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Character Development in Othello

            In this day and age, society commonly gets its entertainment from movies and television shows. In Spiderman, Tobey Maguire takes on the role of a savior and does good deeds across New York City through the use of his special abilities. The producers of this movie are able to depict these abilities through special effects and other technological instruments. It is often said that actions speak louder than words. Although this saying might hold true in the entertainment industry today, it wouldn't have in Shakespeare's time when plays and stories were mainly conveyed through speech. The language found in Shakespeare's plays which would be considered excessive nowadays, was an effective way to arouse the interest of the public in the 1600s. This is why in Shakespeare's play Othello, character and the development of character is intimately linked with language.
             Early on in the play, the tragic hero Othello is presented as a bold speaker who's very calm and self-assured. As the play progresses however, Othello's character changes as he becomes jealous, impulsive, and deranged. This change in Othello's character is accompanied by an alteration in the way he conveys himself. As Iago begins to corrupt Othello in Act 3 by suggesting that Desdemona has been unfaithful, Othello's language uses its purity and calm. Othello frequently praises Desdemona throughout the play, and refers to her as an "excellent wretch". After Iago tells Othello about Desdemona's infidelity, Othello says: "I had been happy if the general camp, | Pioneers and all, had tasted her sweet body," (3.3.347-8). This comment reveals how Othello has transitioned from seeing his wife as an entity of desire and divinity, to seeing her as a sexual object. This language seems to correlate with the exploitation of his mind, done by Iago. As the play unfolds, Iago frequently describes Othello and his relationship with Desdemona through the use of animal imagery.

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