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Othello’s reason gives way to passion throughout the course of the play. How is this shown through his speech and actions?

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Introduction

Othello's reason gives way to passion throughout the course of the play. How is this shown through his speech and actions? In William Shakespeare's Othello we are told the story of how our main character Othello is entangled into a web of deceit, dishonesty and with the intervention of his "honest" Ensign Iago, eventually his own downfall. In the very beginning of the play, we are introduced to Othello's character: a man of gentle dignity, courage, modesty and respectfulness. As the play progresses, especially in the last few scenes of Act three and throughout Act four, we are shown different ways in which Othello- " the moor" is corrupted and manipulated by Iago and how this affects his speech and actions and how his general behaviour takes a conflicting turn as he responds to those around him. Unequivocally, Iago plays an important and major function in the tragedy of Othello. Even in the starting scenes, we see Iago's untrustworthiness and selfish plotting; Othello's clear, open and trusting nature is exploited- thus Iago being able to use him as a scapegoat. ...read more.

Middle

Othello makes his own false conclusions and as his passion increases he utters these words: "Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul But I do love thee! and when I love thee not Chaos is come again." (III.3.90-2) these lines suggest that Othello will be utterly lost if his love is destroyed. As Iago's poisonous schemes progress and take effect on Othello, his language becomes more evidently fragmented to show the turmoil and disorder in his mind. Othello's change, revolves mainly around one pivotal scene where his eloquent blank verse previously seen within the first and second act of the play has now given way to prose and disjointed sentences. Othello has now made himself extremely vulnerable to Iago's "poison" by trusting Iago's words than seeking the truth from his own wife. As we look at Act Three and the scenes within this act, we can see the manner in which Othello's change is manifested through his speech and actions. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is much more violence shown through Othello's words and his repeated, hurried sentences when he speaks to Desdemona, indicate his insecurity (and the success of Iago). Othello commits his first violence on Desdemona when he strikes her in front of Lodovico, a visiting emissary from Venice - this course of action now shows Othello's tragic flaw; he has made himself susceptible to Iago. Conclusively, and especially at the end of Act Three, we see how the language of Iago and Othello has been interchanged with their roles. Iago is now clearly the master in this relationship , as he speaks of vows to heaven of service and obedience whilst Othello using language more appropriate to Iago- for example "Damn her, Lewd Minx" and "Fair Devil". Language is ultimately very effective when trying to express the emotions and actions of Othello and through his speech and actions, we can begin to empathize and absorb what is really happening in the play. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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