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The importance of language in Othello

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In the extract being analysed there are numerous instances where William Shakespeare transformed characteristics of spoken language, those characteristics are meant to make the discourse more believable and aid the dramatic effect within the scene. In the extract, we see the Machiavellian character Iago influencing the easily malleable Roderigo, coaxing him into attacking and hopefully killing Cassio. The tension grows within the text at this point because as soon as the events begin to unfold there is know way for the scheming Iago to turn back and rectify the situation. The final discourse between Iago and Roderigo is quick and full of Iago encouraging Roderigo to be bold and fight Cassio. ...read more.


When Cassio arrives on the scene Roderigo is mentally prepared for the battle and the audience fears for Cassio because he has no idea that the conniving Iago has setup Roderigo to kill him. Shakespeare shows us Roderigo's thought process, immediately before he draws his sword upon Cassio, he says, 'I know his gait. 'Tis he. Villain, thou diest!' The first parts of that quote were said in his head but he charges at Cassio saying 'thou diest' this shows he has been able to overcome fear and do as he is instructed. Cassio appears to be prepared for the encounter as he is quick to mobilise to the battle, 'But that my coat is better than thou know'st I will make proof of thine' is the last thing said by either men before they start to fight, the audience is immediately drawn because they wonder who shall win. ...read more.


The re-emergence of Iago takes the dramatic effect to a high level because at any second his cover could be unveiled and his plan foiled, however once again he shows great guile in manipulating the characters around him. He assumes the role he commonly takes of the subordinate and asks questions as though he does not know what is happening. 'Who's here? Whose noise is this that cries on murder?' Is a quote showing Iago pretending not to know what the commotion is about. The audience is not entirely shocked when Iago stabs and kills his accomplice Roderigo to stop him from foiling his plans, because it is obvious that Iago wants to attain power by any means possible. ...read more.

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