Dramatic Irony Used for Characterization in Othello by Shakespeare

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“Some men just want to watch the world burn,” (Alfred [Michael Caine,] Batman; The Dark Knight). William Shakespeare uses a variety of literary devices throughout his works, but his use of dramatic irony specifically puts his readers at the edge of their seats. Being full of jealousy and betrayal, the plot of Othello is guided by this playwright’s usage of dramatic irony. Through the use of dramatic irony and characterization Shakespeare creates Iago, the most sinister character in all of literature. William Shakespeare, being born on April 23, 1563, was subject to an early renaissance education. With new ideals, such as humanism, spreading throughout Europe during this time it was inevitable that Shakespeare’s writings would be influenced by this. These humanistic qualities can be seen in Shakespeare’s writing, especially in Othello. Unlike his contemporaries, such as Miguel de Cervantes, Shakespeare did not completely absorb the concept humanism into his writing. El Quixote (Cervantes) is a completely humanistic work, but Othello is more reserved. Shakespeare’s characterization of Iago captures these non-humanistic qualities. Throughout Othello, the dramatic irony of “Honest” Iago is detrimental. Iago serves as Othello’s main attendant and is expected to get the promotion to lieutenant. Unexpectedly though, Othello gives the promotion of lieutenant to Michael Cassio. In all, this catalyzes Iago’s plot for revenge and destruction that will destroy every

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