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Act Iii, Scene Iii Of Shakespeare's Othello

1959 words - 8 pages

In this piece of course work I was told to look in depth at scene III of the play 'Othello'. I will begin by telling you the outline of the scene, then a closer look in to the scene.Desdemona decides that she wants to advocate for Cassio. She tells Emilia so, and that she believes Cassio is a good person, and has been wronged in this case; she pledges to do everything she can to persuade her husband to take Cassio back. Cassio speaks with her briefly, but leaves just as Othello enters because he does not wish for a confrontation. Iago seizes on this opportunity to play on Othello's insecurities, and make Cassio's exit seem guilty and incriminating. Othello then speaks to Desdemona, and Desdemona expresses her concern for Cassio; she is persistent in his suit, which Othello is not too pleased about. Othello says he will humour her, and the subject is dropped for a while.Iago then plays on Othello's insecurities about Desdemona, and gets Othello to believe, through insinuation, that there is something going on between Desdemona and Cassio. Othello seizes on this, and then Iago works at building up his suspicions. Soon, Othello begins to doubt his wife, as Iago lets his insinuations gain the force of an accusation against her. Othello begins to voice his insecurities when it comes to Desdemona, and himself as well. Desdemona enters, and they have a brief conversation; Othello admits that he is troubled, though he will not state the cause.Desdemona drops the handkerchief that Othello gave her on their honeymoon; Emilia knew that her husband had wanted it for something, so she doesn't feel too guilty about taking it. Emilia gives it to Iago, who decides to use the handkerchief for his own devices. Othello re-enters, and tells Iago that he now doubts his wife; Othello demands "ocular proof" of Desdemona's dishonesty, so Iago sets about making stories up about Cassio talking in his sleep, and says that Cassio has the handkerchief that Othello gave to Desdemona. Iago knows how important this handkerchief is to Othello; it was his first gift to Desdemona, and was given to him by his mother. Othello is incensed to hear that Desdemona would give away something so valuable, and is persuaded by Iago's insinuations and claims to believe that Desdemona is guilty. Othello then swears to have Cassio dead, and to be revenged upon Desdemona for the non-existent affair."His bed shall seem a school, his board a shrift," Desdemona says of Othello; these paradoxes highlight Desdemona's determination to set things right. Ironically, it is this determination to "intermingle everything Othello does with Cassio's suit" that fuels Othello's jealousy, which is the cause of her death. Had Desdemona not felt such a sense of justice or been good enough to advocate for a case in which she was not involved, she might have survived. Though it is very ironic, and a paradox, Desdemona is undone by her own goodness, and her need to step into affairs on a public level, which Othello...

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