Othello is one of Shakespeare’s more complicated characters, at the start of the play everyone cannot speak well of him enough because he lets the noble side of his personality rule his actions and is kind and everyone likes him, however Iago plays with his emotions and plants false suspicions, which in fact Iago is helping to create, by giving subtle hints about a romance between Cassio and Desdemona, I think this because in Act III Scene III, when Cassio stops speaking to Desdemona and leaves as quickly as possible because he feels shame by his actions, but Iago seeing a chance to further his plan, claims it could be another reason.
Othello asks Iago if that is Cassio leaving to which he replies “Cassio my lord? No, sure, I cannot think it. That he would sneak away so guilty-like, seeing you coming. ” Another person who is made to look the fool is Roderigo who unwittingly helps Iago in his plans because he thinks he is doing it to help him get Desdemona back whom he lost to Othello but he is doing it for his own personal gain.
Also Cassio has been a fool because he is one of the main people who trusts Iago even though he is the one who got him demoted, and believes everything he says and constantly calls him ‘honest Iago. ‘ Most people in the play are fools because they all believe Iago is ‘honest’ and ‘true’. If I were to compare Othello to another one of Shakespeare’s characters like Macbeth, the differences wouldn’t be that great compared to the similarities. Both Othello and Macbeth killed someone, even though they were ‘pushed’ into it and the hints were subtle or straight out.
Othello killed Desdemona because of all the suspicions created by Iago and Macbeth killed King Duncan because his wife forced him to, also both murders happened at night night was the sign of evil while the victims were in bed, however when Macbeth killed King Duncan storms were happening to signify an evil deed and nothing like this happened in Othello. Both were overcome with jealousy and suspicion. Othello was jealous because ‘apparently’ Cassio was committing adultery with his wife and Macbeth was jealous because King Duncan had more power than him.
They were both noble fighters and commanded their own army; also everyone spoke highly of them. Although Othello was ‘black’ he still got the same respect as Macbeth did as a ‘white’ person and I think what Shakespeare was picking up on in the first few scenes was the fact that the colour of someone’s skin is not important because it’s what’s underneath that counts but then he reverts back to what the view of black people was in those times, that they were apparently very prone to jealousy.
The Elizabethan stages contained no scenery, which meant the burden of expounding the action rested firmly on the dramatist’s and actors combined powers to create a sense of place and atmosphere, through language. We should not be blind to the wide variety of expression that the play uses, ranging from the formal and magnificent utterances of the hero himself, to a more flexible language not unlike the speech used everyday. The variations in style fulfil a dramatic purpose, and we should see them as part of the wider formal structure of the play.
Othello’s speech differs from the time near the start of the play when he defends his marriage to the time he contemplates the adultery of Desdemona and Cassio “Lie with her, lie on her? â€“We say lie on her, when they belie her-lie with her, zounds, that’s fulsome! Handkerchief â€“confessions -handkerchief! To confessâ€¦” and “Pish! Noses, ears and lips. Is’t possible? Confess? -Handkerchief? -O devil! ” These quotes show the mental turmoil that Othello is going through thanks to Iago.
The Elizabethan stages contained none or very little scenery, which meant that creating a scene in the audiences mind and creating an atmosphere, which meant that the lines the characters speak has to be perfect for the moments in which they are uttered. Othello’s speeches differ from the start of the play to the end of the play. At the start his speeches are compelling and commanding when he defends his marriage and at the end his speeches are spiteful and out to hurt people, he also repeats words to let them sink in.
When he contemplates the adultery of Desdemona and Cassio he says, “Lie with her, lie on her? â€“We say lie on her, when they belie her-lie with her, zounds, that’s fulsome! Handkerchief â€“confessions -handkerchief! To confessâ€¦” and “Pish! Noses, ears and lips. Is’t possible? Confess? -Handkerchief? -O devil! ” These quotes show the mental turmoil that Othello is going through thanks to Iago.
Othello is often viewed as a hero because of his significant position at the helm of the Venetian army and the fact that all the most important people value his opinion over many people who are considered more important than him, which is the significance of his power. Many people who watched the play when it was showing at the theatre would probably have expected the ‘black’ person to be a servant or something low like that and I think it would have been quite a shock to see someone they considered to be on a lower rung of the social ladder being asked for his opinions on all these important matters by senators and other important people.
Through the course of the play, you get to hear many different opinions of Othello like “But he, as loving his own pride and purpose, evades them with a bombastic circumstance, horribly stuff’d with epithets of war” and ‘Even now, now, very now, an old black ram, Is topping your white ewe. The things Othello says before he has been led down the path of jealousy are more noble and are better presented because when he is getting jealous all of his speeches are all about the same thing Desdemona and Cassio and affairs and they all have the same structure of insults and it would have been better if they had had more meaning to them or better language. There are many moral and philosophical aspects of the play. Othello was written in 1604 and 400 years on the plays topicality resounds.
We still live in a society all too familiar with many of the plays themes Prejudice Stereotypes Jealousy Clashes of different cultures Racism Tarnished reputations and disgraced public figures Rifts between parents and children If we were to look at racism today, a recent survey showed that four out of ten whites do not want a black neighbour and another survey showed that 39% of people ‘black’ and ‘white’ asked would prefer to live in an area where only people of the same ethnic background lived.
An Internet search on google for ‘jealous husband’ produced around 379,000 results. The first three were A suspected car bomb in Austria turned out to be a tracking device installed by a jealous husband Jealous husband blows up kindergarten, meaning to punish wife A jealous husband kills his rival with a sawn-off shotgun The last two are particularly related to Othello because he is a jealous husband and kills her to punish her and he tries to kill Cassio because he thinks he is a rival for Desdemona.
The human nature of this play is all about jealousy and it is telling you to make sure, that before you get angry and overcome with emotion, make sure you have thought everything through and have looked at all the facts and other people’s opinions, make sure you know whose opinions you can trust. It is showing how irrational jealousy can make you be when you are in love and don’t have any facts to back it up and have to go on instincts. This play refers to good and evil as ‘white’ being good and ‘black’ being bad.
In most of Shakespeare’s plays, most of the bad things always happen at night because they associated night with evil. They still have good and evil nowadays but it is not in the form of ‘black and ‘white’ it is now in your religion and country. If you were a Slovakian Christian you are most likely to not be suspected for anything like terrorism, however if you were a Muslim from Iraq, in countries like America and England any suspicious behaviour and the police would search you. This is unfair, just because a group of people from one country have done something bad, it does not mean we should condemn the rest of the country.
I think Othello is an easily tricked fool because although Iago’s plan was a very good one and well executed, if Othello was clever enough to become commander of an entire army he should have seen through all the lies, also if he really knew and loved Desdemona then he would have believed her when she said she was not guilty of adultery with Cassio. The fact it came with someone he knew and cared for did not help at all, and inevitably having this trust made it easier for Othello to believe Iago’s lies.