Allusion In Othello

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In writing, it is always better to show than to tell. The play Othello written by the famously known author William Shakespeare, owes it’s success to the fact that the writing effectively conveys the right messages to the audience. On Act 4.1 of Othello, Shakespeare applies repetition, allusion and punctation to comprehensively present to readers the way Othello is feeling and thinking. In the scene, Iago successfully tricks Othello into believing that Cassio has been cheating and sleeping with Desdemona. As a result, Othello’s begins to change from a calm and civilised to a more chaotic and deadly person. He becomes extremely worried and eventually enraged. Shakespeare shows this by using the mentioned writing techniques to enhance the audience’s…show more content…
Allusion is used on line 43 when Othello says “O devil” after distressing about the handkerchief. By using “o devil” to refer to the situation, it shows audiences how strongly and negatively Othello feels about it. This is done through the use of pathos because during Elizabethan times, most people took ideas relating to religion extremely seriously and exceedingly important to life. In those times, mentioning the devil was not something that people do casually. This meant that people in those times would only mention the devil in very serious negative situations and to convey very strong points. Henceforth, Othello referencing the devil emphasises to the audience how badly he feels about Desdemona losing the handkerchief. Audiences of the play at those times would find the language very strong and somewhat disturbing, thus readers are reinforced with the idea that the handkerchief is a big part of Othello’s and Desdemona’s relationship. This will play a key role when trying to understand Othello’s actions later on in the play. By using this kind of allusion, we are also able too see that Othello is becoming more chaotic with his language. Othello is normally very considerate about how he speaks. In this scene, we can clearly see that he is emotionally overwhelmed, thus he feels the inclined to use strong language. The scene continues to shows Othello’s language becoming less thoughtful which hints to the audience that Othello’s character is changing for the
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