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Is Othello the heroic, loving, innocent trapped and destroyed by the evil Iago: or is he arrogant cruel and weak, brought down by his own misjudgement of character, jealousy and short temper?

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Introduction

Mark Axon 01/07/2001 Othello Is Othello the heroic, loving, innocent trapped and destroyed by the evil Iago: or is he arrogant cruel and weak, brought down by his own misjudgement of character, jealousy and short temper? In this essay I am going to explore the language that Shakespeare uses to change the audiences opinion of Othello. A tragedy is a shocking or sad event that affects a lot of people. 'Othello' can fit into this literary genre because by the end of the play it changes from most people being happy to everyone hating and killing each other which is a shocking and sad event. In Act 1, Othello is presented to the audience in a negative way because in Elizabethan times a black person was considered to be linked to witchcraft and animals. He is perceived as a villain. Iago says to Brabantio, Desdemona's father (after telling Brabantio about his daughter's secret marriage) "You'll have your daughter covered with a Barbary Horse". Here he is using sexual and animalistic imagery to shock Brabantio and to insult Othello. ...read more.

Middle

Othello has no knowledge of Venetian society because he was brought up in the desert as a soldier. Iago uses this fact and says that Venetian women like Desdemona and Bianca weren't very faithful. Othello can be forgiven for expecting the worst of Desdemona because she betrayed her father marrying Othello, this is a fact that Iago is quick to remind him of. In act 4 scene 1 Iago pressurises Othello lot. Othello describes Desdemona as "A fine woman, a fair woman, a sweet woman". However, Iago won't let Othello have a positive thing to say about Desdemona, and encourages negative thoughts. " Nay that is not your way". Iago is very persuasive at this point. Othello is falling into the stereotype Iago tries to pin on him earlier in the play because Othello is turning nasty and evil towards Desdemona. When Othello spies on Cassio he is easily mislead by Iago because he believes that Cassio is talking about Desdemona when he is really talking about Bianca. It is very easy for Iago to get Othello to believe him because at this time Othello is in a fragile state of mind. ...read more.

Conclusion

This that Othello thinks he has to kill Desdemona because she will betray more men. On lines 92-102 Shakespeare shows a lot of confusion in Othello and that it is Othello's honour. He has become irrational, he speaks in broken sentences this shows that he is panicking. He says "My wife! My wife! What wife? I have no wife!" Shakespeare uses Emilia to voice the audience's opinion on Othello. Emilia reminds us how much he's changed and how far he's fallen. Othello feels confused. He loves Desdemona but is doing it for his honour because he has to retain his dignity. In Elizabethan times it was frowned upon when a woman had an affair. I think that Othello has changed throughout the play he has been heroic, loving, innocent trapped and destroyed by the evil Iago and arrogant, cruel and weak, brought down by his own misjudgement of character, jealousy and short temper. Othello should accept some responsibility for his actions because he never questions Iago. Othello puts too much trust in Iago and has been brought down by his misjudgement of character. ...read more.

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