Here are just a few interesting facts surrounding the work, its characters and its performance history.
As opposed to the sprawling casts and layered stories of the other three tragedies, Othello focuses on three main characters, two of whom, Iago and Desdemona, are carrying out a contest of influence over the main character Othello.
It is fundamental to this genre that ultimately the main character sees the error of his ways, his soul is redeemed and he is allowed into heaven. He is saved from eternal damnation and God wins in the end.
Clearly, in Othello, Shakespeare is parting from the genre in one important respect—there is no happy ending. While Othello does see the error of his ways, and repents, there is nothing to indicate that when he kills himself he is on his way to heaven.
Even more important, in terms of dramatic structure, is the fact that Shakespeare succeeds in making a bona fide drama out of the morality play model by creating an external human conflict that nonetheless embodies the cosmic moral issues.
The conflict is launched when the drunken Cassio gets caught up in a brawl and is stripped of his rank by Othello, prompting Desdemona embodying the forces of good to plead with Othello to show forgiveness towards Cassio and reconcile with him, both fundamentally Christian acts.
To prepare for this contest, the play begins with the ending of another drama. After a subtle and coded process of revealing their attraction to each other, they have a series of clandestine meetings culminating with sneaking off together under cover of darkness, risking great danger—the wrath of her father, the loss of his position—to sanctify their love in marriage.
In this case, the interracial element serves to emphasize the hard-won nature of the love between them, making it that much more tragic to see it undermined and ultimately destroyed. However, for the purposes of this particular evening of theater the love story has been skipped over.
In fact, as if to emphasize a feeling of resolution, the last speeches in the marriage conflict from both the Duke and the father, Brabantio, are written in rhymed couplets.
Hence, immediately upon arriving in Cyprus, the Turkish threat is dispensed with in a ferocious storm. Once that is taken care of, the cast of the ensuing drama makes their entrance one-by-one. Cassio arrives first, being the least important of the main characters.
Then, on the second boat, come Desdemona and Iago, the two cosmic duelists, and Emilia who will ultimately hold the key to unraveling the mystery. But, in short order, he arrives and the cast is complete.
Time for the drama to begin. For the whole first half of the play, Othello and Desdemona seem to spend most of their time trying to go to bed together.
They are pulled from their marriage bed to defend their elopement. They are prevented from returning to it by preparations to go to Cyprus. When they finally arrive in Cyprus, they go off to bed, but are interrupted again to mediate the brawl between Cassio and Montano.
For the next three scenes, roughly the third quarter of the play in length, Iago works assiduously at reinforcing his manipulations. But Iago is not one to let that be enough. Just to make sure, he tells Cassio to approach Desdemona again.
Then, in his crowning manipulation, he first tells Othello stories of Cassio bragging about bedding Desdemona in response to which Othello goes into an epileptic fit, as if made unconscious by the depth of his rage.
Iago then manages to follow that with an opportunity for Othello to witness Cassio appearing to say lewd things about Desdemona.
Othello becomes firmly resolved to kill her and Iago graciously offers to kill Cassio for him as well.Love in Othello Essay. Through out the tragic play Othello, Shakespeare illustrates many different types of love - Love in Othello Essay introduction.
In many cases however, this love proves to be misguided or false. The Battle for Othello’s Soul: How Shakespeare Improved on the Morality Play Posted by jennine lanouette on Monday, December 24th, While Shakespeare’s four great tragedies, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth, all explore facets of human evil, it is in Othello that the force of evil is most directly pitted against the presence of good.
Iago is the villain we love to hate; he makes the play and at the same time breaks all the characters within it, he is the sole instigator of the tragic eventfulness within Othello.
And yet still Iago is one of the most complex characters within Shakespearean tragedy/5(7).
Othello vs Iago. Search this site. Home. Iago's Jealousy. Iago's Role in the Play. Jealousy and Real Life. Othello's Jealousy. Othello's Role In The Play.
Personal Response on Iago's Jealousy. (there is a lot more quotes about jealousy in the play Othello. Shakespeare’s “Othello,” one of his most well-known works, tells the story of a Venetian Moor named Othello and his tragic fall at the hands of a manipulating and deceptive Iago. The film adaptation of “Othello” by Oliver Parker attempts to capture the spirit of the play that Shakespeare envisioned.
Chris Monroe Mr. Everett English April 29, The Truth in Othello The tragic play Othello by William Shakespeare is a play that induces many emotions in the audience for various characters on numerous occasions.