A Close Reading In Shakespeare's Othello: A Close Reading

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Othello: A Close Reading This is an analysis of the lines 260-279 of the third scene of the third act of Shakespeare’s Othello. In an attempt to fulfill the incessant need for comfortable dichotomies, societies tend to be divided into two groups: the ‘in-crowd’ and the ‘others’. These strict dualities, constructed upon the inherent need for adversaries, are often as arbitrary as they are false and based on nothing but fear. Regardless of their invalidity, however, simply the belief that these divisions are warranted is enough to render them truth, having a lasting impact of the health of a society and the individuals within it. In his work Othello, Shakespeare explores this concept—focusing on the city of Venice and the prejudices against the Moor. By the end of the …show more content…

The protagonist of the play is ostracized from his own audience. The severity of the irony in this first assertion and in his sheer ignorance intensifies Iago’s betrayal and solidifies his position as an antagonist in this story. One way that Shakespeare uses his language to amplify the dramatic irony of the situation is by using the words “exceeding” and “all” in Othello’s assertion. These words exaggerate Othello’s confidence in Iago. It is almost as if in this first part of the soliloquy, Othello is still trying to convince himself that Iago’s suspicions could be an accurate reflection of reality. This perhaps lack of confidence, however, does not persist throughout the rest of the soliloquy. Another prominent feature of this passage is that it is utterly inundated with bestial imagery. The first image comes in lines 162 to 165, where Othello states, “If I do prove her haggard, / Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings, / I’d whistle her off and let her down the wind/ To prey at fortune.” Here, Desdemona is the falcon and Othello is the falconer. The falcon-falconer image

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