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‘Ultimately, in this Shakespearian drama, it is the representation of intense human relationships that’s captivates audiences’

By gita_pastro97 Sep 04, 2014 1110 Words
‘Ultimately, in this Shakespearian drama, it is the representation of intense human relationships that’s captivates audiences’ Shakespeare’s plays are famously renowned for their intimate connections between character and responder, creating significant relationships relevant to audiences today. Othello focuses on relationships between lovers, families, friends and foes, to captivate the responder and express concerns and ideas of human nature. The intense relationship between Othello and Iago plays centre piece to the play and it is through betrayal of trust and manipulation leading to the downfall of the protagonist that relates to audiences and captivates their attention. Both characters are portrayed as the stereotypical binomial opposite’s positive vs. negative, good vs evil. Othello, the noble, honest and brave General represents good and virtue whereas Iago, his bitter, evil, misogynistic Officer represents everything evil, immoral and destructive. However, early in the play it can be seen to the responder that the chief dispute and conflict that arises, is a conflict between two men who had, up to this point been the closest and warmest of friends. Evidence for Othello’s trust in his friend and servant can be seen in Act 1 Scene 3 where he says; "Honest Iago, / My Desdemona must I leave to thee: / I prithee, let thy wife attend on her: / And bring them after in the best advantage" when Othello entrusts Iago with the responsibility of escorting his new bride Desdemona to Cyprus, and asks him to have Iago's wife Emilia be her companion. However it is Othello’s naivety and unremitting trust in Iago that leads to his eventual downfall. This is an effective technique in capturing audience attention by rousing an aggravating frustration within the responder. Through the use of foreshadowing right from the onset, the responder is instantly conscious of the mindset of the antagonists’ feelings towards Othello. “Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago. / In following him, I follow but myself./Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,/But seeming so, for my peculiar end./For when my outward action doth demonstrate/The native act and figure of my heart/In compliment extern, ’tis not long after /But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve/For daws to peck at. I am not what I am.” In this line spouted by Iago In act 1, scene 1, Iago is talking to Roderigo, explaining that although he is upset and angered by the fact that Othello chose to promote Michael Cassio as Lieutenant rather than himself, he is has no intention of objecting or quitting his position as Othello’s most trusted officer but instead plans to silently plot against him. This is the basis of the complaint of Iago, and at once rouses his suspicion and bitter resentment, turning him into an abiding but stealthy enemy. From this point onwards the responder is fully aware of Iago’s intentions and is thrown into an internal struggle, wanting to warn the other characters of their upcoming inevitable fate. Immediately, Iago indicates signs of jealousy towards Cassio, and this sparks as his motive for his destruction and downfall of the Moor. Iago hatches series of plans to overthrow Cassio and gain revenge, by getting him drunk and subsequently losing his military position. However as the plot develops, and Iago is promoted to his intended rank as lieutenant, a new bitterness arises from rumours that Othello has slept with his wife Emilia. Iago reveals that he holds resentment towards the moor in his soliloquy “I hate the Moor; /And it is thought abroad that twixt my sheets/ He has done my office: I know not if’t be true; /But I, for mere suspicion in that kind, /Will do as it for surety.” It is then that Iago hatches his malicious plan to destroy Othello’s character by sabotaging his relationship with Desdemona, leading Othello to believe that she is being unfaithful to him with Cassio. This stems the intense jealousy of the protagonist, instigating the fatal flaw that leads to his eventual downfall. It is through this powerful relationship symbolising tension and foreshadowed events between friend and which sets the play up for its culmination, captivating and generating intrigue within the responder. Likewise, the relationship between Othello and his new bride Desdemona is one that through its skilful portrayal of intimacy and passion that creates tension, thus captivating the responder. Shakespeare explores themes of love, lust, intimacy and the expectations of women within society. The emotional connection between the two lovers, is strong yet their love is naïve and impulsive. Desdemona willingly betrays her loving father by eloping with a man she barely knows. In Act 1 Scene 3, Brabantio questions his daughter; “Do you perceive in all this noble company, where most you owe obedience?” Desdemona responding with;

“My noble father, I do perceive here a divided duty. /To you I am bound for life and education…both do earn me how to respect you; /you are the lord of duty; I am hitherto your daughter. /But here’s my husband; and so much duty as my mother showed /To you, preferring you before her father, /So much I challenge that I may profess,/ Due to the Moor my lord.” Although the composer presents Desdemona’s undying love and loyalty to Othello, her father speaks, foreshadowing forthcoming events “She has deceived her father and may thee” The relationship between Othello and Desdemona views as an opportunity for Iago to carry out his malicious plan to inaugurate the downfall of the main characters. Through manipulation of the couple’s trust and naivety Iago successfully transforms the kind, loving and passionate nature of Othello, into the envious, exacting and suspicious husband that falls into the intricate Spider webs of lies cast by the conniving Antagonist to ensure his demise. It is this manipulation of character that sculpts and changes the fate of the play which sparks intrigue within audiences and captivates the responder. From this analysis of relationships within the play, it can be seen that through the development of the underlying tension between characters that Shakespeare’s Othello is a clear representation of the human condition. The relationship between Othello and Iago is extremely significant, provoking interest through the manipulation of Othello’s fatal flaws that inevitably lead to his demise. Likewise the relationship between Othello and Desdemona play an equally significant role in stimulating interest within an audience as it feeds as the motive behind Iago’s evil transgressions. Together, from the study of these two relationships it can be seen it that in this Shakespearian drama, it is the representation of such intense human relationships that generates interest and captivates audiences.

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