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Shakespeare Othello

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Introduction

"How is Iago shown to be a cruel and calculated villain in Othello? How does the audience's perception of him differ from the rest of the characters' perception of him until the end?" In this essay, I am going to discuss the portrayal of Iago to be a cruel and calculated villain in Othello, and how the audience's perception of him as an evil scheming character differs from the rest of the characters' view of him as "honest" until the end. Also, I'll be looking at Elizabethan society and how attitudes have changed, how Othello is still relevant today, Shakespeare's language and stagecraft. When Shakespeare wrote Othello in 1604 he set it in Venice, because Venice was a Christian civilisation and therefore symbolised stability and order, which is contrasted with Cyprus, which symbolised chaos and disorder. ...read more.

Middle

my sleeve for daws to peck at: I am not what I am"- here Iago is referring to himself in saying that if he shows how he is feeling and what he is scheming on the outside so that everyone can see then he will be punished for his crimes, therefore he must appear to be something he isn't: he must appear honest. During Shakespeare's time people were more racist and cared a lot about background and culture which is reflected throughout the play , "you'll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse; you'll have your nephews neigh to you; you'll have coursers for cousins, and jennets for germans", - here Iago is expressing to Brabantio that he is letting a North African (Othello) ...read more.

Conclusion

the moors where considered as deadly as the Turks which comes into the part of this that Iago thinks that Othello has slept with his wife Emilia, this suggests and reflects society in what they believed in at the time it was written,- that it was perfectly natural to think of Othello as barbaric. This issue is similar to when America tries to impose western culture on countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. In Elizabethan England it would have been controversial that African Othello was portrayed as a noble character and Venetian Iago portrayed as a villain due to both the characters backgrounds, Iago a Venetian, and therefore Christian being a villain and Othello, African, which was seen as a barbaric country, representing nobility. In that time period it was ridiculous. ...read more.

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