• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What contribution does Cassio make to the concerns and effects of the play 'Othello'?

Extracts from this document...


What contribution does Cassio make to the concerns and effects of the play 'Othello'? In your answer you should: * Set out clearly ways in which Shakespeare presents the character of Cassio; * Explain your own views of his role in the play; * Comment on what the play suggests about the effects of human weaknesses. Shakespeare presents Cassio as a balanced character, essentially honest and trustworthy, who, although he does have some weaknesses, he has weaknesses which are understandable and not in the extreme, thus contributing to the concerns and effects of weaknesses in Othello. He also provides a contrast to Iago, who seems to delight in evil, shown through the contrast of language between Iago and Cassio, which reflects their differences in social status. It is, in my opinion, Cassio's role to be manipulated unknowingly and used by Iago as the tool to get what he wants. Cassio is a person respected and highly trusted by Othello so when Othello suspects him of having an affair with his wife he is unable to trust anyone, including Desdemona, contributing to the tragic events in the play. ...read more.


He is not, however, as inexperienced as Iago suggests in terms of fighting: he wounds Montano in the drunken brawl and comes off better than Roderigo in the fight at the end. Although this skill may have been due to his noble education where he would have learnt to fence, he would probably not have needed to use his experience on the battlefield like Iago. Cassio is important to the play as a tragedy because he is the only man left standing at the end. This means that he gets the position of general, showing how after the turmoil of the tragedy, with people trying to move to a rank that society rules will not allow, everything returns to order, with the suitable man for the job, Cassio, taking over Othello's place. This would have been expected by the Jacobean audience that the play was originally written for. In Shakespeare's time, there would have been no change in social status of an individual and although this may seem unfair today, this was a comfortable arrangement in a society where everyone had their place. ...read more.


Because Othello trusts Cassio so much at the beginning of the play, when Othello suspects him, he is unable to trust anyone (including Desdemona) other that the person who showed him Cassio's 'untrustworthiness' (Iago.) Othello's weakness of assuming Cassio feels as passionately about Desdemona as he does, is what makes Othello believe Iago's tales so readily. The play works only through the combination of the weaknesses of the characters. Iago's weakness of over-ambition allows him to use Cassio's minor weaknesses of "poor and unhappy brains for drinking" and his relationship with Bianca to bring him to the point where he talks about her, giving Othello his 'proof'. This is only accepted as proof because Othello is blinded by his weaknesses of jealousy and his weakness to assume that others feel like he does about Desdemona. Cassio's treatment of Bianca would seem harsh in today's society, but the Jacobean audience would accept his using her as appropriate to her class and character and would recognize her acceptance of the arrangement. Cassio also has an unattractive awareness of the advantages of rank when he points out that "the lieutenant is to be saved before the ancient." ...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
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work