My question is about Othello from Act 1 scene iii:  Present a dramatic contrast in character or in mood.

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Othello Act I, scene iii is a dramatic and pivotal scene, the play's last in Venice.  The mood is charged with racial tension and jealousy.  The scene is a war council, a trial, and a kind of civil wedding ceremony--all of which benefit Othello and his bride, thereby intensifying Iago's hatred of the Moor.

The scene shows Othello at his noblest.  Charged with seducing a senator's daughter, Othello's testimony is filled with moving pathos.  His story of his slave past, of Brabantio's kindness, and of Desdemona's love all move the Duke to grant his blessing on the elopement.

The scene shows Desdemona at her freest.  She speaks her mind openly and honestly to her father and the Duke--the only time she will do so in the play.  She even convinces the Duke to let her go to Cyprus (to war!).  Later, on Cyprus, Desdemona becomes a mute martyr to men's cruelty.

In all, Othello defeats Brabantio and Iago in his day in court.  He obtains the Duke's blessing, a bride, and--most importantly--appointment as General to defeat the Turks at Cyprus.  Iago, having played the race card, is defeated, but he will gain advantage once he isolates Othello on Cyprus, away from the public forum in Venice.

Late in the scene, Iago--who seems pure evil--talks Roderigo out of suicide.  In his soliloquy, Iago admits that he makes "his fool his purse," that he is only using Roderigo as a money pawn for which to seek revenge on Othello.  It is important that Othello's speeches and victory are made in public and Iago's are made in private.  Othello wins the public battle, but he will lose the private war.