Othello Critical Essay by William Shakespeare - Introduction - Volume 53 - Shakespearean Criticism - Othello (Vol. 53) Literary Articles: The Role of Women in Othello: A Feminist Reading. William Shakespeare's "Othello” can be read from a feminist perspective. A feminist analysis of the play Othello allows us to judge the different social values and status of women in the Elizabethan society. Othello serves as an example to demonstrate the expectations of the Elizabethan patriarchal society, the practice of privileges in patriarchal marriages, and the suppression and restriction of femininity. According to Elizabethan or Shakespeare's society built upon Renaissance beliefs, women were meant only to marry. As their single occupation, marriage held massive responsibilities of house management and child rearing.
As we go through Othello we find that the women characters are presented according to this expectation of the Elizabethan society.There are only three women in ‘Othello’: Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca. Women as possessions husbands who may utilise them as they wish. Iago’s desire for revenge on Othello is, in part, dictated by his view of women as possessions.
Othello Navigator: Index of Themes and Motifs. GCSE Bitesize - Othello. Othello Symbolism, Imagery & Allegory. Othello Theme of Race. Othello is one of the first black heroes in English literature. A military general, he has risen to a position of power and influence. At the same time, however, his status as a black-skinned foreigner in Venice marks him as an outside and exposes him to some pretty overt racism, especially by his wife's father, who believes his daughter's interracial marriage can only be the result of Othello's trickery. Because the play portrays fears of miscegenation (the intermixing of races via marriage and/or sex), it's nearly impossible to talk about race in Othello without also discussing gender and sexuality. Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate. In Othello, Shakespeare creates a hero who is not a racist stereotype.
Despite this, Shakespeare ultimately allows Othello to succumb to the subtle racism that surrounds him. Othello Theme of Gender. Gender relations are pretty antagonistic in Othello. Unmarried women are regarded as their fathers' property and the play's two marriages are marked by male jealousy and cruelty (both wives are murdered by their own husbands). Most male characters in Othello assume that all Venetian women are inherently promiscuous, which explains why female sexuality is a huge threat to men in the play. Othello is easily convinced his wife is cheating on him and feels emasculated and humiliated as a result. We should also note that it's impossible to discuss gender and sexuality without considering race – several characters in the play, including Othello, believe that black men sexually contaminate white women, which may partially explain why Othello sees his wife as soiled. Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.
In the play, most male characters assume that women are naturally promiscuous, even if there's no concrete evidence to support such ideas. Othello Theme of Jealousy. The Plays - Related Information About This Production | The Shakespeare Theatre Company. Othello Season 05-06 Season A Cultural Context for Othello Scholars disagree as to when Shakespeare finished writing Othello, but we can date the play from its first performance by the King's Men on November 1, 1604, at the court of James I. Multiple productions followed at the Globe and Blackfriars theatres, and the play was mounted at court again in 1612–1613 in honor of Princess Elizabeth's wedding. Shakespeare's principal source for the plot was a short story by the Italian writer Cinthio Giambattista Giraldi (1504-1574), who included it in a collection of 100 domestic stories titled Hecatommithi, published in Venice in 1566.
No English translation is believed to have existed before 1753, so Shakespeare may have read it in either the original Italian or in a French translation published in 1584. A handful of lines from Shakespeare's text recall phrases from the Italian and French versions, suggesting that he may have read it in both languages.
Othello: Key Facts. Othello: Important Quotations Explained. Were I the Moor I would not be Iago. In following him I follow but myself; Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty, But seeming so for my peculiar end. For when my outward action doth demonstrate The native act and figure of my heart In compliment extern, ’tis not long after But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve For daws to peck at. I am not what I am. (I.i.57–65) In this early speech, Iago explains his tactics to Roderigo. This speech exemplifies Iago’s cryptic and elliptical manner of speaking.
My noble father, I do perceive here a divided duty. These words, which Desdemona speaks to her father before the Venetian senate, are her first of the play. Haply for I am black, And have not those soft parts of conversation That chamberers have; or for I am declined Into the vale of years—yet that’s not much— She’s gone. I am glad I have found this napkin. With these final words, Othello stabs himself in the chest.
Othello: Themes, Motifs & Symbols. Themes Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The Incompatibility of Military Heroism & Love Before and above all else, Othello is a soldier. From the earliest moments in the play, his career affects his married life. Asking “fit disposition” for his wife after being ordered to Cyprus (I.iii.234), Othello notes that “the tyrant custom . . . / Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war / My thrice-driven bed of down” (I.iii.227–229). While Desdemona is used to better “accommodation,” she nevertheless accompanies her husband to Cyprus (I.iii.236). Othello predicates his success in love on his success as a soldier, wooing Desdemona with tales of his military travels and battles.
Desperate to cling to the security of his former identity as a soldier while his current identity as a lover crumbles, Othello begins to confuse the one with the other. Farewell the plum’d troops and the big wars That make ambition virtue! The Danger of Isolation Motifs. Othello: Context. The most influential writer in all of English literature, William Shakespeare was born in 1564 to a successful middle-class glove-maker in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Shakespeare attended grammar school, but his formal education proceeded no further.
In 1582 he married an older woman, Anne Hathaway, and had three children with her. Around 1590 he left his family behind and traveled to London to work as an actor and playwright. Public and critical acclaim quickly followed, and Shakespeare eventually became the most popular playwright in England and part-owner of the Globe Theater. Shakespeare’s works were collected and printed in various editions in the century following his death, and by the early eighteenth century his reputation as the greatest poet ever to write in English was well established. In the absence of credible evidence to the contrary, Shakespeare must be viewed as the author of the thirty-seven plays and 154 sonnets that bear his name. Cartoon Shakespeare Othello, Twelfth Night, Macbeth and King Lear. Othello Translation: Modern Othello Ebook. Modern English Othello Ebook Sample: Act 2, Scene 3 Othello ended his meeting with Cassio by reminding him about the behaviour expected of a visiting army, particularly on an evening when there were going to be revellers on the streets.
‘Good Michael,’ he said. ‘Keep your eye on the guard tonight. We must set an example and not overdo it.’ ‘Iago knows what to do,’ said Cassio. ‘But I’ll personally keep an eye on it.’ ‘Iago is most honest,’ said Othello. Iago was already in the guardroom when Cassio arrived. ‘Not yet,’ said Iago. ‘She’s a most exquisite lady,’ said Cassio. ‘And full of game, I’ll bet.’ ‘She’s certainly a lovely, delicate creature.’ ‘What an eye she has: a real come and get it look.’ ‘A welcoming eye,’ said Cassio, ‘and yet very modest, I think.’ ‘And when she speaks, isn’t it a signal for love?’ ‘She’s certainly perfection.’ ‘O well, let them enjoy it.’ ‘Not tonight, Iago. Iago sighed. Iago clapped his hands in front of Cassio’s face.
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