The Power of Language: Othello

Topics: Othello, Iago, Brabantio Pages: 3 (1024 words) Published: September 26, 2010
The Power Of Language: Othello

Othello is a 17th Century tragedy written by William Shakespeare. This text centres around four characters: Othello, his wife Desdemona, his lieutenant Cassio, and his trusted advisor Iago. This text is one of wiliam shakespeares most famous plays that uses aristotilean tragedy conventions and is still greatly valued. Language plays an important role in expressing ideas in Othello. The characters in this text reveal many values and beliefs of the context through the use of language. The major themes in this text are gender, racism, love, jealousy and betrayal and these themes are still very relevant to present day society. Through the course of ‘Othello’ many different techniques are used such as imagery, metaphors and similies. Through these techniques many things are revealed such as the values and beliefs of the context. One of the many issues brought up in this play is gender inequality. The context in which this play is set in is a patriarchal society. Women are mistreated and silenced by this patriarchal society throughout this play, for example in Act 4 Scene 1 when Othello hits and insults Desdemona in public when he finds out that Cassio has taken over his position in Cyprus. Iago displays an arrogant and misogynous attitude towards women. He views them as subordinate and the inferior sex. Much to the disappointment of Desdemona and Emilia, he expresses his views on women as merely sexual objects; they’re to satisfy man’s desires as shown by when he says: “Come on, come on. You are pictures out of door, bells in your parlors, wild-cats in your kitchens, saints in your injuries, devils being offended, players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds.” (2.1.109-111). This demonstrates Iago’s conventional and stereotypical views of women. Iago has an unhappy marriage to Emilia. He criticizes his wife continually, for example when he comments to Cassio that he would have experienced enough if Emilia treats him with...
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