does this by comparing himself to a slave by saying "I am not bound to that all slaves are free to." This portrays him as being completely loyal to Othello like a slave would his owner. It also shows that he is not free to think his own thoughts, which would again make him out to be honest. Expressing doubt about himself is a persuasive technique used by Iago. It makes him sound honest as he comes across as not totally believing what he has said. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also during the soliloquy performed by Othello at the end of his first conversation with Iago, he confesses to the audience how much he has been hurt by what he has heard. He admits that he is "abused" and the only way to go is to "loathe her". This is the beginning of his changing attitudes, and a real indication of Iago's plan piecing together. Another reason why this section in the play is so significant is because we also see how Iago has control over Emilia, his wife. Iago orders Emilia to "Go, leave ..." along with her following his orders suggests that he is very much in control of their relationship. This proves to be very important as it leads her to get the handkerchief, which is the main piece of evidence Iago uses to frame Cassio and Desdemona. The fact that she takes the handkerchief without questioning it's use also suggests the power he has over her. Act III scene iii is a pivotal scene in the play as it not only puts Iago's plan into action but establishes the rest of the play. From here on, Othello starts to turn to Iago for advice, which shifts the power even more. We also see his attitude towards Desdemona change significantly as he starts to accuse her and no longer enjoy her company. ...read more.

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