• 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 ...

    He was too loyal of a friend and had always followed orders. Othello says to Cassio, "I'll make thee an example." He clearly show his loss of trust in Cassio and Cassio knows this. He tries to correct the situation with Othello through Desdemona, but it only makes things worse once Iago steps in.

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

    The word "ancient" makes it seem like that Iago is making fun of Othello just because he has had more experience in life. Iago again comments on Othello's racial differences to differentiate him between the Venetians in the phrase "be judge yourself, whether I in any just term am affined to love the Moor."

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

    showing a genuine condemnation of the relationship between his daughter and -'the Moor'. This view would have been commonplace in Shakespearian time, as even today principles of racial equality and sexual freedom are unfortunately still far from being completely accepted.

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

    as the audience know how wrong he is: "And for I know thou'rt full of love and honesty And weigh'st thy words before thou giv'st them breath Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more." (3.3.119-121) Othello is saying that he trusts Iago, but he knows that Iago is hiding something.

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

    to what they have to say; Iago is speaking against prejudice at the same time as he fuels it. His exasperation is also reflected in his use of prose; the passage reads very bluntly to match what he is saying as well as baiting Brabantio.

  1. 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.

  2. It is claimed that Act 3 Scene 3 of Othello is the most important ...

    in this scene that he lies to twist Othello when he talks to Cassio and tells him that mortal wounds are worse than bad respect but says to Othello "But he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor

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