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Othello is a play that has its setting in Venice. The scene revolves around Othello, Iago, Bianca and Cassio. Desdemona is mentioned but she does not appear physically in this scene. Iago secretly despises Othello. This is because Roderigo was a rejected suitor to Desdemona, Othello’s wife. Desdemona and Othello elope and this angers many people, contrary to people’s expectations. Iago convinced Roderigo to follow Desdemona to Cyprus where he would implicate Michael Cassio in an affair with Desdemona. When Othello returns, Iago urges Roderigo to incite Cassio into a fight. Later that evening during the Othello’s wedding feast, Iago makes Cassio get drunk. This resulted in Othello’s dismissing Cassio from service. Iago frames Cassio as having an affair with his wife Desdemona. Othello feels betrayed by his wife and despite Desdemona and Cassio claim of innocence; he fails to believe in them and refers to Desdemona’s tears as crocodile tears. He is so furious that he plots to poison her for her betrayal. He claims he cannot confront her because she would talk him out of the act. Iago, pleased with himself, offers to be the one to kill Cassio. He assures Othello that Cassio would be dead by midnight that same night. Iago is such a sadist that he advises Othello to strangle Desdemona while in bed. Iago manipulates both Cassio and Othello to suit his purpose. He gives Othello false information and incites him to commit murder. To justify himself, he frames Cassio by asking him about his affair with Bianca while in the background Othello listens thinking they are talking about his wife Desdemona. When Bianca walks in, furious that Cassio had given him another woman’s handkerchief; Othello recognizes it as his wife’s. This, to him, acts as proof of the affair. Iago then tells Cassio to run after Bianca and console her. This is to give Othello space to return on stage.
Jealousy is the main theme in this scene. Iago is jealous of Othello’s accomplishments. This drives him to use all means to destroy him and make him a failure. He uses Othello’s love for his wife as a weapon to bring him down. It is normal for any man to be jealous of his wife sleeping with other men. Iago used this knowledge to manipulate Othello into eventually killing his wife. The scene demonstrates how jealousy can enslave people over powering all other forces including the strongest form of love, which is marriage. In addition to this, jealousy drives one to seek revenge in the disguise of justice.
Love is another theme in this scene. In the scene, Othello loves his wife Desdemona very much. He sees her as a part of him and an extension of himself. When he kills her, he kills a part of himself. He has an idealized vision of her being his object of romantic passion. Love is also evident in Othello’s speech where he equates his mother with the apparently betraying Desdemona. Othello is depicted as a romantic lover who has been on a quest for ideal love and beauty. He finds these qualities in Desdemona. His love for Desdemona drives in into a rage that he even contemplates strangling her to death. However, despite his rage, he still acknowledges that her beauty and love would change his mind if he confronted her.
Deceit is also common in the scene. In this scene, the main deceiver, Iago, manipulates almost every character in the play through his deceitfulness and lies to achieve his own delight. The play is a character - driven domestic calamity of envy and dishonesty. The appreciated Venetian general falls prey to the deceitfulness of Iago. Othello's apparently joyful association with his wife Desdemona fall to pieces due to the deceitful plans of Iago, who talks his commander into believing that Desdemona has been having an affair with Cassio, his lieutenant. Othello is a noble, candid and trusting person and Iago uses this to exploit him ruthlessly.
Symbolism is the most common style used in this scene. The handkerchief symbolically represents Othello’s love for Desdemona. He gave her the handkerchief as a gift and a token to symbolize his love. That same handkerchief was used as evidence against Desdemona as a symbol of her affair with Cassio. The scene is written in a combination of prose and poetry. This makes it more appealing to the audience and makes it sound rhythmic.
The stage directions used in the play are used to show how the actors in the scene are supposed to move and perform. For example, when Bianca and Cassio need to leave the stage, the stage directions are “exit”. This shows they are no longer in the room. Thus, creating room for other actors on stage. In addition, the stage directions help the audience to relate and understand the character. This makes it more enjoyable than if the audience was left without any clue of what the characters were doing.
In addition, stage directions reveal the tone of the dialogue. This brings life to play, and the audience is able to tell the mood of the play from the tone. In addition, the tonal variation in the play makes it pleasant to the audience. In conclusion, stage directions are used to ensure a smooth flow of the play. They ensure the characters perform as expected without having to explain themselves to the audience. This makes the audience understand the actors from the author’s perspective. Thus, giving the play flow and a smooth transition between scenes.