• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Several critics have suggested that Act 1of Othello is superfluous. To what extent is this Act important to the character of Othello?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Several critics have suggested that Act 1of Othello is superfluous. To what extent is this Act important to the character of Othello? The first act of Othello is important in setting up not only the plot of the play, but the 'Othello's' characteristics. Act one gives an insight to 'Othello's' character and the opinions of the people he is surrounded by. This is informative for the audience as it will help their understanding of 'Othello's' actions later in the play. Shakespeare establishes different components of 'Othello's' character in act one. We first learn that he is the conventional tragic hero who is portrayed through his actions and words. Through the attitudes of surrounding characters, we detect that he is an outsider because of his ethnicity, however in act one the audience sees he is able to rise above the racism which shows his nobility. We also discover his love for 'Desdemona,' who loves 'Othello' for his struggle, which reinstates his heroism. 'Othello's' goodness does not always work for him. The vice character of this play 'Iago' deceitfully plots against him for both personal and professional reasons, which results in 'Othello's' fate in the end of the play. ...read more.

Middle

However these characteristics does not always work for him. Along side with the noble characteristics, comes the gullible nature, and this is the early signs of 'Othello's' flaws, which leads me to contemplate if 'Othello' really fulfils the heroism label. Act one is important in establishing the qualities of 'Othello' that gives the title tragic hero. It introduces his personality so that in the latter part of the play we can interpret the reasons behind his actions and witness his character development. Act one is important in establishing the fact 'Othello' is an outsider. 'Othello' is different in many ways compared to other characters. The main feature, which makes him unique from other characters, is his race. The fact 'Othello' is black is harshly remarked upon. 'Othello' is referred to as "thick-lips," and when 'Iago' is deceitfully and intentionally spilling the beans to 'Brabantio' about 'Othello's' and 'Desdemona's' newly marriage, he refers to 'Othello' as an "old black ram." Shakespeare uses harsh terms to reveal to the audience how 'Othello' is seen by others in the play. 'Othello' does not hear this but the audience does and the audience can view the racism during that time period. ...read more.

Conclusion

However it is this very thing which can lead to his downfall. Brabantio warns 'Othello' against trusting 'Desdemona', but his love for her is too strong and stands by his woman. This could be taken as a hint on how the play might progress. The newly solid relationship between the lovers connects in with what Bradley says about 'Othello.' 'Othello' is supposed to be the "most" romantic of all Shakespearean lovers, and he has been able to lull 'Desdemona' away from the negative comments and the frowns that come from her father. Traditionally tragic heroes have a lover, and in act one that is shown, and their love story is told, which is why act one is not superfluous. The first act of each play is important because the plot of the play has to begin. The small background knowledge, which needs to be known either about the character or the setting of the play. In this case the first act establishes 'Othello's' character and his relationship with his wife. His qualities have to be stated so that his later actions can be connected with that making act one important. Act one also gives early indications to 'Othello's' flaws, such as his naivety. The audience is also given indications about the future of 'Othello' in act one therefore the audience would not be too surprised what the fate of 'Othello' could be. 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Othello section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Othello essays

  1. Is Othello a 'noble hero' brought down by 'a devil of motiveless malignity' or ...

    Nobody suspects that Iago is a deceitful man and would plot to destroy Othello, Desdemona, and Cassio in such a cunning way. Iago uses his reputation to manipulate Othello and set his plan in motion and complete it. Without Iago's honest reputation would never had allowed him smear Cassio and cause the death of Desdemona and ultimately Othello as well.

  2. How Is Othello Viewed By Others And How Does He View Himself

    Desdemona is unsurprisingly the character that can distinguish Othello as doing no wrong. Even after malicious attacks and verbal abuse from the general, Desdemona does not speak out against her love. Desdemona is infatuated with Othello and this becomes apparent from her very first speech of the play where she

  1. How Does Shakespeare Present The Theme Of The Outsider In Othello(TM) Act 1?

    Iago also makes fun of Othello's speech by saying that he is "horribly stuffed with epithets of war" therefore, we get the impression that Iago is quite pompous. Othello is usually the victim of racial remarks even though he does not know it.

  2. Othello - Examine the importance and effectiveness of Act III, scene 3, considering the ...

    This is an example of the theme of appearance versus reality, which is seen frequently in this play. Later on in the scene, Iago seems to confess his true character to Othello. Iago talks about what if his accusations are false, but Othello is brainwashed into thinking that Iago is honest.

  1. How does Shakespeare create the character of 'Othello' in Act 1 and how is ...

    They believe Othello is unfair. These accusations are later proved false when the audience see and hear Othello on stage. As Othello's character continues to be discussed by Iago and Roderigo, derogatory references are made about his Moorish origins. Roderigo mock Othello's thick lips and Iago repeatedly refers to him as 'the Moor'.

  2. hakespeares tragic heros dying words: loved not wisely, but too well, reflects the downfall ...

    sees and everything he is told at face value without questioning the circumstances. Othello may be seen as a noble and heroic figure that brings about his own destruction by one fatal error of judgement, or at the other extreme as little more than an arrogant and proud figure who, like Roderigo, is deceived by a clever and devious liar.

  1. How is Act 1 Scene 1 an effective opening to Othello?

    The irony is obvious to the audience as, though Iago is accusing Othello of being the devil, he himself is behaving with devilish intent. Brabantio, upon realising Roderigo is at his balcony, informs the audience that he has already denied Roderigo as a potential suitor, 'my daughter is not for

  2. In What Ways Does The Character Of Othello Conform to Literary Tradition Of The ...

    Maybe winning her heart was just another achievement to him. Iago is overcome with envy when Othello is sent on an urgent military mission in Cyprus and he does not receive the promotion that he was intently waiting for. Instead the position of Lieutenant is given to a young Florentine soldier Cassio.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work