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OTHELLO When you shall these unlucky deeds relate, Speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuate, Nor set down aught in malice. Then must you speak Of one that loved not wisely, but too well; Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought, Perplexed in the extreme; of one whose hand, Like the base Judean, threw a pearl away Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes, Albeit unused to the melting mood, Drops tears as fast as the Arabian trees Their medicinable gum. Set you down this. And say besides, that in Aleppo once, Where a malignant and a turbaned Turk Beat a Venetian and traduced the state, I took by th throat the circumcised dog, And smote him, thus. Act 5. Scene 2. Pg 263-265.
This quotation is part of Othello s final speech and it is the most significant quotation because it supports the themes and provides characterization on Othello, the protagonist of the play. Directly after Othello says the last line of this quotation, he stabs himself and kills himself. This in itself leads the reader to believe that Othello was being completely honest in this statement, and since the play is consumed with the treachery of many of the characters, one cannot be sure when a character is being honest or dishonest. These words were Othello s dying words, so there was no more reason for him to lie; thus making it possibly the most honest quotation within the play. The theme of judgment surfaces throughout the play. Desdemona is judged first to be innocent and then judged to be a whore, Othello is judged by the color of his skin, and Bianca is judged to be a whore and a peasant. These characters were not ignorant of these judgments that were made on them and that they had on others, and Othello expresses the need to be judged in a good way even after his death in this quotation. He says Speak of me as I am. Othello does not want the situation to be described falsely and he wants to be thought of as a person who was provoked into jealousy so that he
since Cyprus is more like a small town where rumors travel fast. they become isolated so that they only ever deal with each other. This causes Iago s plan to escalate more quickly. Othello knows that he is loving. and the way he wishes to be judged. but also knows that he did not love Desdemona or even Iago as wisely as he should have. and justifies his reasoning. This also explains to the reader why Othello is killing himself. He is owning up to what he has down. so he believes he deserves to be killed. threw a pearl away as he murdered Desdemona. Othello is realizing who he really is and what has really happened with all the people closest. it is important to him that he be judged rightly. so he kills himself. but being wrought. but he wants the others to tell people that he was tricked into the act. and did it under false pretenses. When the characters move from the busy Venice to the island Cyprus. A person s characterization of themselves may indeed be the most important characterization a reader can understand within the play because they have seen the character s process of self-discovery. The theme of isolation is also incorporated into the play. regained his dignity and again gained the respect of the readers. and the ignorance that he had of his thought-tobe friend. . He is separating himself from the others saying that he has done wrong and he is dangerous. This shows that even after Othello will have committed suicide. and murdered his innocent wife.did not love as well as he should have. Othello has finally calmed down. or whom he thought were closest. He knows that he acted without thinking. so that he becomes the esteemed hero that William Shakespeare deemed him to be. Of one not easily jealous. This quote signifies Othello s feelings of being even more isolated as he recognizes himself as a villain. There is no other quotation in the novel that gives so much honest insight into a character and the story than this quotation does. Othello shows his feelings of isolation. He also describes how he thinks of himself and what he thinks he deserves. Othello describes how he feels about the situation and what he thought actually happened. Othello now sees the villain in himself and in the jealousy that he felt. Othello is also isolated in his skin color. but too well. to him. At the end of the novel. He describes himself. Of one that loved not wisely. This quotation also shows Othello characterizing himself. There is no other moor mentioned in the play.
Brabantio s wishes were based on racism anyway. like when Cassio kissed her near the beginning of the play. but when Iago provided small bits of evidence. Othello began to imagine Desdemona with Cassio. Othello did not even give Desdemona a fair chance to defend herself. Her death came as the result of several things: Iago s plot of revenge on Othello. The fact that he became so jealous though was not his fault. Cassio lost his job because of Iago getting him drunk so that he would get into a brawl by Roderigo. and that it was just Othello s job stressing him out and their arguments were just the result of displaced anger. Desdemona was the second person to get murdered in the play. When Iago put the idea in Othello s head that Desdemona was with another man however. This led to her death. Desdemona is genuinely a good person. Iago. Othello was not easily jealous when Desdemona socialized with other men. because he knew that she was true to him. so she did try to clarify to Othello that she did not do anything to betray him. and then eventually he murdered her. who had also been convinced to fight Cassio by . He became so angry and jealous that he did not think rationally. He striked her. he could not get it out of his mind. Othello s gullibility. Iago told her that it was not her fault. The only wrong action that she did in the entire novel was running away and getting married to Othello. this causes the reader to venture into the happenings in the novel to realize which character should be held accountable for the tragedy.Journal Topic #11 Desdemona was possibly the most innocent character in Othello. and Desdemona s own lack of self-defense. He believed Iago skeptically at first. against her father s wishes. Desdemona s and Othello s marriage started out full of love and without troubles. Desdemona tried at every opportunity to convince Othello that she was innocent and became very exasperated when he did not believe her. Though she was so innocent. like Cassio having Desdemona s handkerchief. especially when she had no idea what he was worried about. Multiple characters were in some small way responsible for her death. so Desdemona was even justified in her eloping with Othello. She then went to Othello s supposed best friend for help. One might also hold Cassio responsible because of his talking to Desdemona trying to get his job back. Othello already had it in his head that she was lying to him and going behind his back. so he then thought also that she was a liar. but it was not completely Desdemona s fault. so Desdemona gave up defending herself.
kind person she agrees. So though multiple people played a role in the cause of Desdemona s death. This shows that Iago is the character that should definitely be held completely accountable for Desdemona s death. A lot of the play revolves around their actions. Iago also went through a series of actions to get Cassio to go to Desdemona for help. but two minor characters who are the most important to the play: Roderigo and Emilia. Without these two characters. Iago did not want to take the blame for this murder he was supposed . but multiple minor characters appear within the action and have influences on what happens and develops in the plot. Iago told Cassio that he should talk to Desdemona if he really wanted his job back. this escalated Iago s plan. I believe there is not one. Desdemona. Each character changes the play in different ways and each is very significant to the storyline. The general s wife is now the general. the play would be indisputably different. and Cassio. Though Cassio did not mean to. which in turn caused more jealousy on Othello s part. Iago put the ideas in Othello s head about Desdemona being disloyal. The one person that is involved in every person s particular role in the tragedy of Desdemona s murder was Iago. Iago. Journal Topic #9 The main characters in the play are obviously Othello. He also convinced Desdemona that she had nothing to worry about when he knew that Othello was going to do something drastic if he did not find out she was actually innocent. Desdemona. and because she is such a nice. Desdemona s continuous comments about how wonderful Cassio is to Othello push the idea that she is having an affair with Cassio even further into Othello s head. Iago was undoubtedly involved in each one. Roderigo starts out being important to the play in the first act. So Cassio talks to Desdemona about how badly he would like to have his job back. Roderigo was also used by Iago to attack Cassio and kill him. than Iago s plot to get revenge on Othello would have been revealed to all characters early in the play. If Brabantio had been told by Iago instead of Roderigo. because he says.Iago. and then went so far as providing false evidence and planting it so as to increase Othello s jealousy. Iago needed Roderigo to do this because Othello had ordered Iago to kill Cassio. Iago uses him to tell Brabantio that his daughter. has been stolen and charmed magically by Othello. It is important that Roderigo do this instead of Iago because it was part of Iago s plan to go warn Othello that Brabantio was coming so that Othello would continue to believe that they were good friends and that he could trust Iago.
They also help to reveal his true evil nature though. he convinced Roderigo to commit the murder. that Desdemona was innocent. as well as all the others. and ultimately leads to the succession of deaths at the culmination of the novel. After Desdemona has been killed. he created the situation that allowed Iago to stab and injure Cassio and for Iago to kill Roderigo himself. Emilia becomes a significant character after the crowd arrives at Cyprus. Being Iago s wife. Roderigo reveals Iago s evilness through the letter he has in his pocket when Iago kills him. Cassio gives the handkerchief to Bianca. since he believed that Iago was taking from him the presents that he bought for Desdemona and keeping them for himself rather than giving them to Desdemona. Without Roderigo. Roderigo s death would not have been that significant to the play if a note confirming Iago s plan had not been found by the other characters. Emilia is also the one who finds Desdemona dead right after Othello murders her. she has a desire to please him. She reveals this to the other characters. Emilia realizes that Iago is responsible. the play would have taken a completely different course. She significantly helps the progression of Iago s revenge without even realizing what she is doing. Without Emilia. In order to not ruin this image he had created for himself of being a good friend to everyone. . and helps to finally convince Othello. and he also was believed to be Cassio s friend. and that the ideas Iago planted into Othello s head were false. The most important thing that Emilia contributes to the play is her revealing of Iago s evil.to commit. Though Roderigo ended up not being able to commit the murder. Iago may never have completely convinced Othello. Iago also needed Roderigo to be killed because he was starting to catch on to Iago s twofacedness. This also progresses Iago s plan of revenge. These two minor characters make all the major events in the play happen. This desire leads her to steal the handkerchief that Othello gave to Desdemona. Emilia has no idea what this handkerchief means. who then gives it back to him in front of Othello. This handkerchief is what Iago uses as substantial proof of Desdemona s affair with Cassio by planting it in Cassio s dwelling. Both characters help Iago s plot unknowingly. Emilia also helps Cassio convince Desdemona to help him get his job back from Othello. Emilia through a speech she gives after Othello has killed Desdemona. so his plan may have failed. Without these two characters. or how her husband planned to use it. The handkerchief being in Cassio s possession ensures Othello that the affair exists. the conflict of the revenge plan would have ended in the first scene.
Dramatic Irony exists throughout Othello in a few different ways. The play would not be nearly as interesting or suspenseful to the reader or audience if they did not have the knowledge of what was really going on in the story. Dramatic Irony is what ties Othello together. Iago reveals his evil plot to get revenge against Othello and also reveals all the mini plans he has to achieve this revenge. The most prominent example of this is when Othello decides that he will kill Desdemona. The second way that Dramatic Irony is created in Othello is through the characters stating that they are going to do something while some of the other characters are not present. While she is getting ready for bed with her maid Emilia the night she will be murdered. creates a more exciting effect in the play. This song. This causes the reader or audience to realize what Iago is actually doing and see his hidden motives behind everything he does.Journal Topic #1 Dramatic Irony is irony that occurs when the audience has been revealed the meaning of a situation so that their knowledge is superior to the characters of the play. so things that they say may be ironic to what is going to happen. She ended up dying because of this. The irony of the situation creates a more suspenseful climax in the story. They are not reading through just waiting for something to happen in the story. but the other characters do not acknowledge him to make it understood that they do not hear Iago. All the Dramatic Irony in Othello makes the reader or watcher much more interested in what is going on. though it is fictional. Desdemona begins to sing a quite depressing song called Willow. The first and main way that Dramatic Irony is created in Othello is through Iago s soliloquies. Desdemona of course does not know that the end of her life is approaching. Instead of just watching Iago do a seemingly random . who do not know the meaning of the situation. or sometimes while the other characters are present. The audience or reader is already knowledgeable of what is happening they are just excited to see how it will all play out. is about her mother s old maid Barbary who was in love with a man who believed her to be untrue. The audience knowing that they are the only ones who know in the story. The reader reading this or the audience watching this will then realize that Barbary s story is the same as Desdemona s. Willow. Iago will do this while he is alone. and makes it the story that it is. The absent characters are not aware of what is going on. she explains. and they would undoubtedly be very confused.
number of different things. emphasizes the action of the story. The irony causes the reader or audience to be much more intrigued thus making Othello the exciting play that it is. they watch Iago s plot to get revenge work and then backfire. Being omniscient. . unlike the characters.
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