How Does Shakespeare Present Disturbed Characters?
How does Shakespeare present disturbed characters?
Othello is a tragic hero whose jealousy is cleverly manipulated by the maleficent Iago, transforming him from a noble figure to a disturbed murderer. In keeping with the tragic genre, Shakespeare depicts a sequence of events through which bring about Othello’s decline. The playwright slowly escalates the emotional intensity of the play as Othello becomes more obsessed and less rational. The audience experience a range of emotions as the emotional escalation created is at last over.
At the beginning of the play, Othello is considered as a very respectable man and is even referred to as a moor, which shows his strong authority. In Act 1 Scene 3 however, we find Othello in a council
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Later on in scene 3, we see how Othello becomes verbally aggressive towards Iago. As Iago gleefully plots to plant the handkerchief in Cassio’s room, Othello enters and flies into a rage. Othello declares that his soul is torment, and that it would be better to be deceived completely than to suspect without proof. “Farewell the tranquil mind! Farewell content!” Othello is in agony after having been driven to believe that Desdemona is unfaithful, he angrily turns on Iago, demanding for proof or visual evidence that Desdemona is adulterous. “Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore!” This is the first time in the play where we actually see Othello lose control of himself and using bad language, this comes as an astonishment to much of the audience as up until this point, Othello has always been seen using refined elegant words. He shows how his mind is being demoralized with the way in which his language has become corrupt. Later on in this scene, Iago reveals that when he and Cassio used to share a room, he often heard him saying Desdemona’s name in his sleep. This story enrages Othello, and Iago reminds him that it was only Cassio’s dream. Iago then claims to have witnessed Cassio wiping his beard with the handkerchief that Othello first gave to