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GCSE: Othello

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  1. What do you learn about Othello’s changing character and personality through an analysis of language style and structure?

    However Brabantio see him, as a great leader and fighter but does not trust him due to the colour of his skin. Brabantio used to love listening to Othello's stories and always used to invite him around. 'Her father loved me, oft invited me, Still questioned me the story of my life' This quote shows that Brabantio used to admire Othello but now he is accusing him of witchcraft because Desdemona has married him. During this trial we see Othello as a charismatic and expert speechmaker.

    • Word count: 2162
  2. The Use of Irony in William Shakespeare’s “Othello”

    The irony here is that the audience believes Iago, much as Othello believes him throughout the play. It is almost a reversal of dramatic irony: the character knows the truth, while the audience is misguided. But it may be said that he is correct, as later, Othello does use metaphors of war, such as "plumed troops" and "neighing steed". This takes the irony to another level: for once, Iago is telling the truth, and this is a particular flaw in Othello. But that is not to say that Iago is justified: he exaggerates Othello's love of war to portray him in a negative light, and the audience has an ironically bad image of Othello before meeting him.

    • Word count: 2157
  3. In What way is the “war like moor” flawed?Trace the stages of his demise and the affect it has on characters and events in the drama.

    This is when Othello has his anagnorisis, he realises that she was innocent and he killed her unjustly. Following this discovery Othello's fall from greatness begins, he is no longer respected and he loses his position in the army. The death of Othello restores the natural order of the play. Othello is introduced to the audience by other characters within the play. Iago undermines the audience's view of Othello as a hero, he focuses on Othello's race and sexuality to present Othello as negative. Iago uses lots of s****l imagery, talking about an "old black ram" and a "white ewe".

    • Word count: 2457
  4. In the opinion of F.R. Leavis, “Iago’s power is that he represents something that is in Othello.” To W.H. Auden, however, Iago was “a portrait of a practical joker of an appalling kind.”Discuss these and other ways of regarding Ia

    This is a view that is very difficult to substantiate, as it is not a view that is easily reconciled with the text. Moments such as: "Utter my thoughts? Why say they are vile and false?" (III, iiii) where Othello is almost using Iago as an outlet for his own suspicions and horrid imaginings. In this way, Iago is certainly representing something inside Othello in that he voices the Moor's fears as accusations. This can be interpreted by some as evidence of the sinister intelligence of Iago, that he is clever enough to see the possible cracks in the relationship between Desdemona and Othello, and exploit them to a degree where he induces Othello into murder.

    • Word count: 2138
  5. Examine Shakespeare’s presentation of Iago in act 1 and how this prepares the audience for his role in the rest of the play.

    Brabantio! Signor Brabantio, ho!" (act 1 sc 1) Where as Iago shouts to him saying, " Awake! What ho, Brabantio! Thieves! Thieves! Look to your house, your daughter, and your bags! Thieves! Thieves! " (act 1 sc1) By contrast Iago's way of awakening Brabantio is much more efficient as it was shouted and contain some words which would wake up any body, these words were thieves. Iago also says about Brabantio's daughter giving the impression that something has happened to her and he knows what but will not say.

    • Word count: 2079
  6. Othello has been called a ‘domestic tragedy’. What part do the three women play in the drama and how should they be portrayed in order to achieve maximum impact for a modern audience?

    A feature of the play that should be considered is the misogyny shown by the male characters. In the first scene of the play, the language used by Iago to describe the s****l acts of Desdemona and Othello is coarse, "an old black ram Is tupping your white ewe". The sexuality of women is valued little by the men in the play, except for Othello who seems to over-romanticise it. Iago is coarse and rude. Cassio is seen as a ladies man, but uses women for s*x. Roderigo shows very little knowledge of Desdemona but loves her for her beauty.

    • Word count: 2023
  7. Explore Bradley’s and Neeley’s interpretation of gender in Othello. Explain how much you agree or disagree.

    All tragic heroes have a flaw and many see Othello?s as his jealousy yet this is not unique to him as Iago and Bianca also are jealous at points in the play. I would say that Othello?s true fault is in his overbearing constructed masculinity that does not allow him to be flexible enough to cope with the trials of marriage nor the self-knowledge to halt the progress to his demise. Shakespeare wrote many of his plays in a time when the perceptions of love and marriage were changing.

    • Word count: 2222
  8. How has Iago made his ‘medicine work’ on Othello? Discuss the reasons for Othello’s credulity that allows it to work.

    [I. i. 11]. Iago feels that Cassio's experience is purely theoretical ("Mere prattle without practice is all his soldiership." Iago [I. i. 26-27]) whereas he has proven his worth in battle ("And I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof at Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds..." Iago [I. i. 28-29]). Immediately after this we see Iago's desire for revenge when he tells Roderigo "I follow him to serve my term upon him."[l. i. 42]. Iago also seems to believe that Othello has slept with Emilia, Iago's own wife. "For that I do suspect the lusty moor hath leapt into my seat..."

    • Word count: 2579
  9. Othello and Coleridge

    It was Iago's main objective to ruin Cassio whilst ruining Othello. Ironically, his schemes result in Cassio becoming governor of Cyprus once it has been discovered what happened. Iago also appears to not believe in love but only in l**t. He truly believes that Desdemona and Othello's marriage would have eventually ended even without his help because he assumes that after a while they will no longer l**t after one another. He believes that they are just fulfilling an animal instinct that has little to do with love.

    • Word count: 2148
  10. The strongest emotion Shakespeare shows us in Act 1 is Iagos jealousy of Cassio and Othello

    However each emotion individually isn?t enough to motivate the characters, it is only once their many emotions are combined that their actions become extreme. The play has an emotional intensity as it has no real secondary plot, as is common in Shakespeare?s plays. So although the jealousy Iago feels is very powerful, it is when all of his emotions act together that they reach their strongest point as they become focused and intensified, as happens to every character. Iago is one of the most intriguing characters Shakespeare has ever devised; he is also possibly the most villainous (with the obvious exception of Richard 111 who was portrayed by Shakespeare to be entirely evil in order to please Elizabeth 1).

    • Word count: 2079

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