• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9

The Characters of Othello, Cassio and Iago.

Extracts from this document...


Susie Willmott Othello Coursework Draft Page 1 07/05/2007 The Characters of Othello, Cassio and Iago Othello Othello is a black, army general, and a very good one it would seem to be able to dispute against so many Shakespearean prejudices and to have the trust of the Duke. In Act 1, scene 2 the audience becomes aware of Othello's pure graciousness, for example: IAGO '...He will divorce you, or put upon you what restraint and grievance the law, with all his might to enforce it on will give him cable. OTHELLO 'Let him do his spite...' Despite Iago's stirring, Othello remains calm and awaits Brabantio admirably, as a man, not a coward. His courageous ways are also brought out as a leader, OTHELLO 'Hold for your lives!' Othello says this to hold his authority over the two men fighting; his entrance causes the men to break up almost immediately, which proves to all just how much dominance and control Othello has over his men. Othello can also be seen to be very respectful of is wife; this is a trait that was very rare in Shakespearian times. OTHELLO '...let her speak of me before her father. If you do find me foul in her report, The trust, the office I do hold of you, Not only take away, but let your sentence Even fall upon my life.' Othello honours Desdemona and treats her with admiration and value. This shows that Othello regards everyone as equal, man or woman. It also shows his great love for Desdemona; '...but let your sentence Even fall upon my life.' This shows Othello's great commitment to Desdemona, if she gave an unsatisfactory answer, Othello would gladly give up his life; she is what he lives for. And his immense love for her is the thing that tortures him the most whilst under Iago's poison later on in the play. ...read more.


OTHELLO 'And yet how nature erring from itself-' - line 229 This quotation shows Othello's increasing insecurity, he begins to wonder why Desdemona chose him when she could have had a white, young man. In Shakespearian times, it was considered 'unnatural for two people of a different colour to marry, which is what he means by 'nature erring from itself' Iago encourages these thoughts and causes Othello to begin to think back through every time he saw Desdemona and Cassio together, suspecting. From here on, everything will be a suspicion for Othello. Following this, Iago begins to burrow deeper into his apprehensions. During a soliloquy, Othello addresses his weaknesses and distances himself from Desdemona; evidence of this is in lines 269-270: OTHELLO 'She's gone, I am abused, and my relief Must be to loathe her...' In this quotation it is clear to the audience that Othello is beginning to turn hostile. Within this soliloquy, Othello mentions that he is a bad public speaker; the audience know that this is completely untrue; this proves just how vulnerable Othello feels, and just to make matters worse, he is completely in love with Desdemona. Later, there is clear evidence of antagonism in Othello. He is completely convinced of Desdemona's infidelity. He bids farewell, not only to his nobility but also everything that makes him a man. OTHELLO 'Farewell! Othello's occupation gone.' - Line 358 There is a repetition of farewell, which shows Othello's despair. He is also incredibly aggressive towards Iago: OTHELLO 'Villian, be sure thou prove my love a whore, Be sure of it; give me the ocular proof... Thou hadst been better have been born a dog Than answer my waked wrath.' This shows Othello's becoming of a barbarian and his need for proof. As is typical of Iago, he attempts to truly break Othello down by asking for what kind of proof and speaking aloud rude images: IAGO 'Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys,' This is on line 404 and this annoys Othello, as they are not only sexual but also animalistic references. ...read more.


The fourth dramatic effect is suspense; this is a dramatic effect that appears frequently throughout the play. Suspense is the essence of Othello and it's the greatest dramatic effect for drawing the audience closer to the characters and creating relationships with them. OTHELLO 'Damn her, lewd minx! O damn her, damn her! Come go with me apart. I will withdraw To furnish me with some swift means of death For the fair devil...' This quotation really just proves to the audience what a beast-like human-being Othello has become. The audience can see in this passage that Othello intends to kill Desdemona; this fills them with fear and suspense. What could be more exciting than a murder based on lies? The audience can easily guess that someone is about to die, but the question of 'who' exclaims in each head of every member of the audience. Conclusion Othello is most certainly one of the most incredible tragedies I've ever read, this play could so easily be made into a multi-award winning film the play is timeless, so beautifully crafted and carefully pieced together that it doesn't matter that the timing and structure of the play is impossible, Shakespeare knew how to give the ingenious edge to fiction, transforming it into fact. My favorite character was the notorious Iago, the most frightful and complex character Shakespeare ever created. Iago is the character demonstrating all the evil in a play full of strangely noble, unprejudiced people. In the time of Shakespeare, the circumstances would leave Desdemona and Othello's marriage in shambles; in the play all these vicious forces of society are centered on Iago, he's the representative of the tribe in the real world. And his wonderfully malicious nature is emphasized by the fact that he's the only one quite so horrid in this play. The audiences shudder at Iago, not because he is horrifically brutal but because of the aspects in his personality that we recognize in our own lives but don't have enough courage to utter. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    How does Shakespeare use language and stagecraft to show Othello's changing feelings towards Dedemona ...

    4 star(s)

    She is becoming more of an object to him than a soul mate, as many wives were considered at the time. Next, he says: "If she be false, O then heaven mocks itself! I'll not believe't" Despite Iago's words, he refuses to believe that she is unfaithful.

  2. Peer reviewed

    How does Shakespeare create an effective villain through his presentation of Iago in the ...

    3 star(s)

    This is another rhetorical device. It talks about how Iago is going to manipulate Cassio to his own good. The word "parallel" gives you the idea of exact opposites - good and bad, happy and sad, as well as "virtue into pitch" when talking about Desdemona.

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

    The fact that Othello's race is such a big deal to him and others makes it seem quite possible that Desdemona would leave him for this reason. And all it takes is for Iago to amplify this prospect and Othello is hanging on his every word.

  2. Essay on 'Othello'

    is a derogatory connotation, which is a play on the phrase 'his worship.' Iago proves to Roderigo just how much he hates Othello, by insulting him and by slandering Cassio. With all of this hatred Iago has he causes the demotion of Cassio, the murder of Desdemona, the suicide of Othello and the downfall of himself.

  1. How important is it that Othello is black?

    justifications in order to come to terms with Othello, his race and his presence in the play. In his criticism Calderwood focuses on Othello as an extreme outsider amongst the Venetians: "Moors were simply outsiders, the other who is not like us" however he concludes by awarding Othello his acceptance due to Othello's Christianity.

  2. ' To the Shakerspearean audience, the notion of mixed marriages was not just unnatural, ...

    Brabantio : 'Damned as thou art, thou hast enchanted her:' (1.2.63) This means that Brabantio is unable to imagine that his daughter would willfully decieve him, which is understandable given her past and the patriarchal society in which she lived.

  1. How Does Iago Successfully Manipulate Othello in Shakespeare

    Iago then talks to himself (creating audience awareness) at the end of act 2, scene 1 of his plans to make Othello jealous by making it appear that Cassio is sleeping with Desdemona. Iago then plans to inform Othello of the 'happenings' and hopes Othello will reward him for his 'loyalty'.

  2. The film Revolutionary Road and the play Othello both exhibit conflicting marriages.

    This conflict is summed up by Frank's reply to John's question asking Frank and April, the protagonist (Frank's wife), why they were leaving America and what they were running away from, Frank replies, "maybe we are running, running away from the hopeless emptiness of the whole life here."

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