Literary and dramatic devices


Asides are one of the most important dramatic devices used in William Shakespeare’s play Othello. An aside is a remark in a play intended to be heard by the audience but not by the other characters. In this way, the audience knows more than the characters do and can anticipate the outcome of certain events.

The use of asides is particularly significant in Othello as it shows the audience how the characters are tricked and manipulated by Iago. Without Iago’s private remarks that reveal his dishonesty, the audience would have probably not suspected that what he is telling Othello about Cassio and Desdemona is not true. Iago’s asides, therefore, show the true nature of his character.

One example is in the first scene of the second act, when Othello and Desdemona are reunited in Cyprus. Iago watches the two treat each other affectionately and privately reveals that he is...

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