There are different approaches to analyzing plot structure in drama, and, indeed, different approaches to structuring a drama. Othello follows a five-act plot structure which broadly adheres to the so-called Classical dramatic structure as described by Aristotle in his Poetics. The story first presents its complication—which is driven by a fatal flaw, or hamartia, in the play's protagonist—rises to a climax, and then proceeds to unravel or resolve the complication.
Freytag divides dramas into five parts: the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement. While Freytag's analysis was generally drawn from plays with five acts, Shakespearean plays with fewer acts can usually also be broken down according to these guidelines. In Othello, however, each act is generally (although not entirely) well matched to each part of Freytag's pyramid.
The exposition is contained to the first act, wherein we learn that Iago hates Othello, ostensibly because Othello promoted Cassio over...
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