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In What Ways does the opening passage prepare the audience for future developments in the play?

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Introduction

In What Ways does the opening passage prepare the audience for future developments in the play? By Rebecca Westwood This opening passage is very insightful of many aspects of the play. This including characters, themes and issues. It is a great introduction for the audience to get a critical insight of Othello, and the villainous Iago, and what the play holds later. During this section the audience get a perfect persuasion and deviousness of the character Iago. This is the first example of the manipulation of events and perceptions of others during the play. He has already succeeding in colouring Roderigo's view of Othello's marriage to Desdemona, doing so gaining his assistance. 'Even now, now, very now, and old black ram is tupping your white ewe.'(1.1.89-90) This vulgar and very graphic language turns Roderigo to a very racist terminology of Othello. This is reflected when Roderigo uses a similar racist description; 'To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor-' (1.1.13) This is a perfect example of how the manipulative language of Iago rubs off onto other characters. This reflects a later example, Iago's animalistic imagery, 'goats and monkeys', being reflected in the vocabulary of Othello later in the play. ...read more.

Middle

For 'Othello's service', he has shown no service to Othello, this would be loyalty and friendship, the exact opposite of Iago. The only truthful part of what Iago has said is "What bloody business ever." This is very true however Othello gives little credence to the prophecy that Iago offers. His sneering references to Desdemona as being the general's "general" (2.3.310), he cannot bear the fact that a female can exert power; he despises Othello for giving into feminine emotions such as love. Later he overpowers Desdemona's true love and replaces it with his false love by making her seem untrustworthy in Othello's eyes and making him doubt her. "Look to your wife, observe her well with Cassio; Wear your eyes thus: not jealous, nor secure." (3.3.200-01) This extract reveals Iago's ability to improvise: he sets pace and controls the drama. It was his idea to wake up Brabantio earlier in the scene, and he continues this control by beginning the conversation with Brabantio in a rude and racist tone. 'I am one, sir, that comes to tell your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.' ...read more.

Conclusion

The whole focal point of this section is the disruption caused by the marriage of Othello and Desdemona, which shows how this will be a large part of the play to come, as the three characters in this passage make such an event about it. The urgency and initial confusion here underlines the idea this play is going to focus on conflict of some kind, centring on this black stranger. The audience is left wondering how this tension will be resolved, as we know there is evident dislike to Othello. Iago the villain has had already had success in getting his view of the Moor accepted, without the other characters even realising. Now the audience want to see this character for themselves. The depth of Iago's character is so quickly displayed, with his clever vocabulary, imagery and even length of speech has such a large influence. Minor words or implications in this passage are signs of the developments that are to come in the play, but they are so discrete it is not a conscious clue, but when reflecting the key themes are present in the tone, language and imagery. ...read more.

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