Irony in Othello
Shakespeare’s plays rely largely on irony. There are three kinds
of irony presented in this novel. They are: situational, verbal, and
dramatic. Irony plays an important role in Othello. It creates suspense,
and adds interest to the story.
There are many examples of situational irony in this play. Cassio
was the one Iago wanted dead or out of his position. At the end of the play,
Cassio was the only one that did not die and Othello actually promoted him
to a higher position. In the end Iago never accomplishes what he started
to do– to get back at Othello and take Cassio’s place. Both Othello and
Iago treat their wives horribly. Both killed their wives even through
their innocence. Iago killed his wife because she was working against his
plan. Othello killed his wife because he thought she cheated on him when
she really didn’t. Before he killed her, Iago used his wife in a way
that helped him to betray Othello. She was a good friend of Desdemona’s
and she worked against her friend without knowing it. She took Desdemona’s
handkerchief because Iago said he wanted it. Iago then placed the
handkerchief in Cassio’s room to make him look guilty. Also, throughout
the play, it seemed that Othello was the only one who didn’t know the truth.
After reading Shakespeare's play OTHELLO you have to ask yourself is Othello as much a victim as he is a murderer? An assumption may be that because Othello kills his wife after the devious behavior of Iago, then maybe Othello is a victim of Iago's evil. Some may argue that the sin of Iago to plot the down fall of the moor, is worse because it becomes a calculating mind compared to Othello's sin ...
Shakespeare uses situational irony well to make the story more
The verbal irony in this novel can sometimes be humorous because
of how ironic it is.
Othello often said things that were actually the opposite of Iago:
“O, thou art wise! ‘Tis certain”(IV.I.87), “Honest Iago . . . “(V.II.88),
(II.III.179) & (I.III.319), “I know, Iago, Thy honesty and love doth mince
These lines are just a few of the ironic
that Othello says to Iago. They show the trust that Othello mistakenly
puts in his “best friend.” Most things Iago says are ironic and he’s
always lying. Othello still considered him his best friend but Iago was
the only one Othello trusted although he was constantly lying. He says, “My
lord, you know I love you”(III.III.136).
This is a blatant lie – Iago does
and would do anything to make “his lord’s” life miserable. He does not
love Othello. One line that Iago says is very ironic in several ways. He
says, “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster,
which doth mock the meat it feeds on”(III.III.192).
This line covers many
things because jealousy is the reason Iago is betraying Othell o and
ruining everyone else’s lives in the first place. Also, jealousy is what
causes Othello to eventually kill his wife. Just a short sidenote, the
metaphor coined by Shakespear of jealousy being a “green-eyed monster” is
very famous and a very well written phrase. Early in the play,
Desdemona’s father says to Othello, “Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes
to see. She has deceived her father, and may thee”(I.III.317).
not good for Othello to hear. This just helps to enforce what Iago is
trying to him to believe about Desdemona cheating on him. There are many
examples of verbal irony in Othello that add humor to the story and makes
Othello’s character, circumstance and the eventual catharsis of fear and pity are the qualities that make Othello a tragedy. Othello’s position of eminence accentuates his eventual downfall, and his tragic flaw is essential in both the circumstances created and in the resulting catharsis. Shakespeare creates an accumulation of fear and pity, through the harsh deception of Othello, and ...
it more interesting to read(or watch).
Dramatic irony plays an important role in captivating the audience.
Dramatic irony makes parts of a story more interesting for the audience to
know something the characters don’t. The strongest piece of dramatic irony
which plays out throughout the story is the fact that the reader/veiwer
knows that Desdemona is innocent. Along with this, the audience also knows
that Iago is really crooked. The reader knows all of Iago’s schemes and
lies. Othello knows none of these things. He believes that Iago is
honest and that his wife is guilty of adultery. More instances of dramatic
irony show up as characters think aloud to the audience through asides.
Then, the audience knows what is going on when most characters don’t.
Dramatic irony is exciting and it makes the reader feel like part of the
Throughout the play, Shakespear uses irony to add humor, suspense,
and just to make it more enjoyable. The three different kinds of irony;
situational, verbal and dramatic, all make the play a classical