Othello Motif: Animals

Thesis Statement: In the play Othello, William Shakespeare uses the motif “animals,” to emphasize and help the reader understand the feelings, emotions, and situations that the characters experience themselves and between other characters.

Act 2 quote: “The wind-shaked surge, with high and monstrous mane,/ seems to cast water on the burning bear” (Act 2. 1 (15)).
Act 3 quote: “I had rather be a toad,/ And live upon the vapour of a dungeon,/ Than keep a corner in the thing I love/ For others’ uses” (Act 3.3 (311-313)).
Act 5 quote: “…I took by the throat the circumcised dog,/ And smote him, thus” (Act 5).

First Quote Analysis: During the beginning of the play, Othello is asked to go to Cyprus, because there is going to be a battle against the Turks. The Turks send a fleet to attack the soldiers at Cyprus; however a strong storm/tsunami destroys the entire fleet. William Shakespeare writes about Montano and a group of “gentlemen” talking about the unbelievable event. One of the gentlemen states, “The wind-shaked surge, with high and monstrous mane,/ seems to cast water on the burning bear” (Act 2. 1 (15)). Shakespeare wants to emphasize the importance that the storm had on the depletion of the Turkish fleet. The huge threat that was there has been eliminated. If the fleet has not been eliminated, the story definitely would have been different.
Second Quote Analysis: In the play Othello, Iago one of the main characters wants revenge for not getting the position he felt he deserved; Othello the main character was the person that did not give him the desired position. Iago plants false evidence that his wife (Desdemona), is cheating on him. When Othello starts to believe that Desdemona is having an affair he says, “I had rather be a toad,/ And live upon the vapour of a dungeon,/ Than keep a corner in the thing I love/ For otherss’ uses” (Act3.3 (311-313)). Shakespeare wants to highlight to the reader by using the word “toad,” that Othello despises husbands that allow their wives to cheat on whoever they want. Othello is definitely not that kind of a man; he is going to punish Desdemona for having the affair.
Third Quote Analysis: In Othello, Othello by the end of the play is convinced that Desdemona (his wife), has cheated on him with Cassio (another main character). Othello kills his wife, and only finds out after that his wife had no affair and is indeed loyal to Othello. Othello extreme despair states, “I took by the throat the circumcised dog,/ And smote him, thus” (Act 4). He realizes that he has killed a very innocent, sweet, and loyal person. Shakespeare uses the phrase “circumcised dog,” to show that Desdemona is a very innocent and sweet person. She definitely isn’t the type of person that would go and cheat on her husband. Othello after figuring out that Desdemona didn’t commit perjury, ends up killing Cassio (the man that was giving Othello false information), and then himself due to extreme depression.
First Picture: Act 3
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In Act 3, Iago has continued to push Othello into thinking that his wife is having an affair with Cassio. Othello decides not to be the husband that stands aside and watches his wife have an affair without doing anything. He doesn’t want to be a “toad,” which is definitely thought of as a negative animal; an animal that clearly isn’t liked.

Second Picture: Act 5
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In Act 5, Othello kills his wife (Desdemona), an innocent and sweet woman that is absolutely loyal to Othello. She is like a mockingbird; an animal that only gives pleasure and happiness. A mockingbird has no negative aspect to it, it’s pure and innocent. Othello has definitely “killed a mockingbird.”
Third Picture: Act 2
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In Act 2, Iago begins to act like a vulture. He starts to feed on Othello’s weaknesses, and begins to convince Othello that Desdemona is having an affair. Iago in Act 2 starts to pick away at Othello’s heart and soul; he begins his quest to kill to only thing Othello ever loved. Vultures feed on anything to survive, and I think Iago is doing the same thing with Othello. Revenge is the only thing that is driving him to live.