Dr. John Ziegler
ENG 102 – Section 5596
The Military and Othello
Everything about Othello seems to lead back to his military backround as a soldier. Othello wears his heart on his sleeve expressing his emotions openly and freely and is a “natural leader of men” (Heyningen 65). In order to show this, I have chosen scene three from Act 1. Brabantio, Othello, Iago, Rodrigo and the Officers enter the Duke’s Council chamber. As the men enter, the Duke says, “Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you - Against the general enemy Ottoman.” (1.3.49-50) The Duke does not see Brabantio at first, even though his name is announced first when entering. The Duke says “we lack’d your counsel and your help to-night” (1.3.51) to Brabantio. This statement is important because Brabantio is a senator himself. Brabantio then explains that his daughter has been “stol’n from me and corrupted” (1.3.60). The Duke asks who has done such a thing. Brabantio points over to Othello, yelling, “Here is the man, this Moor.” (1.3.71) The Duke asks Othello what he has to say about these accusations. Othello begins by saying “Most potent, grave, and reverend signor, My very noble and approv’d good masters.” (1.3.76-77) With these words Othello, is showing his respect to his leaders that are present in the room. Othello then goes on to say that he has married Brabantio’s daughter. Othello states that he is not very good at making speeches: “Rude am I in my speech - And little bless’d with the soft phrase of peace” (1.3.81-82).
Othello’s speech ends up being quite good. The ability to give a speech under pressure comes from his military background and training. Othello talks about how he has been a solider since the age of seven, until he returned nine months ago.
In this part of the scene, the men would be entering into a dark room. Candles would light the room, since it is the middle of the night. There would be...