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Othello - Show how, in Act Two, Shakespeare links, builds upon, and extends the ideas and the plot, which were begun in Act One.

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Introduction

Othello Essay Show how, in Act Two, Shakespeare links, builds upon, and extends the ideas and the plot, which were begun in Act One. The beginning of Act One gives us an introduction to the politics and worldly issues of the play. The beginning of Act Two, we are in Cyprus. The weather and the characters are in turmoil. There is a theme of tension and anxiety running throughout the first scene. The parallels between the macrocosm (nature) and the microcosm (the characters) are shown from the beginning. The changed situation is from the previously political concerns now becoming domestic. The macrocosm of the outer world has been removed from focus. God has 'sorted out' the political scene so we are now primarily concerned with the microcosm. That is Othello, his wife and the surrounding characters. Some of the themes that are initially presented in Act One reappear throughout Act Two also. Shakespeare links these themes throughout the play, and uses them to build up a bigger picture of each character. ...read more.

Middle

Iago is the main character involved with forwarding the plot. He is responsible for change in the characters emotions, i.e. Othello's rage from calm, Cassio's upset from a proud serving officer, and Roderigo's doubt which leads to submission to Iago, paying him and believing his promises. Iago shows control and exploit over the other characters. He is able to check the details of other characters plans subtly but with precision. An example of this is when in conversation with Cassio. Cassio's inability to hold his alcohol has lead him to risk the loss of his job, and the loss of his reputation. Iago abuses this misfortune to forward his planning - "What was he that you followed with your sword? What had he done to you?" - Iago appears to express concern, yet the reality is concern for his own selfishness and evilness. Racism is one of the main themes in Act One, for at least one scene, the primary concern of the main characters is the marriage between Desdemona and Othello, which presents rising racist issues from characters such as Brabantio. ...read more.

Conclusion

Iago also abuses the other characters shortcomings to help himself forward the plan. "She did deceive her father, marrying you, and when she seemed to shake, and fear your looks, she loved them most." Iago points out that Desdemona put on a false appearance to her father, and lied about marrying Othello, why shouldn't she deceive Othello in the same way? All the time whilst Iago is doing this, he is reinforcing the lie- "I humbly do beseech you of your pardon, For too much loving you." I am only telling you this because I love you. Throughout the first two acts, Shakespeare is concerned with building up a detailed portrayal of the main characters. This is shown with examples of their behaviour and reactions to others. Iago appears to be the main character concerned with linking all of the other characters together, and this is why he is so successful in forwarding the plot. This is how Shakespeare links and builds upon act one, and will continue to do this throughout the next Acts in the play. ------------------------------------------------------------------ ...read more.

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