Othello Essay

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In Shakespeare’s Othello, the titled character is as much a victim of his own weaknesses as of Iago’s plotting. Write an essay that explores how Shakespeare has constructed Othello’s character with a particular focus on the language and dramatic devices of the play. Shakespeare’s play Othello of the early 17th century explores the vices of human nature. Othello’s downfall comes as a result of his personal flaws which are exploited by his most trusted advisor, Iago. Through the use of dramatic irony and dialogue, audiences are alerted to Othello’s proud and irrational nature as well as his personal vices of jealousy and insecurity. Iago’s plotting capitalises on this and exploits Othello through the insinuation of a fabricated affair between Desdemona and Cassio. Resultant of his pride and emphasis on status, Desdemona is seen as an unwanted blemish on his reputation. Consequently, Shakespeare’s characterisation of Othello as an outsider becomes the root of the play’s tragic events and Othello’s failures, not only to Iago’s plotting but as a victim of his own weaknesses. The characterisation of Othello as an outsider forms one of the main reasons for Othello to fall victim. Shakespeare initially characterises Othello as a Moor, proud of his status and power which he believes “shall out tongue” Brabantio’s complaints. This power and status is displayed in Act 1 Scene 2 in which Othello claims ‘I fetch my life and being from men of royal siege…’ showing his confidence in himself. This alerts audiences to Othello’s self-proclaimed ranking within the Venetian society. However, as the play progresses, Othello is shown to carry several personality flaws such as his personal insecurities and vulnerability to jealousy. Othello’s past factors into his perspective of the most things as he has had little experience out of his military past. This is primarily shown through his speech and viewpoint explaining how Desdemona became attracted to him in Act 1 Scene 3 in which...
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