The Power Of Language Devices In Shakespeare's Othello

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Matthys Uys
ENGE311: Assignment 8 (Improved version) 23 May 2016

The Power of Language Devices in “Othello”

Through using powerful words in “Othello”, the human behaviour of the characters is either positively or negatively influenced. In the following essay “the power of words” in “Othello” will be discussed. Firstly, an introduction paragraph will be given about the power of language devices. Secondly, the language device, “words as power”, will be discussed. Thirdly, the language device, “words as character”, will be elaborated upon. Lastly, the language device, “words as conversation” with the audience, will be explained.

Shakespeare was very specific, in 1603, about his choice of words when he wrote the play, “Othello”. The three language devices – “words as power”, “words as character” and “words as conversation” with the audience – are used to create characters’ identities and fates, and also to drive the plot of the play (Krieger, 2012).

Powerful words are used in the world of “Othello” and can create order or chaos. Othello uses language when he tells his stories of war to Desdemona and as a result wins her heart. A positive example of the power of language is how Othello and Desdemona fall in love (Krieger, 2012). “She wished she had not heard it, yet she wished that heaven had made her such a man” (I.iii.160-161). Iago
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