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Othello is a complex play written by William Shakespeare between 1600 and 1605. It is one of his greatest tragedies. But Shakespeare based this play on 'The prince' written by Machia Velli written in 1513.

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Introduction

Othello Othello is a complex play written by William Shakespeare between 1600 and 1605. It is one of his greatest tragedies. But Shakespeare based this play on 'The prince' written by Machia Velli written in 1513. Othello was to be the first play where a black man was a significant character in a play. In Elizabethan times, people tended to be very racist and treated black people appallingly. So the Elizabethan audiences expected the character Othello to be the villain, but Shakespeare subverted their expectations by making Othello the lead and Iago the 'White man' the villain. This play focuses on two main characters. One, being Iago who is psychologically astute, deceiving and a misanthrope. His sadistic character hurts everyone in a web of deceit. Iago is Shakespeare's most plausible and intriguing villains. The other Othello, is a noble black army general in a white society, who is fooled by Iago and makes an error of judgement, which leads to his self-corruption at the end of the play. He seems to be insecure, and gullible. Othello seems to be a covetous character. Othello has a small cast in comparison to William Shakespeare's other plays. It is also set on a small time scale. When analysed, the whole play is set out in only 3 days, which is very unrealistic. ...read more.

Middle

The scene starts with Michael Cassio talking to Desdemona because Othello dismisses him as his lieutenant and he fears that there is no chance he will get his job back. When Othello walks in and sees his wife talking to Cassio, Iago says: 'Ha! I like not that.'(Line 34) Iago is already sneakily giving Othello the idea of Cassio and his wife having an affair. To make himself seem truthful when Othello asks Iago what he meant Iago replies: 'Nothing, my lord; or if - I know not what.' (Line 36) Iago is building a web of trust for Othello so that he may manipulate him more and turns into a web of deceit. At line 90, Othello talks about how important his love for Desdemona is to him: 'Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul. But I do love thee; and when I love thee not, chaos is come again. This is an instance of dramatic irony. Othello thinks that without the love he has for his wife his 'world' would collapse which later on it does. Wretch having two meanings, one a complimentary meaning and one meaning an unfortunate person. We later on discover that Desdemona becomes an unfortunate person when her husband deviates to rage. At line 126 Iago seems to be building his trust towards Othello more. 'I dare be sworn I think he's honest. ...read more.

Conclusion

From line 443 Othello is gullible enough to accept that his wife is having an affair when Iago lies about Cassio having Desdemona's handkerchief. 'O that the slave had forty thousand lives! One is too poor, too weak, for my revenge. Now do I see 'tis true...' Othello is saying how he wishes Cassio had more than one life so that he could kill him again and again because killing him once is not enough for revenge. Othello has given Iago the job he wanted. '...Now art thou my lieutenant' (Line 479) Although Iago was getting back at both Othello and Cassio because he didn't get the job of lieutenant; yet Iago still seems to torture Othello. He is has a very sadistic attitude. He tortures Othello mentally by slyly making comments and suggestions but snatching his comments back, to make Othello more curious. 'Ha! I like not that.' 'What dost thou say?' 'Nothing, my lord; or if - I know not what.' (Lines 34-36) Othello's language is gentle and poetic and intricate at first but in Act 3 scene 3 his language becomes less extensive; his passion has gone from love to anger for his wife. Othello is a grand, modes and confident man until Iago messes with his head. Iago's language however, is nasty and vile. He often uses animals when talking about sex: '...An old black ram is tupping your white ewe...' (line 89) Annetoni James 10I ...read more.

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