The Use Of Animal Imagery In Othello Essay

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In William Shakespeare’s play “Othello” the use of animal imagery was evident throughout the telling of the story. Shakespeare explained several characters actions by comparing them to similarities in animals.
The characters in “Othello” were often depicted as having animal-like characteristics. Some characters were even compared to animals by other characters in the play. By defining characters in terms of these characteristics one can get a clear description of what the character is doing or saying as compared to certain animals. In this paper I hope to give examples of animal imagery used in “Othello” that assist in explaining the play. The specific examples I present will describe a character either as seen by
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His plan was to get Cassio drunk and have him mutter words of hate and disgust to Othello, a person who Cassio had great respect for, until he was drunk and then fed him lies told to him by Iago.
Shakespeare’s animal imagery in this paragraph helps one to understand Cassio’s burden of having too many questions and not enough answers. In using the comparison of Hydra, the many headed monster, to Cassio explained how Cassio’s burden would be lifted if he only had more mouths to explain everything he had to say at one time. In Act Three Iago once again tries to manipulate another character in the play. This time he told
Othello of an alleged affair that Cassio and Desdemona were having. The affair that Iago spoke of was a complete lie, for the two were nothing more than friends. Upon hearing of this alleged affair though,
Othello went into a fit of rage yelling, “Arise, black vengeance, from hollow hell! Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne To tyrannous hate! Swell, bosom, with thy fraught, for ‘tis of aspics’ tongues” (p. 149).
Shakespeare was attempting to illustrate a man, who was torn between his good friend, someone who he respected, and his lover. Shakespeare portrayed a man going through an almost metamorphosis of emotions into this animal that he could not control. Othello yelled for this side of him to rise from hell, which had aspics’ tongues, a tongue from a
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