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Word Count: 986
When the well-known English dramatist William Shakespeare began writingOthello he had already been educated in the classics and in literatureAlthough his contemporary Ben Jonson said that Shakespeare knew littleLatin and less Greek scholars know that Shakespeare knew at leastabout Greek ideas about comedy and tragedy He was not incrediblyeducated but he was aware that his play would comment on ideas aboutcomedy By looking at a few crucial scenes in the play this paper willdemonstrate that although most people consider Shakespeares Othelloa tragedy it is actually a black comedyIn Act V Scene I 17-30 lines Iago comments comically on the murderscene he has set up himself This is the sceneIago O murderous slave O villain Stabs RODERIGORod O damnd Iago O inhuman dogIago Kill men i the dark Where be these bloody thievesHow silent is this town Ho murder murderWhat may you be are you of good or evilLod As you shall prove us praise usIago Signior LodovicoLod He sirIago I cry you mercy Heres Cassio hurt by villainsGra CassioIago How is it brotherCas My leg is cut in twoIago Marry heaven forbidLight gentlemen Ill bind it with my shirtIago has the audience and everyone other than Roderigo believe that he islooking for thieves If you think about it that is a funny statementHe has committed a murder but he pretends that he has not Furtherhe pretends that he is looking for the killer and is the only one whocares enough to do so and cannot believe how silent the town isEven his final gesture of trying to bind the wound with his shirtis a supremely comic one perhaps for Shakespeare more than IagoIago may be able to stem the flow of blood coming from Cassios legBut it would be silly for the audience to believe what Iago implicitlyasks them to believe that anyone or anything can stem the tide ofdestruction that he has already unleashed on the plays charactersand by implication in the plays plotEarlier
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