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Othello - What might the thoughts and feeling be of an audience as they watch the passage 'Act 2 Scene 1 lines 255-310.

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Introduction

What might the thoughts and feeling be of an audience as they watch the passage 'Act 2 Scene 1 lines 255-310. Show in detail how characterisation, atmosphere, and dramatic qualities are created by Shakespeare's choice of language and express your own thoughts and feelings about the scene at this point in the play as well as suggesting how other audiences might respond to it. From the very onset of the scene the audience feel that Iago is a devious character who plots against his friends in using Cassio's weaknesses against him: 'Sir, he's rash and very sudden in choler, and haply with his truncheon may strike at you.' -Lines 255-6 Even though Iago thinks that Rodrigo is unintelligent and detests him, he addresses him as 'Sir', because he is trying to convince Rodrigo. Already the audience have an indication of the two faced nature of Iago, and how he can use words to create the 'right' image. Iago doesn't just want to humiliate Cassio but 'cause these of Cyprus to mutiny', making the audience feel that Iago will go to any lengths to bring down Cassio. Even though Rodrigo is seen as Iago's accomplice here, that of course does not mean that Iago will treat him any better than the treats anyone else, even though Rodrigo is going to do Iago's 'dirty work'. Iago's frequently refers to money as if to imply that Rodrigo will be rewarded: 'I shall then have to prefer them, and the impediment most profitably removed without the which there were no expectation of our prosperity.' -Lines 260-262 This of course also highlights Iago's obvious irony, as instead of Rodrigo benefiting from his 'partnership' with Iago, he is in fact loosing money as clearly shown in ...read more.

Middle

Therefore he does not go about anything at half measures; he will never forgive and forget. Iago always has to have revenge until he is satisfied, which adds an ominous atmosphere to this scene as the audience feel that Iago will not turn back now but that fate is irrevocably sown as Iago as the catalyst. Next, Iago tells the audience how he is going to take revenge on Othello. This plays a major role in making this passage very sinister as the audience are 'with' Iago while he's trying to think out his devious plans and therefore the audience are watching the procession of thoughts and ideas in Iago's evil mind for Cassio's, Othello's and Desdemona's downfall. This makes the audience feel like they are part of it and so they in effect feel responsible or at least part of the plot as they see what Iago is going to do yet can do nothing to stop him or warn the other characters. The fact that Iago wants to put Othello into a 'jealousy so strong that judgement cannot cure.' Shows that Iago wants to do irreversible and unchangeable damage to Othello's marriage, which yet again adds to the audience's picture of Iago as heartless and almost inhuman character. Rodrigo is referred to as 'poor trash of Venice'; therefore Iago sees himself above Rodrigo and treats Rodrigo as such. Hence Iago is no better or rather worse than these master's he talks of earlier in Act 1 scene 1 who reward their servants thus: 'For nought but provender, and when he's old, cashiered.' Act 1 Scene 1 Line 48 During Iago's soliloquy, he frequently cuts between different characters; first Cassio, next Othello, then Desdemona and back to Othello etc... ...read more.

Conclusion

and only out to bring this present religious world down, with his lies and deceitfulness. Therefore an Elizabethan audience would be less sympathetic with Iago than a modern audience might be as he is the chaos brought out in the seemingly idyllic world of Desdemona and Othello. In terms of a modern audience Othello can still be received with understanding and comprehension even though Othello was written in the early seventeenth century. There are of course some points that at first are hard to understand, as they were morals of the Elizabethan period, for example the uproar that Desdemona should want to marry a black person, but as a modern audience would have a more open mind than the Elizabethans they could actually interpret the play in many different ways. In the passage the main aspect a modern audience would feel that they can relate to their times is the way people believe what they want to believe without finding out the truth demonstrated by Iago's reason for revenge as 'the lusty Moor has leapt into my seat' i.e. stereo-casting. The way people can be totally two-faced, easily conveying in the passage by Iago's plots against people who thought he was their friend. Also that we are not totally responsible for what happens to oneself, demonstrated in the passage by Iago's determination to control the fate of other people through his lies. Any audience must agree that the passage conveys the sophistication of Iago in being able to play a number of roles convincingly by adapting his tone and style; in this passage in convincing Rodrigo. Also that Iago's has mysterious and intangible motives for being so fanatical about the ruin of those who like him. 1 ...read more.

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