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Analysing Othello

Spoken language in drama for dramatic effect and vs. real life and stuff

The Extract
Act 3 Scene 3 The one where Othello can be seen to go over the edge and turn insane. Is key to the whole play important to know where it comes, and what precedes and follows.

Text
IAGO IAGO I know not that; but such a handkerchief I am sure it was your wife'sdid I to-day See Casio wipe his beard with. OTHELLO Yet be content. OTHELLO

If it be that IAGO

O, blood, blood, blood! IAGO

If it be that, or any that was hers, It speaks against her with the other proofs. OTHELLO

Patience, I say; your mind perhaps may change. OTHELLO

O, that the slave had forty thousand lives! One is too poor, too weak for my revenge. Now do I see 'tis true. Look here, Iago; All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven. 'Tis gone. Arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow cell! Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne To tyrannous hate! Swell, bosom, with thy fraught, For 'tis of aspics' tongues!

Never, Iago: Like to the Pontic sea, Whose icy current and compulsive course Ne'er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on To the Propontic and the Hellespont, Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace, Shall ne'er look back, ne'er ebb to humble love, Till that a capable and wide revenge Swallow them up. Now, by yond marble heaven,

More Text
Kneels In the due reverence of a sacred vow I here engage my words. IAGO
They rise OTHELLO I greet thy love, Not with vain thanks, but with acceptance bounteous, And will upon the instant put thee to't: Within these three days let me hear thee say That Cassio's not alive. IAGO

Do not rise yet.

Kneels Witness, you ever-burning lights above, You elements that clip us round about, Witness that here Iago doth give up The execution of his wit, hands, heart, To wrong'd Othello's service! Let him command And to obey shall be in me remorse, What bloody business ever.

My friend is dead; 'tis done at your request: But let her live. OTHELLO

Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her! Come, go with me apart; I will withdraw, To furnish me with some swift means of death For the fair devil. Now art thou my lieutenant. IAGO

I am your own for ever.

Random Analysis 1
Iago - I know not that, but such a handkerchief Think vs. Know Important theme in Othello. What does it mean to think? Can we trust characters interpretations? Do even the characters know?

Think vs. Know


No, sure, I cannot think it, that he would steal away so guilty-like Iago knows that it was Cassio who snuck away Indicates that think is not a word indicating certainty in Iagos mind. Juxtaposition with steal and guilty-like and their negative connotations. Othello left to assume person was guilty, and is led to believe that it was Cassio. Example of Iagos cunning with words.

Think vs. Know


Iago For Michael Cassio, I dare be sworn I think that he is honest Othello I think so too Iagos differentiation between think and know Othello uses think and know to mean the same thing.

Random Analysis 2
Othello - If it be that Iago - If it be that, or any that was hers, It speaks against her with the other proofs. Iago finishes Othellos sentence. Shapes his thoughts, guides him somewhat towards his own goals. Places words into Othellos mind to arouse suspicion Parallels with steal away so guiltylike Hyperbole (Proofs) vs. Realism (Evidence)

Hyperbole in Othello
Othello uses muchly.
If thou dost slander her and torture me, Never pray more; abandon all remorse; On horrors head accumulate; Do deeds to make heaven weep, all earth amazed; For nothing canst thou to damnation add Greater than that

Like, whoa. Helps to highlight Othellos semi-crazed state.

Random Analysis 3
Othello All my fond love do I thus blow to heaven, tis gone. Arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow cell! Pivotal in understanding, could signify point at which Othello turns from rationality to insanity. Point at which Iago is in full control?

Random Analysis 3.5


Worth noting that Othello has lately been somewhat ineloquent in his speech Due perhaps to confusion of situation, combined with his tenuous grip of language explained in Act 1. Sudden clarity in his mind brings out emotion and eloquence once again.

Random Analysis 4
Othello O, blood, blood, blood! Repetition here shows overflowing of emotion. Often used technique in drama Examples abound. Emilia You told a lie, an odious, damned lie; Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie!

Blood
Important Shakespearian imagery. MacBeth Here, possibly signifies a total overcoming of hatred in Othello. Could also be argued to show his confusion. Could be considered phatic the fact that he says something is more important than what he says. Could be simply because worlds fail him he is not a skilled wordsmith as Italian (as the Venitian speakers are assumed to be talking) is not his mother tongue.

Useful Linguistic Techniques to look out for.


Repetitions Hesitations Ellipsis Not often found in Shakespeare so will be worth comment if you can find it Paraphrase Used well by Iago in a sense, as he seems to predict Othellos thoughts and paraphrases them in more provocative terms.

Random Analysis 5
Othello - Never, Iago: Like to the Pontic Sea, whose icy current and compulsive course, ne'er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on to the Propontic and the Hellespont

Nature imagery shows that Iago has become an animal? Aspics Tongues is a reference to Egyptian snakes, Geography imagery reminds the reader of Othellos travelling solder background. Othello often uses such imagery.

Random Analysis 6
Othello [Kneels] In the due reverence of a sacred vow I here engage my words. Iago - Do not rise yet. [Kneels] Witness, you ever-burning lights above, you elements that clip us round about, witness that here Iago doth give up the execution of his wit, hands, heart, to wrong'd Othello's service! Let him command and to obey shall be in me remorse, what bloody business ever.

Iago shows himself to be loyal at Othellos time of greatest despair. Does not lie, merely says that he will be of Othellos service. Othello is not deceived in any overt way, but Iago continues to give impression that he can be trusted.

Random Analysis 7
Othello makes Iago his lieutenant at last at this point he trusts Iago more than anyone, and his fate is sealed. Iago My friend is dead; 'tis done at your request: But let her live Othello and Iago both know who her refers to. Iago keeps Desdemona at the front of Othellos mind. Friend is misleading, as Othello later in the play attempts to kill Cassio. Further makes Othello think he can be trusted.

Last Random Analysis


Iago I am your own for ever. Your own what? Friend? Enemy? Othello dies within days. For ever is not very long. Another expression by which Iago builds up his trust.

This Extracts Key Things


Othello reaching his low ebb and going insane Iago taking advantage and gaining a lot of trust. Vital to know what comes before and after to understand change in psyche that occurs during this scene.