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Language Being Used As A Tool To Affect Our Emotions

1397 words - 6 pages

Braeley DaviesIn Shakespeare's 'Othello', we see an abundance of evidence displaying language being used as a tool that affects our emotions. Language is not only selected thoughtfully and with great intent but is crafted in a way that has an impact on the reader, evoking emotion.There is a powerful contrast between the language of Othello and that of Iago. We see Othello, who initially speaks often in iambic pentameter;'it gives me wonder great as my contentTo see you herebefore me. O my soul's joy!If after every tempest come such calms,May the winds blow till they have awakened death'.An "iamb" being an unaccented syllable followed by an accented one, and "Penta" meaning "five," this rhythmic oratory style is one similar to a heartbeat. This similarity shows the Othello's emotion and his open, vulnerable heart. He speaks in a heartbeat so clear that the audience knows of his emotion and is able to feel the way of his heart. The audience is emotionally affected because Othello talks in such a way that exposes his heart, not only through the words he says but the iambs in which he talks. Here, we see how Shakespeare has crafted the iambic pentameter to show Othello's emotions. This is in stark contrast with the language of Iago;'I hate the Moor: my cause is hearted: thine hath no less reason. Let us be conjunctive in our revenge against him; if thou canst cuckold him, thou dost thyself a pleasure, me a sport.''...I hate the Moor,And it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheetsHe's done my office. I know not if 't be true,But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,Will do as if for surety. ' It is not only the repetition but the short, sharp prose in which he speaks that causes his language to stand out against Othello's. Othello's long, evenly rhythmic sentences emphasize nothing but express his feelings in a melodic way. However, Iago's short sentences make one thing stand out, 'I hate the Moor'. It is an offbeat statement that seems to resonate in our minds. It is so resonant because it not only stands out against Othello's language but also is a sentence much shorter than others of Iago's. He repeats it many times throughout the play, and as seen above, it seems to cut through the rest of his language. It is because of this that we form such strong opinions about Iago. Because his hatred for whom we perceive to be an 'honest', 'good' man is so strongly evident, we see here the 'true' Iago. We are, through this overemphasized statement, able to form a seemingly justifiable opinion on who we think Iago is as a character.However, we soon begin to see Iago's language change in the face of manipulating Othello. When convincing Othello of Desdemona's adultery, Iago says:'I see, sir, you are eaten up with passion.I do repent me that I put it to you.You would be satisfied?'To which Othello replies:'Would? Nay, and I will.'It is in Iago's reply to this that we see his use of language for manipulation;'And may, but how? How satisfied, my lord?Would you, the...

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