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An Essay Which Analyses The Ways Shakespeare Presents The Development Of Othello's Character.

2748 words - 11 pages

Using Act 3.3 as a starting point analyse the ways in which Shakespeare presents the development of Othello's characterAct 3.3 is referred to as the famous 'corruption' scene of the play. This name describes manner in which Othello metamorphoses from a calm, considerate loving husband to being completely driven by an emotion Shakespeare describes metaphorically as the 'green-eyed monster'. The effectiveness of this transformation pivots upon the skillful manner in which Iago insinuates that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair. However, although this scene can be pinpointed as the beginning of Othello's self-destruction his descent continues throughout the play and Shakespeare skillfully raises many questions which can only be answer by the reader individually.Othello is, in one sense of the word, one of the most romantic figures ever created by Shakespeare; he is so partly from the strange life of war and adventure, which he has lived from childhood. He does not belong to our world; the vague details of his past supplied, coupled with his enigmatic character give the illusion Othello could almost have come straight from wonderland. There is something mysterious in his descent from men of royal siege; in his wanderings in vast deserts and among marvellous peoples; in his tales of magic handkerchiefs and the prophetic Sibyls; in the sudden vague glimpses we get of numberless battles and sieges from which he has returned a hero; and even in chance references to his baptism and in being sold to slavery.And he is not a merely romantic figure; his own nature is romantic. Although he may lack the imagination of many great romantic figures, his manner and choice of wording is poetic throughout the play. Indeed, many of Othello's most famous speeches -- those that begin, "Her father loved me", "O now for ever", "Never, Iago", "Had it pleased Heaven", "It is the cause", "Behold, I have a weapon", "Soft you, a word or two before you go" - communicate such powerful emotion that it is impossible to doubt Othello as a great poet. There is the same poetry in his casual phrases -- like "These nine moons wasted", "Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them", "You chaste stars", "It is a sword of Spain, the ice-brook's temper", "It is the very error of the moon" -- and in those brief expressions of intense feeling which ever since have been taken as the absolute expression, such as:'If she be false, O then Heaven mocks itself,I'll not believe it;'Othello is presented in the first Act as dark and grand, no longer young, and now grave, self-controlled, steeled by the experience of countless perils, hardships and vicissitudes, at once simple and stately in bearing and in speech. A great man naturally modest but fully conscious of his worth, proud of his services to the state, unawed by dignitaries and unelated by honours, ironically secure, against all dangers from the outside world and all rebellion from within. And he comes to have his life...

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