11 Jan. 2013
Topic Analysis - Othello
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare is the story of the tragic protagonist Othello and the antagonist Iago. Iago is dominant throughout the play but the roll of protagonist and antagonist are bound together in Othello more so than in any other of Shakespeare’s plays. It is Iago and his diabolism that ruins Othello’s life, he is described as “a semi secularized devil who employs his comic verve to try destroy his virtuous antagonist” (Greenblatt 1171). The extremely talkative Iago uses his language to manipulate Othello’s rationality; he speaks like Iago, becomes hesitant, and uses shorter less fluid sentences. Examples of this change and this virtual possession of Othello must be analyzed to understand the significance of Iargo’s influence.
It is in Act 3, Scene 3 the change in Othello becomes apparent, and he questions his wife’s fidelity, his once articulate speech, and his race and age. Iago plants the seed of doubt of his wife’s fidelity in Othello’s mind, “Why did I marry? This honest creature doubtless/Sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds” (Shakespeare 3.3.247-248 1216). Othello’s trust and belief in Iago is obvious, he does not doubt or question what he tells him, and even though Iago plants the seed of doubt in Othello’s mind he does not recognize the evil at work. Othello continues to see Iago as honest and trustworthy, “This fellow’s of exceeding honesty, /And knows all qualities with a learned spirit/Of human dealings” (Shakespeare 3.3.263-265 1216). At this point in the play Othello also questions his race, age, and articulation, “”Haply for I am black,/And have not those soft parts of conversation/That chambers have; or for I am declined/Into the vale of years” (Shakespeare 3.3.267-270 1216).
The decline in Othello during Scene 3 Act 3 is rapid and dramatic, at the beginning Othello is reproachful for being aggravated at his wife,...