July 17, 2013
Imagery in Othello
William Shakespeare employs a variety of literary devices and techniques to enhance the plot, the characters and to build suspense in his plays. Imagery helps in conveying feeling and spirituality by aiding in characterization and plot development. The play in discussion is Shakespeare's Othello which tells the story of the tragic fall of a Moorish Venetian commander at the hands of a master manipulator. In Othello heavy light/dark and animal imagery are used extensively to give a clear description of what one is saying or doing, how their mind works and to give us clues to the type of person they are. Imagery in Othello is heavily emphasized to give the audience a deeper understanding of how a character thinks which helps to further understand what motivates the character and how the character thinks and feels in relation to the situation at hand.
Imagery is primarily displayed in Othello through animal imagery used by Iago, imagery contrasting the light and the darkness, and the imagery of Hell, Demons and Monsters to represent of evils of mankind.
In Othello, the use of animal imagery is used multiple times throughout the play, mainly by Iago to describe the relationships between humans and comparing humans to animals. Iago tells Brabantino "Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe"(I.i.89-90) By saying this, Iago tries to convey the illusion that Othello is an uncivilized, savage beast that is perverted, lustful, immoral and has forced himself upon the innocent and pure Desdemona. Iago does this to reduce Othello and his actions to that of an animal, creating a false image of Othello as a brutal, animalistic man in our heads before we actually get to see the man...