Referring to your knowledge of some of the characteristics of everyday talk, show how Shakespeare turns these characteristics to dramatic effect.
You may refer to other parts of the play in support of your ideas but ensure that you concentrate your analysis and discussion on the given passages.Act 1 Sc3 Passage A= pg 31 line 128-169B= pg 41 line 296 – 325In Passage A, Othello is speaking in a monologue. In everyday talk, we rarely see this form of address.
It is mostly used in speeches or in situations where the speaker has a form of authority. Therefore, this form of speech establishes Othello as an impressive character. Normally, in an everyday situation, there would be some interruptions and turn-taking. The fact that this does not occur, shows Othello to be a powerful and persuasive speaker.
This is fitting to the theme of the scene, whereby Othello must persuade the Duke and Brabantio that he did not abduct and seduce Desdemona. It is important that he convinces them, or he could be killed or sent to prison. Hence, Shakespeare has increased the dramatic effectiveness of the play.In Passage A, Othello’s long speech is very orderly, with regular iambic pentameter.
Shakespeare has probably used this to portray the nobility and composure of Othello – ironic when compared to his actions later in the play. This is in contrast to everyday speech, which is highly unlikely to be so structured unless it has been pre-planned. There would probably be pauses and repitition, something which is not found in Othello’s speech.
The personal pronoun ‘I’ is used several times throughout the monologue. For example,’Upon this hint I spake:She loved me for the dangers I had passed,And I loved her that she did pity them’This again heightens the impression that Othello is an important character. The personal pronouns ‘I’ and ‘my’ do occur in normal conversation, but usually they serve to show that the person speaking is egotistical and self-centred.
Shakespeare may have chosen this dramatic effect to show the status and purpose of Othello.There are built-in pauses, such as the lines.’From year to year – the battles, sieges, fortunes’That I have passed.This is deliberate and is used by Shakespeare to increase tension. This is much like as in normal conversation, where pauses are used when the speaker wants to have control over the audience and keep them enraptured.
Passage B is a dialogue between Roderigo and Iago. This passage seems to be more like everyday conversation in that there is turn-taking and each character responds to what the other has said. The conversation between these two men shows how altered they act when Othello is not around.
It is used by Shakespeare to show the differences in speech between different characters. This tells the audience that Iago and Roderigo are not to be trusted and so increases the dramatic irony.Shakespeare uses garden imagery to help create a picture in the reader’s mind. These are rarely used in conversation, and so when Iago says, for example,’Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners’it makes him sound not only more intelligent but more convincing.
However, Iago’s speech is prose, not verse like Othello’s in his monologue in Passage A. Shakespeare used enjambment whenever Iago speaks. This indicates his lower status than Othello, as Othello’s speech was structured and rhythmic. Parts of Iago’s speech, such as when he says ‘A fig!’ are rude and contemptuous. In conversation, this does not reflect well on the person, as it makes them seem uncultured and boorish. Shakespeare must want Iago to be portrayed in a bad light.
Iago clearly recognises that Roderigo is of a higher status than him (Roderigo is a gentleman whilst Iago is a professional soldier) as he addresses him as having a ‘noble heart’ and being a ‘gentleman’. However in the conversation it is Iago who holds the control. This is different to how status usually effects conversation – whereby the person with the higher status has control over the conversation. Iago scolds Roderigo and calls him ‘silly’.
This is used to dramatic effect as it shows how highly esteemed Iago is, and so ensures that it is unsurprising how implicitly Othello trusts him later on in the play.