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How does Othellos character change over the course of the play?

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Introduction

How does Othello's character change over the course of the play? Othello changes the most drastically, from being an affectionate and respectful General, modifying into a violent, ruthless man. A.C Bradley quite rightly quotes "If such a passion as jealousy seizes him, it will swell into a well-night incontrollable flood". This dormant emotion would inevitably be released in a fury of furious rage once Iago penetrated his delicate mind. From the start of the play the audience encounters a well-honest decent person, even being respectful to Brabantio "Good seignior" after he accuses him of stealing his "white ewe". Throughout Othello's life, he has earned respect, climbing his way up the ranks, despite his skin tone, and expects respect back. Displaying his intense love for Desdemona, "I won his daughter" almost treating Love as a game, but, loving her deeply that when he kills her out of sheer anger, suicide is the only escape from a life without his love. As Iago works his magic "scurvy and provoking terms against your honour", the seeds of jealousy has been growing, all it takes for Othello to tip over the edge is ideas, trickling over the course of the play, growing his jealously, and when the seeds have blossomed into a green monstrous mess of abstract thoughts, Othello will "arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow cell!". ...read more.

Middle

He has reached the highest peak in his life, marrying Desdemona. He's not a troubled man, he doesn't expect trouble to plague him. In effect he's a simple man, only doing what is required of him. The trust and respect he has accumulated keeps him afloat "My services which I have done the signiory Shall out-tongue his complaints", the virtues in Othello have become a pleasing factor resulting in equal respect being shown back to him, apart from the isolated references to Othello's colour. The term 'Ignorance is bliss' comes to mind when thinking of Othello, up until Act 3 Scene 3 Othello hasn't been bombarded with Iago's scheming ways, and so, has no reason to be questioning his love, but the thoughts were never implanted by Iago, but were rather dormant, always in Othello's mind but never triggered, until Iago started to tap at this unforgotten idea, breaking the shackles that once tamed this 'beast'. Once it's been released, it starts to consume his mind, bit by bit. "When Cassio left my wife. What didst not like?" From this point Othello becomes a victim of Iago's mind games and due to Othello being too trustworthy to Iago always referring Iago to "Honest Iago" the bond he shares with him is almost unbreakable. ...read more.

Conclusion

Othello has almost taken on the role off Iago, scheming behind Desdemona's back, plotting against her, the same Jealousy that consumed Iago has taken over Othello, in a more aggressive fashion. Intense love delves into intense hate. "How shall I murder him, Iago?" Othello, you could say, is under the spell of Iago, he listens to him in every instance, as the audience reading this, it becomes shocking at how far Othello has changed, at the start of the play Othello, judging by his kindness to others, it would seem as he would never kill outside of battle. Now he's becoming just as devious as Iago. Which leads to the inevitable death of the last women he will love. Othello's character is a victim of foul-play. From being a courteous person to a rampaging "ram". Othello is the perfect example of what deceit and lies can do to one without a mentally strong mind, his intense love for Desdemona is so deep that he can't fathom a life without a perfect relationship with her, one little idea and it destroys him, he thinks because of his race he may not be worthy of her, so tries desperately to cling onto to the one thing he treasures most. But insecurities in himself become his ultimate downfall. "Of one not easily jealous but, being wrought". ...read more.

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