othello essay

othello essay - Robert Dutchen Honesty in the World of...

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Robert Dutchen Honesty in the World of Othello Shakespeare’s rhetoric is renowned for being layered in complexity in regards to application to the text . Although Othello falls short of garnering the acclaim of some of his other works, I find it to be perhaps his most striking play in terms of plot and literary elements . The diction is written carefully, with every word meticulously chosen for a subtle purpose . One instance we see of this in Othello is Shakespeare's repeated usage of the word 'honest' . As I intend to convey, the association of this word with a virtuous woman (OED) illustrates Othello's obsession with Desdemona's fidelity and virginity . From even a structural perspective, some outlying observations can be made about the use of the word honest . First, it appears a total of 52 times throughout the entire play. Many characters utter the word, but it is most frequently used by Othello and Iago . Iago’s use of it is fairly clear in its manipulative use to incite suspicion in Othello . Othello on the other hand utilizes the word in proclaiming both Iago’s good nature, and the state of Desdemona’s purity . The degree to which his wife fulfills this trait is his most burning question, and the question which motivates him to do everything he does over the course of the play . Othello’s personal insecurities are the mechanism by which Iago is able to manipulate his perception about the relationships of those around him . As his doubt grows he speculates that his skin color, “Haply for I am black and have not those soft parts of conversation,” age, “…for I am
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declined into the vale of years,” (Shakespeare, 3 .3.267-70) and lack of experience may be the reasons for Desdemona cheating on him
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othello essay - Robert Dutchen Honesty in the World of...

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