The Two Settings of Othello

1184 WordsMay 7, 20135 Pages
Effects of the Environment in Othello In The Tragedy of Othello, an epic tale of love and revenge, Shakespeare introduces major themes of jealousy and self-preservation. Shakespeare uses sharp contrast of settings to convey and amplify feelings brought on by the characters’ actions. The civilized city of Venice and the cut off island of Cyprus bring out the differences in personalities among the main characters, leading them to act as different as the two settings. Venice keeps these characters more dignified in their actions with the overwhelming feeling of the council/public watching. However, Cyprus is much more secluded, giving the characters the chance to show their true colors. Desdemona is introduced as an adventurous and…show more content…
Iago informs Roderigo of Desdemona’s alleged affair and instructs him to “knock out his brains. (Shakespeare, 1080)” Being in Cyprus, Iago was changed from being powerless to the most powerful. Iago was able to manipulate everyone close to him by using the power Othello gave him. Out of all three characters, Othello is the one that changed the most. Othello began as a well-respected general of the Venetian forces and ends as a murderer. While in Venice, Othello is the man the council looks to for military leadership. Othello is not the most powerful man in Venice; he is forced to go where the council feels is necessary. This can be seen in the play when he is instructed to report to Cyprus for military duties. Othello is also a man of trust. He puts all his trust in ‘Honest’ Iago to keep his wife safe in times of war. Othello tells the council, “So please your grace, my ancient; A man he is of honesty and trust. To his conveyance I assign my wife, With what else needful your good grace shall think, To be sent after me. (Shakespeare, 1018)” But while in Cyprus, Othello is the most powerful man because he is the commanding officer. However, this power has made him loose trust in almost everyone around him and led to his insanity. Othello begins changing from a confident and secure man to a self-doubting individual. He shows this by doubting the faithfulness in his marriage. Even though Iago plants the seed of
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