Othello Essay, Research Paper
The play Othello was written be William Shakespeare in the latter years of Shakespeare?s career. Shakespeare composed, revised, and acted in many theatrical performances throughout his life, he also owned the Globe theater where many of his works were performed. The work Othello was based on a story by Giraldi Cinthios, Tale of a Moor, which was a mellow drama about a moor and his doubts about his wife?s fidelity. In Shakespeare?s play the moor (Othello) is convinced by his jealous aid (Iago) that his wife (Desdemona) is not being faithful. Iago?s jealousy is motivated by his anger as a result of not being appointed Othello?s Lieutenant, when he learns that Cassio a Florentine has be promoted instead he vows to seek revenge against Othello.
Throughout Shakespeare?s Othello various forms iof irony are used. In the first acts of the play verbal irony is most prominent. Verbal irony is when a character says something but actually means the opposite. Iago does this several times, most likely because of the demeanor of his character. In the first act Iago tells Roderigo that ?He is for him?(Act 1. Scene 2, Ln 75). This statement is verbal irony because Iago is not actually ?for? Roderigo he is only using him as part of his scheme. Verbal irony is also present in the second act where Iago tells Othello that he is a faithful servant? (Act 2, Scene , Ln ). The ironic aspect of this statement is that Iago is definitely not a faithful servant to Othello, he is trying to destroy his life.
Dramatic irony also plays a major role in the play Othello. Dramatic irony is when a character states something which is actually the opposite of what is true; however, the character does not know that. In the first act Othello addresses Iago as ?honest Iago? (Act 1, Scene 3, Ln. 336). This is dramatic irony because Iago is in no way honest, he has been and will continue to lie to Othello throughout the play; however, Othello has not yet figured that out. Dramatic irony is also seen when Othello calls Desdemona a ?whore? (Act 4, Scene 2, Ln. 83). Desdemona is not really a whore but Othello has been lead astray by lies from Iago and is oblivious to the truth.
Situational Irony is arguably the most complicated and well hidden aspect of irony in the play. Situational irony is when something spontaneous or unexpected happens in the story. In the first act Iago insults Brabantio by making the comparison between a villain and a senator. (Act 1, Scene 1, Ln. 132-133). One would not expect Iago to insult Brabantio because Brabantio plays a key part in Iago?s plan to destroy Othello. Another situation that is quite ironic is when Desdemona goes and kneels before Iago and asks for his help (Act , Scene ,Ln. ). This is unexpected because there are so many other character who Desdemona could and should have trusted more than Iago, such as her husband Othello. This situation could also be interpreted as dramatic irony because Iago was trusted by Othello and Desdemona and neither of them had any idea of his devious plans.
Shakespeare?s Othello is arguably the best performed play he ever wrote. This is most likely a direct result of the irony in this play. The ironies of the play make it seem more realistic because life itself has many ironies. The ironies in Shakespeare?s Othello definitely make it one of the greatest tragedies ever written.