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Othello - Act 1 - Scene 3

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Analysis of stylistic devices (Othello) Act 1 - Scene 3

Throughout the plot, the reader is frequently confronted with a variety of stylistic devices which have to be examined in order to comprehend the tragedy and its occurrences as a whole. Iago can be delineated as an altering character because he adapts his choice of words to the people he is talking to. Hence, one dare say that Iago's use of stylistic devices is an extraordinary and noticeable way to take advantage of others. Occasionally, he behaves in a respectful manner, but then he modifies his attitude completely by referring to different characters in an inimical and degrading way.
In the following I am going to scrutinize Shakespeare's use of stylistic devices in Act I, Scene III. I would like to focus on two rhetorical devices used by Iago which show Shakespeare's remarkable abilities with regard to his language use.

At the outcast, I would like to bring up that Iago makes abundant use of animal imagery as exemplified with the baboon with whom he would rather change his humanity than killing himself out of love for some woman. (p. 53) This attitude can be considered sexist and misogynistic due to the fact that he says that women are not worth dying for. Iago is equipped with a strong inner personality and a capability of using language in a powerful way which enables him to beguile Roderigo. He pretends to be a good friend he actually is not, but Iago's use of rhetorical devices supports his convincing arguments so that hardly anyone is able to figure out Iago's plans. Iago's bold statement that he would rather be a beast than die for a woman shows his misogyny because women were considered to be inferior to human beings and whenever someone intended to compare someone with an animal, he actually degraded that person.

Another significant stylistic device the author employs is the extended garden metaphor which is in l. 320 where Iago says that "our bodies are like gardens and our willpower is like the gardener." In this context this quote means that our will to live and to nurture our body is like a gardener tending to his garden. Thus, only we are in control of our lives and the attitude we show every day, determines whether our garden will be barren and useless, or rich and productive. In its figurative sense it means that our willpower can be easily influenced by other people so that our inner strength is a determining factor for the state of our mind. If our mind is influenced in a negative manner, this even presages a tragedy or much chaos. When referring to Iago, this metaphor virtually foreshadows Iago's malignant plans, as he regards himself as god and in past days, people were profoundly convinced that solely god exerted control on nature.
By employing such an enormous number of stylistic devices such as the extended garden metaphor, Iago is in a position to manipulate Roderigo so that he tells him what to do. What is more, Iago convinces him to control his feelings and emotions as this would just be as easy as to control a garden.

My analysis affirms that Shakespeare is a great, literary writer who makes abundant use of stylistic devices in order to get his message across.
Owing to Shakespeare's style of writing, Iago appears as an arrogant, self-confident and shrewd character who exercises power over other people in order to achieve his goals and to make his devilish plans successful. Instead of offering help to his friends, he burdens his friends by running them down. Iago does not seem to be a character who remains the same character as before, but he rather adjusts his behavior and actions to the people he faces in order to derive benefit from them and to destroy them. This is why one can maintain that he is the opposite of god, the devil in the dramatic play.
In Bezug auf Othello habe ich vor einiger Zeit einmal eine Analyse zu rhetorischen Mitteln verfasst. Diese bezieht sich auf den 1. Akt der 3. Szene. (668 Wörter)
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