SHAKESPEARE

Othello – Language, Form and Structure

Othello – Language, Form and Structure

Nature– In the play the characters frequently refer to themselves and others as beasts and animals. Iago dismisses Othello and Desdemona’s relationship as nothing but lust and refers to them as ‘the beast with two backs’ when they have sex. There is more animalistic sexuality when he says that ‘a horned man’s a beast’. This innuendo implies the characters are acting out natural, animalistic desires rather than in love.

Plants and growth are another natural image in the play. Iago says that man is like a ‘garden‘ and that the way we behave in life depends on what you plant. He talks about the need to ‘weed up tyme’. Later in the play Othello refers to Desdemona as a weed that ‘smells so sweet’ before he kills her. Shakespeare continues the metaphor Iago used as Othello should have weeded his garden, however, Iago is the real weed!

Iago- Iago has the most lines in the play, more than Othello even, despite him being the title character. Iago’s malice and manipulation is what drives Othello and motivates the action of the play, therefore, even though it is Othello’s tragedy, Iago has the most lines because he causes the action in the play.