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Literary Devices in Othello

Literary Devices Examples in Othello:

Act I - Scene I

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"Tush, never tell me..."   (Act I - Scene I)

Note that the play begins in the middle of an ongoing conversation. This positions the audience as outside observers almost as if they are intruding or spying on what they are not supposed to see.

"“And let me the canakin clink, clink; And let me the canakin clink:..."   (Act II - Scene III)

Shakespeare pens this tune using onomatopoeia, a technique in which the sounds of the words imitate their subject. In this case the words “canakin”—a drinking can—and “clink” recreate the sounds of cups and cans clinking together in a toast.

"O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!..."   (Act III - Scene III)

Iago cleverly employs personification here, identifying not Cassio as the foe but rather jealousy itself. This continues Iago’s tactic of withholding the specific accusation of Cassio, allowing the thought to emerge in Othello’s mind. This moment represents the beginning of the play’s climax. Now that Othello knows of the fictional adultery, the rest of the play is devoted to the unfolding consequences.

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