The Role of Drama in Othello

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The audience expects drama to entertain, stir emotions and provoke thought when viewed. All these three functions of drama are interrelated and cannot be studied independently. What defines a drama as a tragedy is its spectacular plots and overemotional characterization that enthral the audience into the world of the play. In theatre, the playwright uses the language of the characters and dramatic techniques to construct a view of the world and interrogate issues on the society of the time. The audience is positioned so the language and actions of the characters rouse their emotions and thus encourage them to question the ideas interrogated in the play. This can be seen in Othello, where Shakespeare uses language and dramatic irony to incite emotion in the audience, bringing them into the world of the play and encouraging them to make judgements on the issues presented. This contention can be proved in analysing the intense conversation between Iago and Othello in act three, scene three, followed by Iago’s devious aside. In this passage Iago poisons Othello’s mind forcing him to assume his wife unfaithful. It holds an important position in the play and marks the point where the tragic hero begins his personal destruction. The irony in Iago’s two faced language encourages the audience to hate him and enthrals them into the entertaining atmosphere of the drama. However, certain parts of the passage actually interrogate themes of jealousy, race, reputation and gender in Elizabethan times, positioning the audience to think and question the values of the Venetian state. The play Othello, entertains the audience by pulling them into the world of the play through the speech of the characters and encouraging a judgement of the characters. It is a text rich in dramatic irony and gives the viewer an external and impartial view of the character’s actions through the various asides. This openness allows the audience to be disgusted by Iago’s duplicitous and deceitful...
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