Allegory A symbolic narrative in which the surface details imply a secondary meaning. Allegory often takes the form of a story in which the characters represent moral qualities.
Alliteration The repetition of consonant sounds, especially at the beginning of words.Eg. “Fetched fresh, as I suppose, off some sweet wood.” Hopkins, “In the valley of the Elwy.”
Antagonist A character or force against which another character struggles. – Iago
Protagonist The main character – Othello
Aside Words spoken by an actor directly to the audience, which are not “heard” by the other characters on stage during a play. Eg. In Othello, Iago voices his inner thoughts a number of times as “asides” for the plays audience.
Assonance The repetition of similar vowel sounds in a sentence or line of poetry or prose.
Catastrophe The action at the end of a tragedy that initiates the denouement or falling action of the play.
Catharsis The purging of the feelings of pity and fear, that according to Aristotle, occur in the audience of tragic drama. The audience experiences catharsis at the end of the play, following catastrophe.
Character An imaginary person that inhabits a literary work. Literary characters may be speak of the diction particular to a character, as in Iago’s and Desdemona’s very different ways of speaking in Othello. We can also refer to a poet’s diction as represented over the body of his or her work, as in Donne’s or Hughe’s diction.
Dramatic monolgue A type of poem in which a speaker addresses a silent listener. As readers, we overhear the speaker in a dramatic monologue.
Exposition The first stage of a fictional or dramatic plot, in which necessary background information is provided. Shakespeare’s, Othello, for instance begins with a conversation between two central characters, a dialogue that fills the audience in on events that occured before the action of the play begins, but which are important in the development of its plot.
Fable a short story, typically with animals as characters, conveying a moral.
Falling action In the plot of a story or play, the action following the climax of the work that moves it towards its denouement or resolution. The falling action of Othello begins after Othello realises that Iago is responsible for plotting against him by spurring him on to murder his wife, Desdemona.
Figurative language A form of language use in which writers and speakers convey something other than the literal meaning of their words. Examples include hyperbole or exaggeration, litotes or understatement, simile and metaphor, which employ comparison, and synecdoche and metonymy, in which a part of a thing stands for the whole.
Flashback An interruption of a works chronology to describe or present an incident that occured prior to the main time frame of a works action. Writers use flashbacks to complicate the sense of chronology in the plot of their works and convey the richness of the experience of human time.
Foil A character who contrasts and parallels the main character in a play or story. In othello, Emilia and bianca are foils for desdemona
Foreshadowing Hints of what is to come in the action of a play or story.Foreshadowing adds dramatic tension to a story by building anticipation about what might happen next. Authors use foreshadowing to create suspense or to convey information that helps readers understand what comes later.
Hyperbole A figure of speech involving exaggeration. May be used to evoke strong feelings, to create an impression, or for comic effect. It is not meant to be taken literally
Imagery The pattern of related comparative aspects of language, particularly of images, in literary work.Imagery frequently conveys more than just meaning. It is used to heighten the effect of language and is often an extension of word-choice. Normally an image will extend to a phrase or a few words but sometimes it will be longer.
dramatic irony Dramatic Irony in Othello. Dramatic irony is when the audience knows more about what is happening in the story than the characters. A main example of dramatic irony from Othello is the plot to destroy Othello’s life. The only character who knows about this is Iago.The repetition of “honest Iago”There is irony shown as Iago is jealous at the fact that he believes that Othello has slept with his wife yet is planning to make Othello jealous by making Othello believe that Cassio is sleeping with his wife.Dramatic irony is often used to make the audience more involved – we know what is happening but feel powerless to do anything (and that is why we are the audience, not the actors). The key to understanding dramatic effect is to think about the feelings being created in the audience
Literal language A form of language in which writers and speakers mean exactly what their words denote.
Metaphor A comparison between essentially unlike things without an explicitly comparative word such as like or as. A metaphor or a simile is a great way of creating an image for the reader, but it needs to be appropriate. Pick a simile which emphasises an important characteristic, or an important plot point.
Pathos A quality of a plays action that stimulates the audience to feel pity for a character. Pathos is always an aspect of tragedy, and nah be present in comedy as well.
Rising action A set of conflicts that cries and constitutes the oath of a plays or story’s plot leading up to the climax.
Satire A literary work that criticizes human misconduct and ridiculed vices, stupidities and follies.
Soliloquy A speech in a play that is meant to be heard by the audience but not by other characters in the stage, if there are no other characters present, the soliloquy represents the character thinking aloud.Soliloquy in Act 1 scene 3: Iago has a soliloquy on how he will make Othello jealous, ” I hate the Moor, And it is thought abroad that ‘twixt my sheets He’s done my office. I know not if’t be true, But I, for mere suspicion in that kind, Will do as if for surety” this shows how Iago is jealous of Othello and suspects him to have slept with his wife, Iago then plans to create chaos for Othello showing how love can be one of the most dangerous emotionsSoliloquy performed in 2 explaining how iago will make Othello jealous “That Cassio loves her, I do well believe ‘t. That she loves him, ’tis apt and of great credit. The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not, Is of a constant, loving, noble nature, And I dare think he’ll prove to Desdemona A most dear husband”
Synecdoche a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa
comic relief The use of a comic scene to interrupt a succession of intensely tragic dramatic moments. The comedy of scenes offering comic relief typically parallels the tragic action that the scenes interrupt.
Tragic downfall Act 5 we witness the tragic downfall of Othello as he murders Desdemona out of jealousy making love a powerful and dangerous emotion, Desdemona’s last breath states that Othello is innocent blinded for her love for Othello this show how love can truly be dangerous.
Iago ” little a web as this will I, ensnare as great a fly as Cassio.” – spider imagery
Iago “My boat sails freely, both with wind and stream.” – metaphor, Iago playing fete
Iago “I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouthThan it should do offence to Michael Cassio;Yet, I persuade myself, to speak the truth” – dramatic irony, painting an image of loyalty to Cassio – how he doesn’t want to speak against him
Iago “But men are men; the best sometimes forget:” – foreshadowing Othello’s tragic downfall
Iago “Reputation is an idle and most falseimposition: oft got without merit, and lost withoutDeserving:” – juxtaposition to Cassio’s views – in this role of playing God he’s thinking more about self preservation and defence
Othello “But never more be officer of mine.” – foreshadowing irrational thinking
Othello “I do not think but Desdemona’s honest.” – double negative
Othello “This fellow’s of exceeding honesty,” – dramatic irony
Othello “Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her!Come, go with me apart; I will withdraw,To furnish me with some swift means of deathFor the fair devil. Now art thou my lieutenant.” – fair devil – oxymoron
Desdimona “Full of crusadoes: and, but my noble Moor” – Dramatic irony – she believes Othello has no signs of jealousy
Emilia “Let heaven requite it with the serpent’s curse!” – foreshadowing Iago’s punishment
Emilia “The world’s a huge thing: it is a great price.For a small vice.” – her realistic view on the world – worth cheating
Emilia “Disprove this villain, if thou be’st a man:” – irony