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What Contribution Does Cassio Make To The Concerns And Effects Of The Play 'othello'?

987 words - 4 pages

Shakespeare presents Cassio as a balanced character, essentially honest and trustworthy, who, although he does have some weaknesses, he has weaknesses which are understandable and not in the extreme, thus contributing to the concerns and effects of weaknesses in Othello. He also provides a contrast to Iago, who seems to delight in evil, shown through the contrast of language between Iago and Cassio, which reflects their differences in social status. It is, in my opinion, Cassio's role to be manipulated unknowingly and used by Iago as the tool to get what he wants. Cassio is a person respected and highly trusted by Othello so when Othello suspects him of having an affair with his wife he is unable to trust anyone, including Desdemona, contributing to the tragic events in the play. In this respect, Cassio contributes to the concerns and effects of trust in 'Othello'. Cassio also has a role to show how everything is restored back to normal after the turmoil of the tragedy through the way he is the only main character left standing at the end.Cassio has a high place in society from noble birth, which is why he is given the position of lieutenant. He is very open, honest, trusting and loyal yet he is only human so naturally he has weaknesses; his courtship with Bianca and the way he cannot take his drink. His actions, when drunk, contribute to the play by adding an air of lightness to it because it is an ordinary weakness and merely proves he is human.The way Cassio sees his position as extremely important to him could be seen as a weakness in the way that he obsesses about it but this would have been understandable to a Jacobean audience.Cassio's language is very important in the way that it shows the audience how high his position in society is. The brief exchange between Cassio and Iago reveals more that the difference in their social status. Iago's abrasively sexual description of Othello having "boarded a land carrack" fails to prompt a similar coarseness from Cassio. His tact and reserve give nothing away but seem designed to discover just how much Iago knows about the matter. His eloquent language also shows how he is more of a diplomat than a soldier is. He is not, however, as inexperienced as Iago suggests in terms of fighting: he wounds Montano in the drunken brawl and comes off better than Roderigo in the fight at the end. Although this skill may have been due to his noble education where he would have learnt to fence, he would probably not have needed to use his experience on the battlefield like Iago.Cassio is important to the play as a tragedy because he is the only man left standing at the end. This means that he gets the position of general, showing how after the turmoil of the tragedy, with people trying to move to a rank that society rules will not allow, everything returns to order, with the suitable man for the job,...

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