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Othello Essay

1526 words - 6 pages

Introduction

In Venice, Othello and Desdemona secretly get married. Iago says that he “does hate the moor” and plans to get revenge because he wasn’t promoted to Lieutenant. Iago and Roderigo wake Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, to tell him that a “black ram is tupping his white ewe.” Brabantio confronts Othello, who explains that he and Desdemona love each other, Brabantio warns that if she can betray her own father, she will betray Othello. Lots of the characters go to Cyprus, to fight in the war. Iago persuades Roderigo to get Cassio drunk, then start a fight with him, consequently Cassio gets demoted for being drunk and fighting on duty. Iago tells Cassio that he should use Desdemona to get his job back, by her talking to Othello. Desdemona agrees.

‘Othello’ is a tragedy, therefore we know that the main character, Othello, is going to die. It is a play about jealousy and deception. Othello’s background is of great importance in understanding his character because he is a “moor”, therefore looked down upon because of his colour. However, his skills as a soldier are respected. He has his own army, is leader of the army, despite the fact he is African. He isn’t however allowed to have the same rights as other citizens e.g. he is not allowed to get married to someone of high social stature.

Relationships in Othello

In Act 1 Scene 1, a number of key relationships are introduced:
Othello is seen to respect Cassio because Cassio gets promoted. Cassio, at a young age is a “great arithmetician” to support his already great work as a general.
Othello still likes Iago, “And, for I know thou’rt full of love and honesty,” however Iago despises Othello. He refers to him as “the moor”, “the devil” and an “old black ram”. He wants to get revenge on Othello, for not giving him the promotion, as he feels he has proven himself at “Rhodes and Cyprus”, and Othello has overlooked him.
Iago also dislikes Cassio, because he is jealous that Cassio got the promotion that he wanted, when Cassio is rather inexperienced in battle, “mere prattle without practice”, having “never set a squadron in the field”. He thinks he is merely “a great arithmetician” not a true soldier.
Othello and Desdemona are very much in love and have just got married. Othello says “But I do love thee! And when I love thee not, chaos is come again,” which means that he loves Desdemona, and if he ever stopped loving her, his life would end, foreshadowing the closing scene, when, having gone mad with jealousy thanks to Iago, Othello murders Desdemona, then kills himself. Iago refers to their relationship as “an old ram is tupping your white ewe”, as he dislikes Othello, and this statement infers that he is too old and has had too much experience with women, compared to the pure, virginal Desdemona.

Othello and Iago discussing Michael Cassio and his honour (lines 90-257)

Cassio’s honour is being questioned at this moment in the play because Iago questions Cassio’s...

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