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William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

3469 words - 14 pages

William Shakespeare's Othello Every scene in a play has some dramatic significance otherwise the
author wouldn't have included it. However, certain scenes have a
greater significance than others. In this instance, Act 3, Scene 3 is
fairly pivotal.

We can quite easily split this chapter into several separate "pivot"
points, each essential individually, and collectively. I am going to
look at each of these points.

In this scene, Iago successfully manages to convince Othello that both
his wife and best friend have betrayed him.

If we jump to the end of the scene, we can see how successful Iago was
as at the end of the scene Othello is determined to take revenge, on
his lover and right hand man as it were. This is brought about by
Iago's intricate planning and manipulation that is at a Climax in this
scene. This climax marks the 'point of no return'. The point, at which
the tragic outcomes of the play have been set in stone and the
following chain of events cannot be avoided. Going back to the front
of the scene, we observe a clever use of dramatic irony. It is
significant that this scene opens with a conversation between
Desdemona and Cassio. This conversation, despite Iago's views, is
based purely out of respect. Desdemona and Casio's relationship is
defined purely by their mutual love of Othello. The cheerful optimism
shown by Desdemona is soon to be darkened by Iago's scheming. The
important part comes when Desdemona vows to pursue Cassio's cause
relentlessly as Cassio is desperate to return to Othello's service.
This happens just like Iago predicted and the trap is set. Further
trouble is caused when Cassio leaves. Cassio does not want a
confrontation with Othello before Desdemona has spoken to him so he
leaves. However, thanks to Iago's plotting, Othello observes Cassio
fleeing and this further adds to his doubts, especially when Iago
suggested that Cassio's motives were less that honourable. "Ha! I like
not that…. No, I cannot think it…That he would sneak away so
guilty-like… Seeing you coming." Here we immediately notice Othello's
doubt though the way his language has changed somewhat. Whereas before
he spoke eloquently like a lover and assertively like an officer. Now
his speech is riddled with short snappy questions that for the most
part, are left unanswered.

The openness shown by Desdemona should alleviate any fears that
Othello has, but his insecurity, cleverly manipulated by Iago, is
clear. Desdemona begins to push Othello into reconsider his previous
actions with Cassio and begs for him to forgive him. Innocent
Desdemona could, at this point have done any worse. However, it
appears Othello can deny Desdemona nothing and he agrees to reconsider
the position of Cassio. Desdemona...

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