Themes in Shakespeare's Othello Essay

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Othello was written by Jacobean playwright William Shakespeare in 1603. It proved a huge success when first performed in 1604, in front of a huge audience. The story is one of Shakespeare’s great tragedy themed plays. Othello is the black protagonist and highly esteemed Venetian general. Iago is the ambitious but scheming villain of the play. When Othello promotes a man called Michael Cassio over Iago, he is furious and launches a malicious campaign against Othello. Meanwhile, Othello has married a white woman, Desdemona, without her father knowing. Through Iago’s plotting, Othello suspects that his wife is having an affair and after many murders and plots, Othello smothers his wife. But he finds out the truth about Iago, and horrified at …show more content…

He will take advantage of Othello and is using him for his own means. Shakespeare wrote this to foreshadow the future, creating tension, because the audience know there is dishonesty and deception to follow. This is supported by the quote: ‘in following him, I follow but myself’ & ‘I am not who I am’. It y shows you that Iago does not wear his heart on his sleeve. The word ‘master’ sounds mocking, as if Iago is going to betray Othello so this creates tension. So the themes of hate and appearance vs. reality are introduced through Iago’s dialogue. Iago expresses his hate for Othello He says: ‘...I do hate him as I do hell pains’. The simile ‘hate’ explains how much Iago loathes Othello. He compared hatred to hell. The modern audience aren’t as affected by the reference to hell, but the Jacobean audience would feel the true extent of Iago’s hatred. The setting of act one also contributes to the hatred felt in the play. It is dark and there is a sense of mystery, creates a tense and dramatic atmosphere. Words such as: ‘despise’ ‘devil’ and ‘hell’ support this. The references to hell would have made the Jacobean audience weary. Iago’s evil soliloquy is full of hatred and revenge: ‘Hell and night must bring this monstrous birth to the worlds light’. The dark, evil images create a strong reaction in both audiences. ‘ the worlds light’ indicates scheming will start, doubt will surface. ‘...monstrous’ indicates the idea in Iago’s head is like a

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