How does Othello’s attitude towards Desdemona change towards the end of the play?
Throughout the play Othello’s feelings for Desdemona seem to change, from feelings of pure adoration to jealousy and betrayal. However, one thing remains constant, an intense passion in his emotions towards her. To begin, in the extract Othello uses a high volume of religious lexis to explain his pain at what he believes Desdemona has done (committed adultery with Cassio). From lines 47-52 Othello describes how he would rather contract any ‘affliction’ than to be betrayed by Desdemona, this implies that he now believes his love for Desdemona has turned into a disease that is destroying his strength (could also be related to the fits he suffers and bouts of insanity towards the end). Also these lines are a direct reference to the Old Testament (Book of Job) and this may have been picked up on by many of the highly religious audience during the period it was written in; making the meaning behind his words more comprehendible and relevant. However, as the extract progresses, Othello’s language deteriorate dramatically into a crass and vulgar tone, much like the instigator of the situation, Cassio. The torrent of religious terminology (which perhaps could be conceived as a more educated and upper class tone) is abruptly ended when Othello calls Desdemona an ‘Impudent Strumpet’, this is a sign that Othello has given up beating around the PROVERBIAL BUSH and is now willing to confront Desdemona’s actions in order for her to admit it. The word ‘strumpet’ was a more commonly used word for ‘whore’ during this period and certainly would have shocked the audience (as it still would today). The fact that this name calling is done using exclamatives way implies Othello’s anger towards his wife. This scene in itself is really the first occasion in the play that Othello confronts Desdemona regarding the suspicions of her so is written in a different context to another episode in the play where...
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