Significance of A3 S3 - Othello


Significance of A3 S3

  • This scene is positioned in the middle of the play, where more action is likely to take place. 
  • Shakespeare is heightening the tension between the characters as a result of attempting to unravel Othello and Desdemona's relationship. 
  • The audience will be aware of the already strained relationship between the two characters, however one sided it is, and will be anxious to see how far Othello will actually go to avenge his 'unfaithful' wife. 
  • The idea of cuckoldry is present throughout the domestic play, with Othello's many insecurities being exposed by the antagonist, Iago. 
  • From a feminist perspective, early modern England's preoccupation with cuckoldry demonstartes a basic male insecurity about women's sexuality. 
  • The misogynist association of uncontrolled female speech with uncontrolled female sexuality fuels Othello's jealousy. 
  • ... controlling sexual access to women's bodies become a cultural obsession.
  • Demure and obediant women were easier to control than those who were outspoken and strong willed. 
  • It was prevalently believed that if a woman was overly talkative, then she would also be promiscuous. 
  • Women were fundamentally perceived in the church as untrustworthy = this belief stemmed from the narrative of the original sin and Eve's role in the fall of mankind. 
  • Desdemona goes against the unwritten, by presumed, codes that women had to follow - her clandestine marriage, in entertaining Cassio without Othello's permission, in speaking for Cassio in spite of Othello's evident displeasure, and in concerning herself with affairs outside the household. 
  • This scene bridges the gap between the zenith and nadir of the play. 
  • AKA - 'temptation scene' - Iago's provocation of Othello's jealousy and anger is referred to as 'temptation' in the sense that it is like the temptation of Eve by Satan in


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