Discuss the Techniques Used by Shakespeare to Present Othello’s Transformation

2137 Words Nov 19th, 2012 9 Pages
Discuss the Techniques Used by Shakespeare to Present Othello’s Transformation

The transforming of Othello is perhaps one of the most important parts to the play. Shakespeare uses a number of techniques to get across the monumental change in Othello and to dramatically present both the characters and the story. Perhaps the most climatic of all the approaches is Othello’s given state of mind. To begin with, he is calm, reserved and commanding, knowing what he wants and how he is to get it. Shakespeare consigned Othello short, impressive imperatives like ‘stand there’ to demonstrate his amount of control. Othello continues to use majestic language throughout the beginning of the play: ‘but look’ and ‘keep up’. As most of his orders are
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If one was respected by others, they would not say ‘Damn her, lewd minx!’ and ‘O damn her!’ It is aggressive and emotive, bordering out of control, and is a complete contrast to his previous, calm self. Othello would not return to that sturdy, serene and placid man he once was. When he uses base language (‘damn’ and ‘lewd’), this again, shows us his metamorphosis to one who has become far more moronic, and lower in the hierarchy. ‘Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them’ is a demonstration of the imagery that Shakespeare presents Othello with. The majority of his imagery is fairly theatrical, establishing his assurance, as he can execute such extravagant mental images, and carry them off. It also shows that his mind is in a harmonious situation, and is not poisoned, giving him the ability to elect images that would be effective in the circumstances: ‘of moving accidents by flood and field, of hair-breadth escapes ' the imminent deadly breach’. Thereafter, we see all his images transforming to become grotesque and incongruous, ‘rather be a toad’. Toads are slimy, unbecoming animals, and Shakespeare is giving us perception to what Othello has been corrupted to adorn. ‘Vapour of a dungeon’ is just another example of the putrid imagery Othello is given. His change in images (both what we acknowledge, and the thoughts of Othello) is monumental, and therefore

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