Passage Analysis for a Shakespeare Tragedy - Book Report/Review Example

Passage Analysis of Act 4, Scene 2, in Shakespeare’s Othello Racial imagery and the use of language Date: 4/26/2012 Word count: 1,534 Passage: Act 4, Scene 2, Lines 36-105 Plagiarism statement: I declare that this document is all my own work and does not contain any plagiarism…
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Passage Analysis for a Shakespeare Tragedy
Download file to see previous pages The main themes of the play are jealousy, love, betrayal, tragedy and racism, which are exemplified by the way that the characters of the play interact with each other and how strongly action is driven not by evidence, but by suspicion and manipulation. For this analysis the dialogue between Othello and Desdemona in Act 4, Scene 2, in Shakespeare’s Othello has been chosen for careful examination. The scene shows the breakdown of Othello’s noble nature into a more base form, and reinforces the differences of race between Othello and Desdemona, showing Desdemona as a pure and innocent character, while Othello appears dark and almost demonic. This imagery reinforces the concepts of race that were introduced earlier in the play. The dialogue that occurs in this passage of text consists of a back and forth between Desdemona and Othello beginning at line 36, where Othello dismisses Emilia and is alone with Desdemona 105 where he calls Emilia back into the room, immediately after referring to Desdemona as “…that cunning whore of Venice; That married with Othello (Act 4.2, lines 103-104. Throughout the scene, Othello is accusing Desdemona of being unfaithful, while a confused and frightened Desdemona protests her innocence. Prior to this scene, Iago has spend a significant amount of time vividly describing Desdemona’s supposed infidelity to him, and manipulating Othello to the extent that he becomes convinced that Desdemona is involved romantically with Cassio. This passage is highly significant, as at this point Othello is already convinced of Desdemona’s guilt, even though he has seen no direct evidence, and has already determined that he will kill her for her betrayal. This scene is the first indication that Desdemona has of her husband’s suspicions, and she has no indication of what drove these opinions. Indeed, even after Othello begins to accuse and berate her, she continues to have no idea about what he thinks she has done, “I understand a fury in your words. But not the words” (Act 4.2, lines 37-38). Consequently, this is an important scene in the play and indicates the way that the characters will progress emotionally and in action. One of the focuses of Othello is the juxtaposition between black and white, particularly between Othello, the moor, and Desdemona the white bride. In the early scenes of the book, Othello is attempting to be perceived as a white man. He is a military leader, a man well respected in his community, and for the most part is treated like an equal. The acceptance and love that Desdemona feels for Othello is a highly important aspect of Othello’s position as a ‘white’ man, however, the love that the pair shares is condemned by Desdemona’s father, Brabantio. This can be seen by his exclamation “Oh treason of the blood! Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters’ minds” (Act 1.1). This image of Othello as the equal of a white man is strongly built over the early sections of the book, so much so that the reader could forget that Othello is black. The interjections of people like Brabantio about Othello’s race actually act to build Othello in esteem, as he reacts with the calmness of a gentlemen, telling his men to hold their weapons, he will answer whatever charges are set to him (Act 1.1). His use of language is elegant and his phrases are almost poetic. However, in Act 4, this image of Othel ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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