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'Othello' is a play whereby the audience feels a mixture of emotions as each scene progresses.

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Introduction

'Othello' is a play whereby the audience feels a mixture of emotions as each scene progresses. The emotions of sympathy are usually felt towards Othello and Desdemona as they are the two main characters caught up in turmoil between themselves except portrayed as innocent characters throughout the play. As the play draws to a close, one of them is seen to be the murderer and the other the victim of murder. Although in Othello's view, he feels that he is the victim of an unfaithful marriage to which he is involved. The audience empathises with them because they are innocent characters that are caught up in Iago's evil plan and Othello only gives in to murdering his beloved Desdemona through the manipulation of Iago. However, the audience will be shocked to find how Iago's manipulation reigned throughout the play to reach where it has now. He has played with the minds of the innocent and forced them somehow, to end up turning against each other. 'Othello' is a tragic play about deception, manipulation and revenge. The main character, Othello is a powerful, black military man who wins the heart and affection of a white woman named Desdemona. Othello has justified to the Venetians how he won Desdemona's heart by telling her the story of his life and experiences at the start of the play. This justification to the Venetians implores a new identity for him, a side they had never before but with positive annotations. The false character analysis is given at the start of the play by the rest of the characters but Othello's true self reflects on Desdemona and Othello's soliloquy given in the aid of his marriage. Their devotion to each other seems ideal. However, the love between Othello and Desdemona will be horrifyingly hindered, for the immoral Iago has plans to destroy their affection for his own purposes, which the audience will see as revenge and possibly jealousy. ...read more.

Middle

Iago is able to manipulate the minds of various people in the play into performing actions that are advantageous to him. 'Honest Iago' is something that especially Othello, his soul enemy in the play, refers him to him many a time. This 'Honest Iago' is like a disguised wolf in the flock of sheep that is guilefully pounces on each victim. He is a selfish man who is intelligent enough to quickly see and seize opportunities for his own disloyal purposes. There are many opportunities in the play where Iago took a particular situation and exploits it for his own purposes. Iago, the protagonist is evil, yet, some people may say, fascinating as his methods of deception can only be played by a talented antagonist, in this case Iago. One method of deception he releases is by planting a 'seed of poison' into Othello's mind, which is astounding, as he seems to do it with great ease. The astounding part is how he can make an experienced man of the world (although Othello is not experienced in the ways of women; a factor Iago plays upon him) believe a shallow and very unstable lie. He takes the risks perceptively, but by knowing of his other character's whereabouts exactly, first. Iago does not merely seek retribution against Othello in one single step, but rather, he cautiously and cleverly manipulates several people to trap the Moor. Iago used Desdemona in his plot to bring about Othello's downfall because of the fact that she had married a black man, and this supplies a truly racist nature from Iago. The fact that Othello is black gives a twist to the theme. His game of manipulating people has dire consequences and his ability to do this arises from his persistent lying and acting. Othello's race has no real bearing on Iago's plot, although he uses it whenever possible to undermine the Moor, denting his confidence and ego. ...read more.

Conclusion

They are all but stomachs, and we all but food; they eat us hungrily, and when they are full, they belch us.' As the play winds to a close, the characters continue to show their own opinions on Othello. Many characters have changed their initial opinions because of Othello's obvious attitude change, but I know that Iago is the only one of the characters that has kept the same mindscape, besides Desdemona. The disrespect that Desdemona acquires from Othello is blatant impertinence for his wife but she does not sway her love and devotion from him. She does feel, however, feel that she is at the lowest point she could possibly be at and the only way to go is up, because her lover has turned into a 'beast'. The last act of the play allows the characters to express their last views of Othello, and how he has affected them. The night where he plans on killing Desdemona is an important scene because he still knows enough to ask if she has prayed to allow her to have a clean soul to comfort and ensure her arrival in Heaven. Desdemona always had faith in her husband until the bitter end and this gave no help to her life. I felt that Desdemona was incredibly passive to defend herself and the fearsome accusations made upon her. The conclusion of the play signifies the end of the frustration for many characters. The symbolism is that Othello, the noble black Moor, defender of the Venetian state, married the fair ever-lasting innocent Desdemona. Evil in the soul of Iago tries to destroy Othello and his earthly world, but he fails. Othello's noble soul remains in tact, his love for Desdemona endures. He is not reduced to jealousy or hate. Desdemona is innocent of any crime. Since the play ended with sorrow, I close the play with the thought that Othello and Desdemona are reunited after death where evil cannot touch him, unlike the physical world that they briefly shared together. Viji Pillai 11P English literature-Othello Cand no: 8384 Centre no: 13228 ...read more.

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