Literary Techniques in Othello


AS - Level Englilsh Literature Mind Map on Literary Techniques in Othello, created by Rebecca Hunter on 04/01/2016.
Rebecca Hunter
Mind Map by Rebecca Hunter, updated more than 1 year ago
Rebecca Hunter
Created by Rebecca Hunter almost 8 years ago

Resource summary

Literary Techniques in Othello
  1. Animal Imagery
    1. Iago says "An old black ram//Is tupping your white ewe" Act1.1
      1. use of color and juxtaposition to emphasis the indignity of the situation
      2. Iago says "your daughter covered with a Barbary horse" Act1.1
        1. Iago says "And will as tenderly be led by the nose//as asses are" Act1.3
          1. comparison of Othello to a horse to emphasis his stupidity and gulibility
        2. Allusions (reference to other texts)
          1. reference to the bible
            1. Iago "I am not what I am" Act1.1
              1. parody/reversal of God's description of himself in Exodus "I am that I am" therefore suggest Iago is opposite to God.
              2. Othello "I kissed thee, ere, I killed thee." Act5.2
                1. reference to Judas' kiss in the bible followed by his betrayal. Therefore Othello compares himself to the greatest betrayer in Christianity
              3. classical mythology
                1. Othello "Her name, that was as fresh// As Dian's visage, is now begrimed and black..."
                  1. reference to Roman virgin goddess Dian, to show that Othello has lost trust in Desdemona's chastity
                  2. Iago "By Janus, I think no" Act1.2
                    1. Iago refers to the roman twofaced god of time(two faced to see the future and past). ironical as Iago himself is a twofaced character
                2. Black and white Imagery
                  1. Othello "Arise black vengeance, from the hollow hell!" Act3.3
                    1. association of "black" with vengeance and hell
                    2. Brabantio"...a maid, so tender, fair and the sooty bosom//Of such a thing as thou:" Act1.2
                      1. Disbelief that beautiful Des. could love a black man.
                      2. Emilia " O, the more angel she//And you the blacker devil!" Act5.2
                        1. association of "black with evil and devil
                        2. Duke "If virtue no delight beauty lack// Your son-in-law is far more fair than black"
                          1. "fair" connotes to good and desirable.
                        3. Figurative Language
                          1. metaphors
                            1. Iago says "O, beware, my lord, of jealously,// It is the green eyed monster." Act 3.3
                              1. foreshadowing if the monstrous deeds in store due to Othello's jealousy
                              2. Iago says " I must show a flag of love" Act1.1
                                1. "flag" suggest very elaborate and obvious
                                2. Iago says "When devils will the blackest sins put on//they do suggest at first with heavenly shows." Act 2.3
                                  1. juxtaposition- "devils", "blackest sins" and "heavenly" very contrasting idea . Represents Iago's contrasting personality
                                  2. Iago says "Trifles light as air//are to the jealous confirmations strong..." Act3.3
                                    1. Iago says "So will I turn her virtue into pitch..." Act2.3
                                      1. "pitch"- use of the color black to suggest something bad"
                                    2. Similies
                                      1. Othello "She was false as water" Act5.2
                                        1. she was fickle and unreliable/faithful as water is
                                        2. Iago " The food that to him now is luscious as locusts shall be to him shorts as acerbe as the coloquintida"
                                          1. uses this simile to describe the uncertainty of Des. and O. love
                                          2. Iago "Like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my insides"
                                            1. Iago uses this strong simile to describe his hate towards Othello
                                        3. Soliloqiues
                                          1. Shakespeare uses soliloquies to allow the audience a glimpse into the mind of the characters of the play. so that we may understand their motives
                                          2. Verse & Prose
                                            1. Verse
                                              1. The noble/important characters in Othello speak in poetry i.e: blank verse form as it is a formal way of speaking. it shows literacy and elegance
                                              2. Prose
                                                1. This is used by characters of a lower-class as it is the usual way of speaking and has no special poetic rythm
                                              3. Dramatic Irony
                                                1. Othello "I know, Iago, Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter.." Act2:3
                                                  1. Othello believes Iago is trustworthy and truly loves him
                                                  2. Iago "My lord, you know I love you." Act3:3
                                                    1. Iago pretends to love Othello though in truth he plots against him
                                                    2. Othello calls Desdemona "devil" and strikes her.
                                                      1. Othello believes Desdemona cheated on him and he hates her for this.
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