How Does Shakespeare Sow The Seeds Of T Essay

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How does Shakespeare sow the seeds of tragedy in Act 1?

In the first act within Shakespeare’s play “Othello”, the audience immediately recognises that the genre of the play is classical tragedy. Shakespeare intelligently embeds dramatic irony throughout the first act in order to portray the main character, Othello, as innocent, vulnerable and victimised. Additionally, Shakespeare sets act one at nighttime, which portrays characters, such as Iago, as malicious, sinister and dark. Furthermore, Shakespeare sows the seeds of tragedy in act one by making evident references to war – which foreshadows the future tragedies that await not only the central characters, but also society. Shakespeare uses structure effectively throughout the first scene to portray the emotions and status of the characters, which sometimes makes the audience feel pity and sympathy- hence indicating that Shakespeare sows the seeds of tragedy successfully. Firstly, in scene one of “Othello”, Iago complains to Roderigo about Othello’s decision to make Cassio his lieutenant. Shakespeare clearly portrays Iago as a foul, selfish and jealous man by the use of crude language, “S’blood”. Furthermore, the use of the rhetorical question, “And what was he?” clearly hints to the audience that Iago thinks Othello’s decision was ridiculous and unfair. Moreover, Shakespeare uses the epithet “to love the moor” to reveal to the audience that Othello is an outsider and is unworthy of his status. Because of this, tragedy has already been sown into the first scene because Othello has already been regarded as an outsider and worthless. In addition to this, Iago has been presented to the audience as the antagonist , and Othello the protagonist. The first scene is set in the dark- thus creating a sense of ambiguity for the audience as the faces of Iago and Roderigo cannot be accurately seen. Their darkened faces could foreshaddow their two-faced manner towards Othello. In addition to this, an atmosphere of tension is created because darkness is synonymous to a lack of security and protection. Because of this, Iago and Roderigo are automatically conveyed to the audience as maliscious and dark characters. Shakespeare also uses animal imagery to graphically portray Iago’s disgust and hatred towards Othello. The metaphor “you will have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse” actually makes Desdemona’s and Othello’s relationship sound disgusting and incredibly wrong. Additionally, Othello is expressed as a grotesque being- despite the fact that his only crime is falling in love with Desdemona. Moreover, the alliteration “nephews neigh”, “courses for cousins” and “gennets for germans” sows another seed of tragedy into the play because Othello’s love for Desdemona has been expressed as a crime. Another seed of tragedy is sown into act one when Iago and Roderigo awake Brabantio. The tricolon “rouse him, make after him, poison his delight” foreshadows to the audience that all happiness is going to disappear after their visit to Brabantio. Moreover, the imperative “Strike on the tinder, ho!” symbolises how Brabantio is never going to allow his daughter, Desdemona to stay with Othello. Therefore, tragedy has been introduced into Desdemona’s and Othello’s relationship because Brabantio is never going to let Desdemona be free from his grasp. In addition to this, dramatic irony has been introduced into the play because the audience are aware that the loving relationship between Othello and Desdemona is going to be damaged and ignored by Iago, Roderigo and Brabantio, whereas Othello and Desdemona are completely oblivious to this. Further domestic chaos and disorder is injected into the play when the audience realises that the father and daughter bonds between Brabantio and Desdemona have been broken. The rhetorical question “how got she out?” indicates Brabantio’s disgust and disappointment towards Desdemona. Additionally, Shakespeare craftily uses repetition of