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Literary Elements in Othello

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brooke beckius

on 14 October 2013

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Transcript of Literary Elements in Othello

Literary Elements in Othello
by Brooke

Definition: A figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind using like or as.

Example: Act 1, Scene 3, Line 345-347: "The food that to him now is as luscious as locusts shall be to him shortly as acerb as the coloquintida." Iago is comparing the taste of food to Othello's love for Desdemona using "as". First it is good, but then turns bitter later.
Metaphor: A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which is not literally applicable.

Example: Act 4, Scene 1, Line 61-"A hornéd man's a monster and a beast." Othello is comparing his personality to a monster and beast because of Desdemona's unfaithfulness to him has turned him that way.
Definition: An expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference.

Example: Act 4, Scene 2, Line 92- "That have the office opposite to Saint Peter," Othello is referring to the opposite of the gatekeeper of heaven, telling Desdemona that is where she will go.
Definition: a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.

Example: Act 4, Scene 2, Line 223-224-"Wherein none can be so determinate as the removing of Cassio." This is a subtle expression substituted for the saying that Iago is going to kill Cassio.
Definition:a statement or proposition that, despite sound reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory.

Example: Act 5, Scene 2, Line 21-"This sorrow's heavenly..." This is a paradox because sorrow is sadness, and heavenly is divine and wonderful, which are two contrasting words.

Definition: Something that represents or stands for something else, particularly abstract.

Example: Act 4, Scene 3, Line 40-58-Desdemona sings the song "Willow," which is about a woman who is double-crossed by her lover, and the song symbolizes Othello's resentment to her.
Definition:a warning or indication of a future event.

Example: Act 4, Scene 3, Line 23-24-"If I do die before thee, prythee, shroud me in one of those same sheets." In this line, Desdemona foreshadows that she might just die in those same sheets.
Comic Relief
Definition: Comic episodes in a literary piece in which characters or a character offsets more serious actions.

Example: (Act 3, Scene 1, Line 3-20) The clown jokes to the musician about the music he plays. This is comic relief because it is unimportant to the play, and is comical.

Definition: An exclamatory passage in a speech or poem addressed to a person (who is dead or absent) or a thing.

Example: Act 3, Scene 3, Line 447-"Arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow hell!" Othello is calling up his feelings of revenge from his soul.

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Internal Conflict:struggle that occurs within the main character's mind.:
External Conflict:struggle that the main character has with another character, society, or a natural force.

Example: Internal Conflict-Throughout the play, Othello is in conflict with his mind, and isespecially insecure about his race, which he thinks that because he is black that he is not worthy of Desdemona.

Dramatic Irony
Definition: A literary technique in which the significance of a character's words or actions are known to the reader or audience but not the character.

Example: (Act 4, Scene 2, Line 130-148) Emilia is outraged at how someone could lie to Othello and say that Desdemona is unfaithful to him, calling the liar a rogue and that he should be hanged, and it is ironic that the man she is calling all of these names is her husband, Iago, who is standing there when she says this.

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