Othello is a play based on love and rivalry. It is a romantic tragedy, a popular writing topic for Shakespeare. In this essay I will be discussing how love is portrayed between Othello and Desdemona. To effectively show the level of love between Othello and Desdemona Shakespeare must use different techniques, including language and structure. Features like these can decipher the love between Othello and Desdemona.
As we don’t straight away meet Othello we have to listen and trust the words of Iago and Brabantio. From their conversation in Act 1 Scene 1. We therefore misjudge the characters and see Othello as the malcontent and Iago as the poor Hero for whom Othello as denied the promotion. But upon first meeting Othello we realise how Iago is the desperado and Othello is actually a kind man. By the end of Act 1 scene 2 my opinion of Othello had completely changed. He is very polite and well mannered. Unlike the other male characters he feels no need for violence. Even though he is spoken of with little admiration he is a very powerful soldier and a brave man.
At the start of Act 1 Scene 1 we get a very negative impression of Othello as a person, and as a soldier. We find this impression from Iago when to talks to Roderigo. You also discover this from the upsetting accusations from Brabantio in the first scene. Brabantio accuses Othello of stealing his daughter with witchcraft. We see this from such descriptions as “thou foul thief” and “abuser of the world”. After this we perceive Othello as dirty, and disrespectful. He is treated as though he has low status and power. The language used to describe Othello portrays him as a villain and as he is never called by his name but only “the moor” we get a very clear view of how he is distinguished from other soldiers and treated.
Through the language Shakespeare uses in Othello’s speech it clearly shows the love present between Othello and Desdemona in Othello’s first speech. (Line 76-94) He tries desperately to explain his reason for marrying Desdemona. He does state that he hasn’t committed any other offences but the one of marrying Brabantio’s daughter Desdemona. The “head and front” of his “offending” is marrying her. He shows in this speech the low opinion he has of himself and apologises, confessing how he is “rude in his speech.” And he knows he won’t be able to defend himself from allegations made towards him. Othello then blames war for his lack of education. Telling the tale of how he has devoted his life to war from the age of seven, calling it “seven years pith” and therefore is not trained with use of language in is speeches. Even though Othello demeans himself with his accusation of being “little blest” with the “phrase of peace”. He in fact speaks with poise and hints of a commendable education from his mannerism and choice of words.
Shakespeare delays the introduction of such a bold and important character like Desdemona until mid-way through Act 1 scene 3. Even when she enters she doesn’t speak until after the Duke and Brabantio have spoken. I think Shakespeare chose this method to highlight the role of women in the late sixteenth and seventeenth century. She is spoken of by men and disrespected before she is even invited to join the conversation. In Shakespearean times women were treated as possessions Brabantio confirms this theory by referring to Desdemona as his “jewel” and asking where she “owed obedience” speaking of her as a pet rather than a woman. As Shakespeare touches upon the expected role of women by introducing her late and letting her speak only after two domineering male figures had made their opinion heard. Desdemona is then respectful by realising her “divided duty” to her father for raising her but also to her husband. She is in addition courageous and independent for her time. This in turn allows us to see how strong a character...