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GCSE: Othello

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 5
  • Peer Reviewed essays 24
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    Give a detailed analysis of Othello's final speech,

    3 star(s)

    This speech is important as it is the culmination of the whole play and all the issues raised as to the love and mind of "the Moor" are addressed. The whole last scene, Act 5 Scene 2 is a closing of the tragic and powerful story. This scene is as important as Act 2 Scene 2 or Act 4 Scene 1 all of which will be reviewed in this essay. The importance of each theme covered in Othello will also be looked at and I will investigate its meaning and why it was used as it was by Shakespeare.

    • Word count: 1699
  2. Peer reviewed

    Why Act 3, Scene 3 is a significant turning point in Othello

    5 star(s)

    He is regarded as a trusted general of Venice, and fights for his people with determination and pride. After his secret elopement with Desdemona, a wealthy senator's daughter, Othello has created a lot of anger and discredited himself, but he manages to maintain his dignified image, claiming "I fetch my life and being from men of royal siege", thus equalling himself to the noble senators. When challenged to a duel by the furious Brabantio, Othello ensures that the dispute will be settled by words and not fisticuffs, commanding "put up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them".

    • Word count: 1970
  3. Peer reviewed

    Iago is fascinating for his most terrible characteristic: his utter lack of convincing motivation for his actions.

    4 star(s)

    Thus making him both a powerful and compelling figure. He seems to be the puppeteer of all the other characters in the play, almost knowing what they think and feel and how they operate. He is the one that they trust and confide in and he uses this to his advantage, he enjoys being the one in control and therefore doesn't need much to convince himself that what he is doing is right. Iago is able to take the handkerchief from Emilia and know that he can deflect her questions; he is able to tell Othello of the handkerchief and know that Othello will not doubt him.

    • Word count: 1884
  4. Peer reviewed

    Imagery in Othello

    4 star(s)

    Iago's main agenda is to ruin the life of Othello, his master and general, and he achieves this by blackening and poisoning people's minds with his power of persuasion. Poison is a recurring image in the play and it first appears near the beginning of the play, where Iago and Roderigo go to inform Senator Brabantio that Othello has married his daughter, the fair Desdemona, and Iago most certainly goes in order to blacken Brabantio's idea of Othello. 'Call up her father...Plague him with flies,' (I, i, 68-71).

    • Word count: 1026
  5. Peer reviewed

    Explore Shakespeare's presentation of jealousy in 'Othello'

    4 star(s)

    However unlike Othello, Iago has a different forms of jealousy he holds; the form of personal and professional jealousy. This is linked to a feeling of envy which sets the play in motion. Iago says that hatred and jealousy "gnaw at his inwards" like poison, however his ultimate aim is to poison Cassio and Othello and make them suffer as he is. He believes that he has been "cuckolded," by his wife Emilia "For I fear Cassio with my nightcap too." However we are never told if Iago' suspicions are true yet jealousy seems to absorb him until he has destroyed everything in his way.

    • Word count: 1165
  6. Peer reviewed

    How does Shakespeare explore the theme of loyalty in Othello?

    3 star(s)

    Whether or not Iago has a capacity to be trusting is not clear in the play, however his untrustworthiness would counterbalance any signs of his ability to trust others. Although he believes Othello has abused his trust in not promoting him to be his lieutenant, you get the impression that he would use any event as an excuse to justify his villainy. Although Othello is absolutely trustworthy, his fault lies in his ability to trust others. The Senate and the people of Cyprus hold him in high regard.

    • Word count: 1245
  7. Peer reviewed

    Discuss the significance of Act III sc. iii with particular reference to how Shakespeare creates dramatic tension

    3 star(s)

    Othello also uses a lot of short sentences such as "O misery" and "Ha?" and could indicate anger and also that he is not thinking clearly and that, because he is black and a 'moor', not fluent with the language and feels ill at ease and he can't fit in with the rest of society and feels an 'outcast' and so might be more prone to Iago's lies and deceit than anyone else. Another way that Shakespeare creates dramatic tension is Iago saying long, fluent sentences which juxtaposes Othello saying short sentences.

    • Word count: 1358
  8. Peer reviewed

    Appearances and assumptions in Shakespeare's Othello

    3 star(s)

    Nobody suspects that Iago is a deceitful man and that he would scheme and plan to destroy the characters of Othello, Cassio and Desdemona in such a cunning and cruel way. Iago uses his reputation, as well as the insecurities of Othello, to allow him to manipulate and ultimately destroy Othello. Othello has a reputation of being a military man, and a courageous leader. "Valiant Othello, We must straight employ you..." "Here comes Brabantio and the valiant Moor." Othello was chosen when they went to fight the Turkish fleet.

    • Word count: 1179
  9. Peer reviewed

    What techniques does Shakespeare use to reveal Iago's villainy?

    3 star(s)

    Othello interestedly says "what dost thou say, Iago?" Iago the produces a question "Did Michael Cassio, when you woo'd my lady know of your love?" which is, in this case, the first question to doubt Othello's mind. Othello replies with "he did, from first to last, why dost thou ask?" meaning Cassio did know about their love, Othello is a it confused by the question so asks Iago why he asked, Iago then sneakily continues with "but for satisfaction of my thought, no further harm" and this is to keep Othello interested but still in doubt of what's going on and what's the point of it all.

    • Word count: 1931
  10. Othello Essay. The theme of deception.

    This clearly shows the readers what Iago's true intentions are. The ability to "seem something" but to "be something else" allows the readers to be manipulated into thinking that Iago is of a "honest" nature. Iago's true intentions of decieving everyone who is close to him allows us to see just how deceptive and manipulative Iago is. His level of betrayal clearly indicates that he is alining himself with the devil by sneaking around and hiding secrets from those we consider his family and friends. This is because he goes out of his way to decieve and betray the other characters showing that Iago is the exact opposite to what he is known as, "honest Iago" without anyone actually being aware of what is happening around them.

    • Word count: 1098
  11. The film Revolutionary Road and the play Othello both exhibit conflicting marriages.

    Othello and Desdemona love each other harmoniously because of the differences they perceived in each other. These differences then become distorted during the course of the play by a heinous, manipulative interloper, Iago, a man who cannot bear to see Othello happy with Desdemona and so plans to destroy him, as he says, "Oh, you are well tuned now, but I'll set down the pegs that make this music", when he sees the two reunite and kiss. Othello's status as an outsider is the reason he is such an easy prey for narcissistic Iago.

    • Word count: 1956
  12. Who in your opinion is really responsible for the deaths of Desdemona and Othello? Use evidence from the text to support your opinion.

    One of the people who had a part in their deaths was Iago. His jealously and hatred of Othello caused him to manipulate and lie to almost everyone in the play. Iago was against Othello from the very beginning, even being one of the two people to tell Desdemona's father, Brabantio, about the secret wedding. He informs him by saying; "A black ram is tupping your white ewe," (Act 1, Scene 1), which is deliberately stirring up trouble and aggravating Brabantio.

    • Word count: 1068
  13. Othello and 'O' Comparative Essay

    This not only clearly accentuates Othello's depiction as an outsider and isolation with Venetian society but foreshadows Othello's later downfall. Compared to Shakespeare's poetic and dramatic techniques, Nelson introduces r****m through cinematic depictions of white pigeons, representative of the white society, juxtaposed with the motif of the black hawk, representing Odin. Nelson also presents r****m through the Dean, a figurehead of the prejudiced white society, who contradicts the allegedly 'culturally-tolerant' values by remarking "I heard you've had run-ins with the police" to disclose his stereotyped perceptions of the African American race, implying they are criminals and dangerous people.

    • Word count: 1178
  14. Who is to blame for the tragedy of Othello?

    He also doesn't handle situations that he's in very well or at least not in the right way. Instead of trying to talk, he just lashes out and doesn't let anyone explain what's happening, he shows this quality when he learns that Desdemona is supposedly cheating on him he just lashes out and "he strikes her", as the stage direction says. This shows how much he lets his emotions take over him and make him do things and think things that aren't rational, this also shows how he could be to blame as if he didn't act so rashly then he could of found out the truth and not caused so much pain and death.

    • Word count: 1668
  15. Free essay

    Othello English Coursework

    The focus of our essay is to show the various ways in which Shakespeare creates a good and tragic play for the reader to enjoy. The main focus is to explain the three different chapters which have been chosen for this essay and to explain how they are the best three chapters of the entire play. Act 1 Scene 3: Act 1 Scene 3 is set in a Council chamber in which there is a discussion happening with the Turkish, and how the Venetians are helping with the war effort.

    • Word count: 1056
  16. How does Shakespeare create dramatic impact in Act 3 Scene 3 of Othello?

    We don't only see this in Act 3 Scene 3 however, this is also portrayed in Act 1 Scene 3 when he persuades Roderigo to join him in seeking revenge over Othello by telling Roderigo that Othello and Desdemona will soon tire of one another; 'come, be a man', suggesting that Roderigo will not be worthy enough unless he joins him. One of the techniques he uses to do so is his use of clever, manipulative language. Clever language such as; 'my lord, you know I love you', this draws Othello in, who he is speaking to, pretending that he has love for him and giving him false ideas.

    • Word count: 1355
  17. Commentary on Iagos soliloquy (1.3.365-386)

    Having moments earlier told Rodrigo that "I have professed me thy friend", Iago commences his soliloquy by sneering at the gullibility of Rodrigo mocking "thus do I ever make my fool my purse"; the repeated use of the possessive pronoun conveys the extent to which Iago is able to control Roderigo through deception as well as his belief in his superiority over Roderigo. Roderigo is belittled by Iago further as he describes Roderigo as a "snipe" - a flightless bird - alluding perhaps to Roderigo's inability to escape his influences.

    • Word count: 1131
  18. Othello extract Analysis (3.3.435-476)

    The importance of the handkerchief is, unfortunately, noticed by Iago as he bid Emilia to steal it "a hundred times". Whilst the origins of the handkerchief are clearly not of importance to Othello as he gives two entirely different accounts of how it came into his possession, this extract shoes the significance of the handkerchief to Othello as upon his false realisation that Desdemona has given it to Cassio, he declares "now do I see 'tis [Iago's accusation] true". Though Rhymer's summary of Othello accepts the importance of the handkerchief, it does not appreciate the complex web of symbols behind the handkerchief.

    • Word count: 1454
  19. Othello English Coursework

    Othello's response shows that he is starting to believe what Iago is saying by responding "I think thou dost". At this stage the audience may feel nervous and uneasy because they see what Iago is thinking and see his devilish plan taking shape. Paragraph Two Another device Iago uses is pretence Emilia quickly departs, Iago says to Othello "One of this kind is Cassio in sleep I heard him say Sweet Desdemona let us be wary, let us hide our loves and then sir would he gripe and wring my hand" Iago does this to make Othello believe that Desdemona is unfaithful and feel insecure.

    • Word count: 1415
  20. The women in Othello are presented by Shakespeare as victims. To what extent do you agree with this claim?

    In 'Othello' Desdemona is introduced as a woman that contradicts the stereotype of women during Jacobean times. She is described like a goddess by many men during the play, 'She is indeed perfection' is how Cassio describes her in Act I. Othello begins to think of her as his trophy and prized possession, but despite all the attention and praise she receives, she does not become arrogant or boastful and remains eloquent and lady-like, showing how she is worthy of being deified.

    • Word count: 1632

    'honest Iago', and he is the one person in which Othello confides and who he unquestionably believes when he implies that Desdemona's had been unfaithful to him. Iago's character is complex, but in Act I, Scene 1, in which he describes his disgust at being overlooked as Othello's lieutenant, "And I, of whom his eyes have seen the proof... must be be-leed and calmed" (1.1.27), "Preferment goes by letter and affection (1.1.35) (he implies that Cassio does not deserve to be lieutenant but was given the post because of nepotism), the audience becomes aware that the primary motivation for Iago is revenge and anger; revenge for Cassio replacing him and anger at Othello who has overlooked him.

    • Word count: 1962
  22. Othello Essay

    In Act 3 Scene 3 Iago uses a number of devices to convince Othello of Desdemona's infidelity. One of the devices Iago uses effectively is the repetition of phrases throughout the Act. This device can be used to a great effect as the same point keeps on being repeated. The use of repetition triggered Othello's doubts upon his wife as Iago pretends to "protect" her hideous secret. 101 IAGO Indeed? 102 OTHELLO Indeed? Ay, indeed! Discern'st thou aught in that? Is he not honest? 104 IAGO Honest, my lord? 105 OTHELLO Honest? Ay, honest. 106 IAGO My lord, for aught I know.

    • Word count: 1124
  23. How does the presentation of Iago in Act1 sn1 lines 41-66 and Act1 sn3 lines 365-385 prepare the audience for the tragedy of Othello?

    Iago's exploitative nature is communicated to the audience when he is talking to Roderigo about how he dislikes the "Moor" and says, "I follow him to serve my turn upon him." This statement reveals Iago's feelings towards Othello, as well as an insight into the way he thinks and his priorities in life. This suggests that Iago's motive is just to climb to the top of society without regard or respect for anyone else's emotions. An example of this is when Iago is telling Roderigo how he feels about certain types of employees, the types that "line their coats".

    • Word count: 1782
  24. Othello: Did Othello(TM)s Nobility Lead Unto His Own Demise?

    Othello's lack of knowledge about Venetian people (primarily women), is something which Iago has knowledge of, and which he uses in a Machiavellian way. His origin is that of Africa, which ties in with his insecurity, as he may think aside to himself, "I'm not of Venetian origin, yet Iago is. So how do I know whether these women are tainted or not?" These very thoughts could raise his doubts towards his belief of whether Desdemona is deceiving him or not.

    • Word count: 1609
  25. Othello Essay

    He gets the help of Iago to help him fit into this society. Iago becomes a tutor to him. This is shown when Othello asks 'What should I do now, Iago?' as though he needs permission and confirmation from Iago before anything is done. Iago helps him understand his environment which Othello seems may be unclear of like when marrying Desdemona he couldn't understand that she belonged to her Father and that Othello needed her Father's permission for Desdemona's hand in marriage. Iago is a master manipulator and possesses coldness in his heart and effortlessly manipulates everyone around him.

    • Word count: 1015

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?

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