Language being used as a tool to affect our emotions

Essay by davibrHigh School, 12th gradeB+, July 2014

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Braeley Davies

In Shakespeare's 'Othello', we see an abundance of evidence displaying language being used as a tool that affects our emotions. Language is not only selected thoughtfully and with great intent but is crafted in a way that has an impact on the reader, evoking emotion.

There is a powerful contrast between the language of Othello and that of Iago. We see Othello, who initially speaks often in iambic pentameter;

'it gives me wonder great as my content

To see you herebefore me. O my soul's joy!

If after every tempest come such calms,

May the winds blow till they have awakened death'.

An "iamb" being an unaccented syllable followed by an accented one, and "Penta" meaning "five," this rhythmic oratory style is one similar to a heartbeat. This similarity shows the Othello's emotion and his open, vulnerable heart. He speaks in a heartbeat so clear that the audience knows of his emotion and is able to feel the way of his heart.

The audience is emotionally affected because Othello talks in such a way that exposes his heart, not only through the words he says but the iambs in which he talks. Here, we see how Shakespeare has crafted the iambic pentameter to show Othello's emotions. This is in stark contrast with the language of Iago;

'I hate the Moor: my cause is hearted: thine hath no less reason. Let us be conjunctive in our revenge against him; if thou canst cuckold him, thou dost thyself a pleasure, me a sport.'

'...I hate the Moor,

And it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets

He's done my office. I know not if 't be true,

But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,

Will do as if for surety. ' It...