Othello’s Language: Character Analysis

In the first act, we find Othello using phrases such as “I will…deliver of my whole course of love” and dictions like ‘love’ ‘peace,’ signifying the solid and complete trust he had in everlasting love. When brought in front of the duke to account for the allegation of stealing Desdemona through witchcraft, he boldly defends their love. However, in the fourth act, we witness a transformation in which Othello’s empowering jealous gets the best of him, changing him into a savage and irrational individual. The author portrays this through the phrases that Othello began to use. Now when talking about his wife, he used phrases like “I will chop her into messes.” Such a statement coming from a character that some time ago spoke so highly of the same wife shows the rage and pain he had. Othello had reasons to believe that his wife cheated on him and despised her for it. He uses words such as ‘murder’ in place of ‘peace’ which was always his main message at the beginning of the play.

Iago influenced Othello’s state of mind by creating false images of Cassio and Desdemona having an affair (Melville). Although Othello was a wise and rational leader, Iago managed to play dirty mind games on him, leading to his downfall. Shakespeare uses Othello’s language to portray a disintegration of personality from rational and reasonable to savage and confused. The ones well manner and sophisticated Othello now refer to his dear wife as a ‘whore’. Such insult shows that the character’s good personality has declined, and a frenzy mentality has taken over. Based on Othello’s language when referring to Desdemona, it was evident that he would not hesitate to kill her.

Works Cited

Melville, Alexandra. “Character Analysis: Iago in Othello.” The British Library, 6 June 2017, www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/character-analysis-iago-in-othello. Accessed 8 June 2019.

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