Othello Language Task: Show how Othello`s language reflects the change in the mood between the early part of the play (act I) and act III scene III (line 334, end, and the death scene). Intro: Othello is the story of an African general who falls in love with a rich Venetian noblemans Daughter, to wed her, but after a short while things arent all what they seem. When lieutenant Iago puts his foot in it and stirs up relationships to degenerate general Othello out of jealousy. Othello loses it and things go very downhill. Act I scene II: In this part of the play it does not seem as though Othello is a man who likes trouble within his environment unless on the battleground.
He likes to keep an idyllic situation, quote “Tis better as it is” (Othello at the start of the play ) he uses short and simple language. Next Othello says, “let him do his spite, my services which I have done my signiory” He is telling Brabantio to say what he wants as the council will never put me away for the services I have done for this country. Othello knows hes in control, he shows this by using words like Stuff, I lack,….service, Yerked, Magnifico, Give him cable, etc. The first impressions of Othello are: YEAH, THIS GUY KNOWS, WHAT HES DOING FOR SURE, as he is a fluent speaker, good with words and very highly confident. He shows his confidence when he speaks quote “My parts, my title, and my perfect soul shall manifest me rightly”, -he is trying to say I know what I am doing, and what I am doing is right.
“My life upon her faith”, -Again confidence. Desdemona will not say a word against my actions or me. He has exact control of all situations and conversations. We can see all this observing his general code of language and his behaviour when in difficult situations. In his second quote he says to Brabantio that, you can say what you want, I shall allow you, as I knows that I will not go to jail as I have done too much for Venice.
(Again confidence). When the council is questioning him, he manages to sweet talk his way out of it by using the tone of his voice (calm and gentle) and words like, Most reverend signiores etc. “But I love thee gentle Desdemona” Is his next quote to the council. His vocabulary is very big and he thoroughly has control of his sentences and actions. Othello starts off with his characteristic dignified idiom but due to a man, whose every utterance is deception, who takes Othello into false words to change the identities of his loved ones to be his worst enemies, Othello degenerates to become a psycho.
Othello first uses the power of his speech (to show his position), to create his image, but then falls to be, in a way, a psychiatric (false), villain, who kills his friends, and his only family. Iago does not show his opposition to Othello but does always create a yes sir, yes sir, three bags full sir atmosphere when around him. (False friendship). Othello often uses colourful words in sound and in his speech (e.g.; – Keep up your bright swords, for the due will”..shows he is also a powerful speaker. Othello never steps out the soldier image and he always keeps precise speech, sincerity and devotion to his job. Even in his fall he stays a soldier- “Damn her, lewd minx! Oh damn her, damn her (three times), come, go with me apart, will withdraw, to furnish me with some swift means of death, for the fair devil, now art though my lieutenant”.
Towards the end of the play, Othello begins to lose his powerful speech in himself, as he is not so confident. What Iago says about Desdemona and Cassio, he starts to believe, but then he is unsure of it, he even loses it physically, where starts to have eppiliptical fits. In and around act III scene III Othello begins to lose his self-confidence, where he begins to see his wife and himself through Iagos eyes. He also begins to corrupt himself because of Iagos characteristic expression. His style begins to break down, and he begins to get very agitated. Othello starts to repeat his words three times just to establish himself.
When he talks of his wife he uses words such as pish, nose, ears, lips, its possible, confess, handkerchief, oh devil. These words now, would not signify much but then were quite erotic words suggesting that Othello actually believes the lies and suggests the degeneration of General Othello. From the point where Othello has an eppiliptical fit, he and Desdemona fail to understand each others language. Othellos language is almost all the time violent and aggressive through his emotional jealousy, which leads to vile acts of emotion. Still Othello does not forget his soldier image.