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The Characters of Othello, Cassio and Iago.

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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.

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