Othello Topic

Othello and Coleridge

In his criticism of Shakespeare's Othello, Coleridge claims that Iago acted from "motiveless malignity", stating that Iago's motives were not at all believable. However he also states that Iago is constantly "motive hunting" to try and make his deeds seem less terrible. I believe that this is not the case....

Othello: he defencies in Iago’s character

William Shakespeare, the greatest writer of all times, portrays a fictional tragedy in the novel Othello when the truth about the characters prevails. Shakespeare's unique style of perceptive writing has been superior enough to override all existing writers, especially when he depicts an essence of the 16th...

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What do you learn about Othello’s changing character and personality through an analysis of language style and structure?

During the play Othello is often referred to as the 'moor'. Due to the fact that he is black he is considered as an outsider. He is influenced by his surroundings and this reflects in his personality and language. At the beginning his speeches are eloquent but this deteriotes in Act 3 and 4. However by the...

In Act One, Scene One the character of Iago is swiftly established in a number of ways

In his early conversations Roderigo, Iago makes it clear to him that he only follows 'The Moor' (Othello) to suit his purposes; to the audience, it shows us that he is a selfish, scheming character. I think Shakespeare gives us a full picture of what sort of a character Iago is, so that we are aware of what...

How does the Extract from Act II Scene I, reveal Iago’s aggressive, bitter and devious nature

Iago's devious wishes, aggressive manner and bitter nature demonstrate his devilish character. His behaviour in this extract shows us his negative traits, which we have seen in previous scenes.

The extract begins with Iago silencing Roderigo to be silent, like a child. Showing us his aggressive and...

Read the following extract from Act 1, Scene 3. In what ways does this dialogue illustrate Iago’s persuasive skills?

The whole play centres on Iago's manipulation of Othello and resulting death of many protagonists. His manipulation is mainly due to his skill in rhetoric. Unlike Othello, whose words are highly polished, he speaks spontaneously. The message is therefore subtle and the listener is convinced unwittingly. He...

Consider the validity of Coleridge’s accusation of Iago as “motiveless malignity”. How might different audiences respond to Iago’s villainy?

"Evil" is a word always associated with William Shakespeare's character Iago. However is branding this character simply "evil" too broad a term? Perhaps there is a more suitable accurate term to describe him by, but equally perhaps one could argue that Coleridge's term "motiveless malignity" is the only way...

Examine the importance of Act 3: Scene 3 of Othello, considering its significance in terms of plot, character, theme and dramatic power

Othello is a play about a black 'noble moor' who has an ideal marriage. This 'ideal' marriage, however, is destroyed by Iago's deception and disloyalty; his motives for causing this uproar are unclear. Through encouraging the growth of doubt in Othello's mind his marriage expires and in its place jealousy...

Othello – Critical Study of Text

Othello is one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies. It is based on ideas and themes of honesty, character flaws, patriarchal societies, and love. Due to people's context and values there are many different readings that could be interpreted from this play. In my opinion, the two readings that most aptly fit...

Discuss Shakespeare’s portrayal of Iago in the first two acts of the play

Katie E Payne English Literature Discuss Shakespeare's portrayal of Iago in the first two acts of the play. So what motivates Iago? Iago is an urbane villain. He resembles the characteristics of a typical Shakespearean villain; presented with a felon who is adept at quick - witted improvisation. Professional...

By close analysis of the language in this extract, discuss Shakespeare’s portrayal of the love between Desdemona and Othello

This extract is an important part of the play as it gives the first impressions of Desdemona and Othello's love. Just before this extract Desdemona acknowledges her gratitude and love for her father but then she admits that her husband is foremost in her affections. Brabantio is deflated by her words, and...

How does Shakespeare explore the theme of loyalty in Othello?

During the play, Shakespeare explores many forms of loyalty: loyalty between friends, colleagues and lovers, loyalty to family and to the state. Set in Venice during the Jacobean Period, some people think that "Othello" was written for James I as a warning against dishonest and disloyal advisors. To be...

Speaking and Listening: Othello

Hi, I'm the great Iago. Right now I'm talking to you from the grave and I'm going to tell you what has happened to me over the past 6 months or so.

I had been one of Othello's closest friends for longer than I can even remember. He was the one who came up with my nickname, 'Honest Iago'. He was almost...

Coleridge famously describes the analysis of Iago as “the motive hunting of a motiveless malignity”

Coleridge famously describes the analysis of Iago as "the motive hunting of a motiveless malignity". Using the soliloquies as a starting point, discuss your view of Iago and compare your views with other critics. Of all Shakespeare's villainous creations Iago stands out as being the most wickedly stimulating...

Othello – Show how, in Act Two, Shakespeare links, builds upon, and extends the ideas and the plot, which were begun in Act One

The beginning of Act One gives us an introduction to the politics and worldly issues of the play. The beginning of Act Two, we are in Cyprus. The weather and the characters are in turmoil. There is a theme of tension and anxiety running throughout the first scene. The parallels between the macrocosm (nature)...

Iago acts like a villain in Othello

A typical villain is someone who purposefully hurts somebody else to help their selves to get what they want. They scheme and use others to get what they want. You would know if someone was a villain because they would be creeping around on stage. They build up to their plan by getting others to be upset or...

Is Desdemona a figure of weakness or strength?

Shakespeare has portrayed Desdemona to have both weaknesses and strengths that make her personality appear normal. Desdemona does seem to be an all rounded person however it is her weaknesses, which brings about her downfall. Desdemona shows blatant signs throughout the whole play that she fails to realise...

Are Desdemona and Emilia passive acceptors of fate or can they be seen as heroic in their tragedy?

Desdemona and Emilia can be seen as both 'passive acceptors of fate' and 'heroic' throughout the play at different times they are both dominating and submissive. They change due to the differing manipulations and cunning plans of "honest" Iago, but also because of the other male's actions in play. A 'passive...

Of all Shakespeare’s tragedies, not even excepting ‘King Lear,’ Othello is the most painfully exciting and the most terrible

Most of Shakespeare's stories follow a similar trend. Each story starts by introducing the main character as hero and often the play is named after the main character (who is called an eponymous hero). The hero will start to fall because of different reasons throughout each play. For example: Macbeth starts...

How does Shakespeare engage the audience through character and action in the first Act?

In the opening act of the play, Shakespeare creates suspense and excitement, at once immersing the observer in intrigue and conspiracy. Shakespeare throws his audience directly into a conversation, introducing some of the major themes and concerning issues of the play. Furthermore, by centering the dialogue...

The Tragedy is more dependant upon Iago’s wickedness than Othello’s willingness to be led

In Shakespeare's play "Othello", he conveys sheer wickedness through the character Iago and a certain willingness to be led by Othello. Both the characters have different roles to lead in the play. Iago is an extremely subtle character in the play. Comparing him to an iceberg is an excellent analysis because...

Venice was a famous, rich, mysterious place in Shakespeare’s time and it would have fascinated Jacobean contemporaries

Venice was a famous, rich, mysterious place in Shakespeare's time and it would have fascinated Jacobean contemporaries. Venice's social structure and strict customs against intermarriage offers plenty of opportunities for dramatic conflict and character contrast. It makes Othello an outsider, someone...

What impression of Venice does Shakespeare present in act 1?

In the sixteenth century, Venice was a powerful city-state, important to Europe as a commercial centre and to Christendom as the protector of the Christian faith against the Muslim Turks. Shakespeare's audience would have been aware of Venice's empire and would have seen Venice as elegant and intriguing - a...

How does Shakespeare’s character, Iago, conform to the literary tradition of the villain?

In this essay I am going to say whether I think Shakespeare's character Iago conforms to the literary tradition of a villain. The Collins Plain English Dictionary defines a villain: "You can call someone the villain or the villain of the peace when they are seen as the cause of all the trouble in a...

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