Othello Notes Essay

2296 Words Jan 6th, 2013 10 Pages
Othello Notes:

Assessment Objectives:

AO1: A consistently fluent, precise writing, using critical terminology to present a coherent and detailed argument in which the question is well understood and answered.

AO2: Well developed, analytical and consistently detailed discussion of effects of language, form and structure and ways in which it affects the audience.

AO3: Well informed and detailed discussion of different readings of the text by various audiences, as well as different critical approaches.

AO4: Well detailed and consistently developed understanding of the significance of context of the text.

Critical Approaches:

A C Bradley (1904):
Othello’s nature is all of one piece. His trust where he trust is absolute.
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Rymer and Clinthio

Psychological Interpretation:

The structure of Othello develops in a series of improvised undeclared playlets in which Iago organizes roles for his victims. The degree of control he maintains over the characters allows him to induce a psychological alienation and separation between some of them. As A C Bradley points out “Any man situated as Othello was, would have been disturbed by Iago’s communications.” Iago is helped over all the weak points in his plot by his victims themselves. Some characters are even used as plot devices to help Iago’s plan to become a success. Even the mere random contingency of events for a while allows all the accidents to knit up the design it could unravel and expose Iago’s villainy.

The play’s success depends on arousing our impulsive wish to stop the action and that the more, as civilized playgoers, we stifle that impulse the more the play achieves its ascendancy over us. It is not simply that we lack the release valve provided in pantomime, but rather that we are confronted again and again by our helplessness. We have no access to a hero who needs our help, rather we have access to the villain sharing his plans through his soliloquies' and explaining to us why the characters must fall into the roles he has shaped for them. “For most audiences, he stirs a passion of mingled love and pity that they feel for no other character in any other Shakespeare play.”-A C

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