How Significant Is Act 1 in Othello?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By zanderdiamond3
Words 1357
Pages 6
What is the significance of act 1 in Othello.
Act 1 of ‘Othello’ by William Shakespeare is of extreme importance to the development of the play and the audiences understanding of it as a whole. Othello is introduced to the audience as calm, confident and eloquent individual who has deeply in love with Desdemona even in the face of adversity in their relationship. However, as the play progresses Othello is manipulated and warped by his ensign Iago. His mind begins to fracture until he commits an atrocity so foul; he believes death is the punishment he deserves.
One of the most important points portrayed in act 1 is Othello’s personality and thought process before he is manipulated by Iago in later scenes. “From men of royal siege; and my demerits…may speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune…as this that I have reached”. Othello is portrayed here as calm and rational here despite the fact that Iago is attempting to rile him by giving false information about Roderigo. Furthermore, Othello emphasises his self-confidence by stating that his past glories will speak louder than Brabantio’s gripes about his daughter’s relationship with him. Othello emphasises this point again by speaking in verse “Were it my cue to fight I should have known it without a prompter.” This emphasises his supreme confidence and rational thinking as he states that he has done nothing wrong and has no reason to feel guilty about his marriage to Desdemona. Moreover, although Brabantio orders his guard to arrest Othello, he remains calm and respectful as he knows that his love for Desdemona is true and above the disapproval of her father. This contrasts with later in the play once Iago has poured his poison into Othello’s mind and he is completely overcome with jealousy “Yes, t’is Emilia…My wife? What wife? I have no wife.” This disjointed sentence emphasises just how much Othello’s character has…...

Similar Documents

Shakespear's Othello Act 1-2

...several different takes on how the art of war should be conducted. Each idea and skill is valuable in its own way, as are the differences on war and how everything should happen. In these four texts, Othello, An Arithmetical Military Treatise, Named Stratioticos, and The Pathway to Martial Discipline each author depicts a different aspect of war and what is needed to be victorious. Each one is similar in that they want to be able to be successful in combat, and each think that their methods will get them there. In Othello it is though, in the very first act, that war is about fighting. Cassio is incredibly knowledgeable on many things, not so much in war-fare, or so Iago claims. He believes that in order to be a warrior, a soldier, they must be fighters. They should have full knowledge of war and how to go about throughout the many situations that can arise. Othello himself said that he knows nothing but fighting. Digges's take is much more evovled than that of Iago in Othello. He believes that knowledge is the key to having a better military. He knows that in educating the soldiers, it will make them better which makes the army better. Most soldiers are trained within months, Digges's believes it take more time to fully absorb the aspects of war and how to go about it because war isn't a math problem with a simple solution. People can go in thinking one way, get a few things thrown at them, and leave with a completely different understanding on how to go about certain......

Words: 518 - Pages: 3

How Does Shakespeare Show the Different Moods and Feelings of Beatrice and Benedick in Act 2 Scene 1 and Act 4 Scene 1?

...How does Shakespeare show the different moods and feelings of Beatrice and Benedick in act 2 Scene 1 and Act 4 scene 1? Shakespeare demonstrates Beatrice and Benedick's relationship as intricate and diverse so in this essay I'm going to delve into their relationship and different moods and emotions. The character of Beatrice is introduced as bright and having a Sharp-tongue in act two scene one. She is already shown sharp-witted and mocks Benedick’s uselessness as a soldier and friend. In this scene they compete to outdo each other in their ‘Merry war’ with clever jabs at each other. In this scene Shakespeare shows that they have many different emotions. In Act two Scene one, Shakespeare expresses Beatrice’s disdainful opinion that Benedick ‘is the Prince’s Jester, a very dull fool’. By using the nouns ‘Jester’ and ‘fool’ this expresses that Beatrice does not think there is much to Benedick and that he is not very smart. The use of this language from Shakespeare presents Benedick in a negative way in the eyes of the audience. In addition, by using the adjective 'dull' Beatrice shows that she finds Benedick very boring and tedious. Benedick is also shown as having some resentment towards Beatrice in Act two Scene one. He expresses that his ‘visor began to assume life to scold with her.’ This demonstrates that he believes an inanimate object would come to life just to tell her off. By using the verb ‘scold’ this shows that he is angry at her since ‘scold’ is a......

Words: 671 - Pages: 3

Othello Act 1

...Virgile Orsot Humanities 202.04 11/08/2013 Othello Act 1 Summary I. Othello begins on a street in Venice, in the midst of an argument between Roderigo and Iago. A. The rich Roderigo has been paying Iago to help him in his suit to Desdemona, but he has seen no progress. 1. Desdemona has married Othello, a general whom Iago serves as ensign. 2. Iago declares that he hates Othello because of his recent promotion of Michael Cassio to the post of lieutenant. 3. Iago only pretends to follow Othello but secretly hates him. B. Iago advises Roderigo to spoil Othello’s marriage by rousing Desdemona’s family against the general.  1. The two men come to the street outside the house of Desdemona’s father, Brabanzio, and cry out that he has been robbed by “thieves”. 2. Brabanzio, who is a Venetian senator, comes to the window.  3. They tell him that his daughter is with Othello. C. At first, he doesn’t believe what he hears and thinks Roderigo is merely scheming once again in order to see Desdemona. 1.  Iago speaks in inflammatory terms, vulgarly telling the senator that his daughter and Othello are having sex by saying that they are “making the beast with two backs”  2. Seeing the success of his plan, Iago leaves Roderigo alone and goes to attend on Othello.  3.  Declaring that his daughter has been stolen from him by magic “charms,” Brabanzio and his men follow Roderigo to Othello. II. The action is carried to Othello’s home...

Words: 884 - Pages: 4

How Significant Was Popular Pressure in the Passing of the 1832 Reform Act?

...How significant was popular pressure in passing the 1832 reform act? The use of popular pressure was quite significant in the passing of the 1832 reform act. Firstly, because of the protests and riots which occurred in the build-up to the reform act, the Government made some sort of concessions for the public, and were seen to give into popular pressure. Though on the other hand, it could be seen that the Whig’s were using the excuse of popular pressure to gain more power for themselves. Popular pressure was significant in passing the 1832 reform act, because of the fact that Earl Grey knew that the reform act was public knowledge after the failure of the first attempt to pass the reform act, he knew that the public would not take kindly if he was to not push for the act again in the house of commons, this is backed up by a letter from Duke Wellington to Mrs Arbuthnot where he states “They will plunder, annihilate, all property in this country”, this is in reference to if reform was not passed. Wellington also stated in the letter “It may be relied on that we have a revolution”, this is furthermore showing the potential power of the masses, which shows that the fear of the people was prevalent even in the wealthy, who had a lot of political power within Britain at the time. This proves greatly that popular pressure was significant in the passing of the act because even in the early stages, the inclination of chaos was enough to intimidate Duke Wellington. The BPU was the......

Words: 859 - Pages: 4

Othello Essay: Iago's Acts of Character Manipulation

...Iago’s Strategic Acts of Character Manipulation W.H. Auden once said, "There is more than meets the eye", suggesting that there may be a hidden or deeper meaning behind a person's initial appearance. Lies and deceits are common in society, and many individuals mask their true intentions with a veneer. In Shakespeare's play Othello, the character Iago is no different from those deceptive individuals. Behind his façade as a trustworthy ensign and friend, Iago is a multilayered, deceptive and manipulative villain, concocting chaos and causing mishaps to other characters for revenge. Iago uses his deft and astute strategic acts of manipulation to undermine each character’s weaknesses. He exploits Roderigo’s love for Desdemona, cajoles Cassio under the guise of friendship, and toys with Othello’s mind by playing on his self-doubt. Evidently, Iago manipulates the people around him by using their weaknesses: Roderigo’s naiveté, Cassio’s trusting nature, and Othello’s insecurity, against them. First of all, Iago uses Roderigo’s gullible and naive personality to his advantage. Roderigo’s obsession and lust for Desdemona renders him susceptible to Iago’s manipulation. This obsession causes him to unquestioningly believe anything Iago says in hopes of getting Desdemona. Initially, Iago dupes Roderigo of his fortune. He convinces him that the gold and jewels will be given to Desdemona as a proclamation of his love when in actuality, Iago plans to keep it for himself. Iago states:......

Words: 1399 - Pages: 6

How Was Romeo and Juliet Presented in Act 1

...Shakespeare leaves the reader in no doubt as to what his play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is about. His 14 lines sonnet details the theatrical route that the story takes from its beginning to its end. Our ‘star-cross’d lovers’, the principal characters of the play, fall foul of their self-woven spider web of deceits which ends tragically with their demise, along with a few others. A depressing and a very sad end to a whirl wind romance with just one glimmer of hope emerging in that the strife between the two noble families, Capulet and Montague, comes to an end. However, the first scene of Act 1 introduces the audience to an air of joviality the hilarious conversation between Sampson and Gregory over how to treat the women servants of the Montague’s. Sampson told Gregory ‘that he will be civil with the maids; I will cut off their heads.’ To which Gregory replies, ‘The hence of the maids?,’ followed by Sampson’s witty and extremely funny reply: ‘Aye the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads, take it in what sense thou wilt.’ Even when they were confronted with danger as two of the enemy approached, the wit is still there as shown when Gregory says that he ‘… will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as they list.’ Sampson decides ‘…my to bite my thumb at them, which is disgrace to them if they bare it.’ Nevertheless, this repartee of joviality and wit hides what is actually going on. A long lasting feud exists between the two noble families that has overflowed onto the streets......

Words: 471 - Pages: 2

How to Act on a First Date

...3/19/14 eng-111 How to Behave on a First Date Everyone has their personal opinions on how someone should behave on a first date. Now, whether it is for a male or female my top three things that a person should do on a first date are the following: make a good first impression , have good communication, and last but not least have some type of manners. A good first impression is all or nothing on a first date. I personally would not want to go on a first day with someone who looks like they just got attacked by a bunch of monkeys . On a first date one must look their personal best. What if you got asked out on a date with someone and on the day of the date they look super tacky and their hygiene is not at their and they just do not look attractive , right you would just want to leave and go home and call it the worst first date of your life. that is why first impression is a must on a first date. good communication is the key to a great relationship. So, why not get off to a great start by doing that on a first date. Don't be a rather boring person , both females and males hate having a boring date. spice things up have funny conversations about each other's childhoods or ask common "getting to know each other " questions . communication is great, it gives opportunity for both to express themselves and let each person see how one another's personality is. Last but manners are everything and more on a first date . once my friend and I went on double date. My then......

Words: 456 - Pages: 2

Othello- Act 5 Analysis

...K buddy - How does the social hierarchy affect the plot and actions of the characters? In act 5 the social hierarchy of the actors determines their actions in the final scenes of the play. Othello: After realising the truth of his actions, that he has killed the love of his life for no justified reason, Othello kills himself. Along with the fact that he says he killed himself as a punishment for himself, we also know that it was very unknown to have a black man in such a high position in the social hierarchy. This most likely means that othello would receive a harsher and more brutal punishment, as the society in this era was very racist. Desdemona and emilia: The social hierarchy of this era placed women in a somewhat demeaning position below men. Wifes especially were expected to be immaculate, honest, faithful and extremely obedient towards their husbands, who always follow orders with haste and to never question them. This may be why Desdemona showed very poor effort in order to save her life. Possibly she is a weak woman too, who could not put up a fight, however the expectations she has been brought up with make her an obedient wife and thus why she did not want to disobey her husband, and show much resistance. However Emilia is also in the same social position as desdemona, being a woman in this era. She is often perceived as a stronger willed woman than Desdemona, as she does eventually speak up for what she wanted to say. Quote. However Iago did try to stop......

Words: 1093 - Pages: 5

Explore How Shakespeare Examines the Themes of Jealousy and Deception in ‘Othello’ the Play and ‘Othello’ the Character

...follows the same basic story line with a fatal tendency, and Othello is no exception. Shakespeare stories are often about one hero, and the story builds up to the eventual death of this character. The hero often starts the story with happiness and no obvious problems, and as the story develops the character’s life begins to crumble and eventually leads to their death after everything has been lost. Othello is a prime example of this Shakespearian story line, where we see everything Othello has at the start of the story fall to pieces and end in tragedy with the character’s suicide. Jealousy and deception are central themes in many of Shakespeare’s plays, and are often what leads to the hero’s downfall. There are a number of key scenes in Othello that represent these themes of jealousy, deception and tragedy throughout the play. In Act 2 Scene 3 Iago uses different techniques in order to deceive Othello and change his opinions of Cassio. Iago says: ‘I would rather have this tongue cut from my mouth, then it should do offense to Michael Cassio.’ Iago is setting up his later deception, as he is tricking Othello into thinking that he likes Cassio and would never speak ill of him, which enables him to seem more believable when he later deceives Othello about Desdemona’s affair. This deception is confirmed when Othello says ‘I know Iago, thy honesty, and love doth mince this matter, making it light to Cassio.’ Othello is suggesting that Iago may not tell the whole truth as he......

Words: 2250 - Pages: 9

Othello

...Othello Notes Reputation/Honour Importance of the theme of Reputation / Honour in Othello: The significant theme of reputation and honour is portrayed frequently throughout the novel Othello. Many of the characters in the novel carefully consider the consequences of their thoughts and actions in regards to their reputation and honour, making sure that they appear noble even when their actions are irrational and selfish. Such an example is shown when Iago appears to be simply stating the obvious about Desdemona, instead of manipulating Othello to believe his own fears. Othello is dictated by his desire to live up to his reputation, achieved through years of being a general in Venice. Reputation, used in conjunction with jealousy and trust, provide the key elements which provoke Othello’s mental disintegration shown predominantly by language techniques, into a world of mistrust and assumption. It is logical to assume that Othello’s suicide was a consequence of his need to preserve any traces of reputation left from his dedicated work as a general; from the characteristics portrayed of Othello it is implied that the act of imprisonment would crush Othello – he would no longer be an honourable citizen. In a similar way to Othello’s suicide, Iago’s sudden and unpredicted vow of silence could be assumed to also be a form of self-preservation, manipulating other characters by preventing any more damage to his reputation by not accidentally admitting details of his ignobility. ...

Words: 8721 - Pages: 35

How Does Shakespeare Make Act I Scene I in Richard Iii Significant and Dramatic?

...How does Shakespeare make Act I scene i in Richard III significant and dramatic?  |  In the Shakespearian tragedy Richard III, Act I scene i is made a very significant and dramatic part of the play as it is the grand opening of the entire production, and is therefore used to introduce many of the fundamental ideas and begin to familiarise the audience with some of the main characters and their individual personalities. By the time of Act I scene i, the Battle of Tewkesbury between York and Lancaster has recently concluded, with the result of York as victors and having possession of the throne.  Richard Duke of Gloucester is shown to have played a vital role in the victory at Tewkesbury- having been responsible for the death of Henry VI and Prince Edward (as revealed in Act I scene ii)-yet is denied the right of sovereignty by his elder brother, Edward. Richard reveals to the audience his feelings about this, and the apparent end of the war, through a soliloquy at the start of Act I scene i. After this, Richard proceeds to have an interaction with George, Duke of Clarence, who has been ordered to be taken to the tower for imprisonment by his brother, King Edward. There are three main ways that Shakespeare makes this scene significant and dramatic. Firstly, he reveals to us in the soliloquy that Richard has chosen to be a villain for the duration of the play, and gives us the reasons why. Shakespeare also shows to the audience Richard’s cunning and deceptive nature, by using......

Words: 1860 - Pages: 8

Love in Act One- Othello

...Theme of Love in Othello - Act 1 The theme of love is an important element to any Shakespearean tragedy, and Othello is no different. From the start it is made apparent that Roderigo is in love with ‘Desdemona’, but she is married to the “moor”, Othello. When Brabantio is told that his daughter is with the moor, he says “It is too true an evil. Gone she is. And what’s to come of my despised timeIs naught but bitterness” he is saying that now she has gone, his life will be nothing but bitterness. This shows the love he has for his daughter. The mere thought of loosing his daughter makes him hysterical. He immediately questions the moors motives. “Is there not charms by which the property of youth and maidhood may be abused?” He is saying that Othello used ‘magical spells’ to lead his daughter astray and stole her innocence. The fact that he hastily jumped to this conclusion proves that his love for his daughter has blinded him. He is refusing to acknowledge the fact that she may of actually been willing to marry this man and have any sort of consenting sexual relations with him. Although we hear a lot about Othello and Desdemona’s relationship, it is not until scene 2 that we hear Othello’s account of their relationship, which is eminently different. He tells the story of how him and Desdemona met; Brabantio “oft invited” him into their home and he would tel them the stories of his past. He states that she instigated the conversation as she was inquisitive......

Words: 460 - Pages: 2

How Significant Was the Reichstag Fire?

...How Significant was the Reichstag Fire? On the night of the 27th of February, 1933, the Reichstag building in Berlin burned down in an act declared by the Nazi Party to be the inception of a widespread communist uprising. The Reichstag Fire, as it was called, can be observed as one of the most significant events in the formation of Nazi Germany through its pivotal role in the reduction of civil liberties of Germany’s citizens and the emergence of a near dictatorial regime within the Weimar Republic. The significance of the fire lies in its role as a catalyst towards effecting the power that the Nazi Party would hold throughout the 1930’s as a result of the various decrees and laws passed in response to it. There is little doubt that the party would have come to similar power with time, but by utilising the fire as part of a communist plot to overthrow the German government, Adolf Hitler created a political and social environment susceptible to his control. The direct consequences of the fire were great, both in terms of political gain and the restriction of rights for the Nazi party’s adversaries, which at that point was predominantly the communist community. These greater holds on power were provided chiefly through the instigation of the Reichstag Decree and the Enabling Act along with the utilisation of political alliances between the police force and the Nazi Party. To understand the resounding effect of the fire, the general political environment in Germany before......

Words: 1883 - Pages: 8

How to Pick the Wrong Significant Other

...Dani Szafran WR121 Process Analysis Essay How to Pick the Wrong Significant Other There are very few things I am good at that I can eloquently put into words and give instructions for them. One thing I do really well; constantly dating the wrong person. Friends might think that after making the same mistakes over and over again, that I would have learned by now. Those friends are wrong. At least, they were. Finally admitting to myself what mistakes I’ve been making, and talking to my friends about it, I have learned to take more time in getting to know someone. It always starts the same way: a cute face. A physical attraction. Just go with it. I wait until the guy talks to me because I’m just a little too shy and awkward. When they do, I need to get a drink because it loosens me up and makes me less nervous. Maybe my friends are there, that always helps. So, we’re talking and the hormones are flying. Then there’s a light brushing of hands. Electric. Sparks are flying. Also, at this point, the drinks are flowing. Nothing really deep or important usually comes from these conversations. It’s basically just like two teenagers trying not to paw at each other in public. We arrange to hang out again. Great! First dates are awkward but I get that excited feeling in my stomach when I’m pulling up to meet them. Once, I was extra nervous as I wasn’t quite sure I’d recognize the person that I’d met at a bar and talked to for about five minutes before setting up a date.......

Words: 872 - Pages: 4

The Importance of Act 1 in Othello

...significance of act 1 in Othello. Act 1 of ‘Othello’ by William Shakespeare is of extreme importance to the development of the play and the audiences understanding of it as a whole. Othello is introduced to the audience as calm, confident and eloquent individual who has deeply in love with Desdemona even in the face of adversity in their relationship. However, as the play progresses Othello is manipulated and warped by his ensign Iago. His mind begins to fracture until he commits an atrocity so foul; he believes death is the punishment he deserves. One of the most important points portrayed in act 1 is Othello’s personality and thought process before he is manipulated by Iago in later scenes. “From men of royal siege; and my demerits…may speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune…as this that I have reached”. Othello is portrayed here as calm and rational here despite the fact that Iago is attempting to rile him by giving false information about Roderigo. Furthermore, Othello emphasises his self-confidence by stating that his past glories will speak louder than Brabantio’s gripes about his daughter’s relationship with him. Othello emphasises this point again by speaking in verse “Were it my cue to fight I should have known it without a prompter.” This emphasises his supreme confidence and rational thinking as he states that he has done nothing wrong and has no reason to feel guilty about his marriage to Desdemona. Moreover, although Brabantio orders his guard to arrest......

Words: 1357 - Pages: 6

Orphan Black | Documentary | Eps5 Meet the Putmans - Season 1