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

Imagery in Othello

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Write about the use of imagery in 'Othello' and its contribution to the overall effect of the play. In Shakespeare's Othello, the use of imagery, and especially symbolism, is most important in expressing meanings and builds the major themes of the play in order to create dramatic atmosphere. The function of imagery was predominately to generate characterisation and to define the themes in the play. Shakespeare's application of imagery is vital in affecting the reaction of the audience and allows the audience to understand the play in more depth. There are many ways in which imagery is used in Othello and it is conveyed in many different areas. Poison is a key area in which Shakespeare more than dips into with the play. The idea of poison is most strongly associated with Iago, the heinous villain of the play that controls everyone around him, as a sort of puppeteer, manipulating both their thoughts and their actions. ...read more.

Middle

'The Moor already changes with my poison,' (III, iii, 330). Othello is a prey to suggestions and his overactive imagination is pushed by Iago's artistry of words. Iago gradually forms ideas and images in Othello's head and these images build up and crescendo in his mind to then form the drastic and savage actions of Othello. Lying is an ambiguous area of imagery, and conveys both lying as in on a bed, and lying as in being untruthful. Iago is the cunning character that lies to every character in the play. His puppet, Othello, is simply gullible and believes everything Iago tells him. 'Lie with her, lie on her?-We say lie on her, when they belie her,-lie with her, zounds, that's fulsome!' (IV, i, 35-36). Here Iago has lied to him that Desdemona and Cassio have made love. ...read more.

Conclusion

The characters of the play are controlled by natural forces, which are part of their personality, and are capable of growing wild. Iago is the character that comprehends these natural forces and is literally the gardener of the play, who can do what he wants with the plants. Iago sees other characters' minds as fertile soil, in which he can sow his seeds of evil and grow them using his lies and rumours into wild and untamed plants, and Othello seems to be most vulnerable to Iago's gardening skills. The organic manner in which Iago's schemes devour the other characters and control their behaviour makes his wickedness seem more like forces of nature, as if unstoppable to anything and anyone. Animals are yet another group of strong images in the play and are used to draw out the personalities of various characters. Indeed it is the libertine, Iago, who speaks of animals and creatures more than any other character in the play. ...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

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

This essay engages with the question superbly, picking out key pieces of imagery used by Shakespeare. However, there is a lack of discussion of the audience's response to these images. Being a play, I would've liked more awareness of an ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This essay engages with the question superbly, picking out key pieces of imagery used by Shakespeare. However, there is a lack of discussion of the audience's response to these images. Being a play, I would've liked more awareness of an audience's reaction to the imagery being used on stage - such analysis would've gained higher marks!

Level of analysis

The analysis is sound in this essay. Rather than spotting random uses of imagery, the essay is able to find common themes used by Shakespeare. By doing this, the essay becomes structured and focused, whilst allowing a natural progression into the reasons for Shakespeare choosing the imagery. It was a shame to see the line references included with quotes, as these are unnecessary and break up the flow. However, once a quote has been embedded, the essay tends to talk about the effect on the plot and characters. In my opinion, this can easily be tweaked to discuss the dramatic influence on the audience, but this must be changed to get top marks. You can't get away with talking about the characters as if they make the choices - Shakespeare creates the semantic field of poison to affect the audience, not Othello, for example. To show this awareness, phrases such as "Shakespeare has Iago" or "Shakespeare uses poisonous imagery to" will suffice.

Quality of writing

This essay is structured well, with a clear introduction and conclusion. In the introduction, I'd rather they briefly summarise the imagery used rather than saying "a number of ways". I liked how each paragraph starts with a short and concise signpost, making it clear what the paragraph will add. The style is very sophisticated, with spelling, punctuation and grammar being used well.


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by groat 18/02/2012

Read less
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. How and why does Othello's language change over the course of the Play?

    Iago leads Cassio on just out of Othello's earshot by clearly getting Cassio to talk about Bianca while Othello thinks he is talking about Desdemona. The deception is completed by Bianca herself comes in and displays the handkerchief that Iago had planted in Cassio's room.

  2. Othello Revision Notes - themes and quotes.

    though he's black * Iago, Bribantio and Roderigo find Othello's race alarming... o "Sooty Bosom" o "Thicklips" o "Old Black Ram" * Hero's tragedy comes out as Othello can only ever be excepted as an outsider Honour and Reputation... * Iago is a clear example of the idea that the

  1. Is Othello a 'noble hero' brought down by 'a devil of motiveless malignity' or ...

    The power shown here is quite astounding. The nature of Othellos character is of a dark man. A dark man, not only because he is black, but also because his whole person is very mysterious. He is mysterious in that he believes there is magic brewing everywhere.

  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. Othello has been called a ‘domestic tragedy’. What part do the three women play ...

    as a helpless victim of abuse, or too stupid to do anything about her unhappy relationship. For Desdemona to be admired and sympathised with, it would be necessary to show her stronger qualities. The reason she allows Othello to treat her with such disrespect is not because she is passive or helpless.

  2. In the opinion of F.R. Leavis, “Iago’s power is that he represents something that ...

    admirable, but now towards the latter end of the scene we see the other side of the coin, a darker side to Othello that will progressively worsen until the ending where it culminates in the murder of Desdemona and the attempt on Cassio's life by Iago (under instruction from Othello).

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

    And when I love thee not, Chaos is come again". We see Iago cleverly echoing Othello, which makes Othello more and more uneasy, and also leads to him asking him if Iago thinks Cassio is honest, "Show me thy thought".

  2. How Shakespeare creates chaos in Othello's mind

    However, later on in the scene, again whilst he is alone, Othello says, "She's gone, I am abus'd, and my relief must be to loathe her." Here Othello says 'she's gone', suggesting how he now proves sure of her infidelity by assuring himself that he has lost her, and then

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