Drama is dynamic, over the course of a play the audience's perception of the
characters develops and changes as the plot is constructed and unfolded. A good
playwright will create an impression for each of the individual characters and then as
twists in the plot develop they manipulate the character's attitudes and manner to show
the psychological effects of controversy. In William Shakespeare's Othello many of
the characters change in their beliefs and mannerisms, but none more so than the
Our initial perception of Othello comes from Iago, the mastermind between the
developments in the plot. In his opening conversation with Roderigo, Othello is
portrayed as a barbaric and uncivilized Negro. When they confront Brabantio this
same description is exemplified, Othello comes across as an incontinent savage, an ."..
old black ram..." However when Othello is first encountered this portrayal is
debunked. The courteous moor is revealed as an honest, noble and distinguished
citizen of Venice, he is much admired by the council and a trustworthy General in the
Venetian forces. With his calm and dignified manner he is pictured as a superior
figure, further developed by his poetic speech, an efficient military commander who is
well respected by the state.
This complimentary perception of Othello is verified during his confrontation with
Brabantio and the following trial before the senate. When Brabantio discovers that his
daughter, Desdemona has secretly married Othello he is outraged. When he finds
Othello he challenges him to face the council and undergo trial. Unexpectedly Othello
graciously accepts and in the following trial displays his confidence and courtesy in
his defence. With his poetry Othello manages to prove himself a noble and honest man
and remains in high favour of the court. "Your son-in-law is far more fair than black."
And so Othello is established as a brave warrior, distinguished honest and trustworthy