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Is it essential to the development of the play's tragic situation that Othello and Cassio are soldiers. How far do you agree with this statement?

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Is it essential to the development of the play's tragic situation that Othello and Cassio are soldiers. How far do you agree with this statement: in your answer you should: * 1. Discuss character's and their motives, as well as Shakespeare's handeling of the narrative development and setting in the play. * 2. Give your own response to the critical view expressed, weighing how far you can agree with it and why. * 3. Show an understanding of Elizabethan attitudes to 1.gender, 2. honour, and 3.status, as well as an awareness of Shakespearian Tradegy. Othello is a play about the tragic fall of the Great Othello. This of course would not be possible unless Othello was conveyed as a most powerful and significant figure in the Play. As the foremost in the state of Venice and the new Govenor-General of Cyprus, Othello is clearly a general in rank. Therefore they way people behave infront of him, convey his importance. Being an important officer in the Army meant that Othello must posess all the virtues for a general prescribed by Renaissance military treatises. He is of noble birth, he is self controlled, he is religios, he has the respect of his men and he demonstrates the most advanced military knowledge. He can speak well, to a court for example, and chooses Cassio over Iago, as he feels that Cassio will be better respected by the men as he is more acceptabel, this of course presents the audience with the basis for which Iago can place his deep resentment on as he feels that ~Othello chose Cassio, unwisely as all he does is 'QUOTE ABOUT COUNTER CASTER'. ...read more.


From this it is clearly evident that othello attaches his honour to the way he views Desdemona. In Elizabethan times honour was extremely important. In actual fact the basic characteristics of the nobility, like those of the poor, were ferocity and childishness and lack of self control, all to retain ones honour, therefore if Othello really had been cheated on then the Elizabethans would see it fit that he take some decisive action to maintain his dignity. QUOTE FROM WHEN THEY ARE WAITING FOR HIM TO BOARD The fact tha Othelo could almost be two different people when comparing him form the beginning of the play and him at the end, as his first person displays great dignity and self control; PUTUP YOUr SWORDS OR THEY WILL RUST. ETC IE MORE. Othello has confidence in himsel and in his ability to make descions, he is not provoked by other's hysteria, e.g Brabantio's wild condemnnations of him as a Witch, rather though othello turns into this raving, fanatic ma who will not see the truth as he is blinded by his oen preconceived idesa. This morph of Othello from a ANOTHER WORD FOR DIGNIFIED into a SOMETHINg, is not only clear to the audience but alos to the confused characters in the paly (LODVICO< SAY IS THIS THE NICE MAN I KNOW< WHEN OTHELLO SLAPS DES). Othello is too easily fooled by Iago's web odf deceit, probably because n the battlefield, Othello has to trut his men, and Iago being his 'ancient' a sort of right hand man, and Iago's reputaiton for honesty, it makes it hard for him to throw Iago's ideas away as rubbish. ...read more.


In the Elizabethan period it was generally considered foolish to marry for love, therefore Desdemona and Othello's marriage is exceptional. Women, or rather wives are seen as the property of their husbands, and it is assumed that a womans gole in life is to get married. In Othello we are given three diffent sterotypes of women. There is Desdemona, the loving and gemtile wife, there is Emila the nagging and cynic wife and of course Bianica the prostitute. Cassio irs in most cases repectful when in the presence of women, this is in contrast to Iago who treats thwm just the same as they were a fellow soldier, and in fact is quite insultive. Though Iago cast's Cassio in the role of 'Lady Killer' through manipulating his polite and courteous nature when dealing with women and giving them the required attention. SO WHAT? It is essential to Othello that the characters are set in a military environment with various rankings with in the system because it gives Iago a prefect imGE TO HIDE BEHIND AND CREATES A GREAT SENSE OF TRAGIC IRONY, WITH Othwllo being a magnificant leader, commanding thoussands of men and outwitting the most powerful enemeies yet when it comes to the flimseyidea that his wife may be cheating on him he can not cope with it. Even though tragic heros are normall reserved for the position of Kings and Princes ,it is important that Shakespeare has rejected this in favour of a valient and courageous commnader who was deeply admired and respected for his dignity. ...read more.

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