Analysis of Othello by William Shakespeare

Analysis of Othello by William Shakespeare

!.?.!? Analysis of Othello by William Shakespeare A quick synopsis of the plot The play opens on a street in Venice, Italy. In the opening scene Iago, Othello’s ensign, and Roderigo, the suitor of Desdemona, choose to tell senator Brabantio that his daughter Desdemona has actually left to marry Othello without her father’s approval. Brabantio challenges Othello, but finally he is encouraged by Othello and Desdemona that they like each other and provides permission. At the exact same time Turkish intrusion is reaching Cyprus, so Othello is asked to cruise to Cyprus and lead the defence forces against Turks.

All primary characters take a trip to Cyprus, however when they reach Cyprus they learn that the invasion was distributed by a storm. At the celebration Iago controls Cassio to make him intoxicated, for which he is fired. Cassio asks Desdemona to convince Othello to offer him his task back and Iago uses this conference to convince Othello that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. Furthermore, Iago slip Desdemona’s scarf in Cassio’s space which proves her cheating. Othello trusts Iago and mad with jealousy he asks Iago to assist him kill Cassio and Desdemona. Iago controls Roderigo to kill Cassio, but Roderigo is not successful and both are harmed.

On the other hand, Othello eliminates Desdemona. After she is killed, Emilia, Desdemona’s servant and Iago’s other half, finds the subterfuge. She states Iago a phony and explains the real story. When Othello sees the fact, he attempts to kill Iago, however he is not effective and lastly commits suicide. Main Characters Othello is a Christian black Moor who is the general of the armies of Venice. He begins as a worthy male who is a respected soldier and a loving partner. Nevertheless, because of his naivety and trustfulness he becomes an unreasonable, envious and violent person who eliminates his own other half. Iago is Othello’s ensign and the primary antagonist in the play.

He is a fantastic manipulator who wants to take a vengeance on Othello, however his inspirations are not clearly expressed in the play. Desdemona is a beautiful, young, white woman, who refuses to marry any of rich males and has a relationship with Othello. This posture challenges sixteenth century mindsets about society, marital relationship and race. Roderigo is a rich, foolish and envious suitor of Desdemona who is consistently controlled by Iago. Michael Cassio is selected as Othello’s lieutenant, that makes Iago furious. Emilia is Iago’s other half and Desdemona’s attendant. She is a cynical woman, who is faithful to her mistress.

Periodization and historic context Shakespeare is the best understood author from Elizabethan age, which is a time period in between 1558 and 1603. Elizabethan literature can be described not just as the duration of development, however also can be identified “by a new energy, creativity, and confidence” (TalkTalk, 2013, [online]. “Elizabethan drama often utilized poetical metre (rhythm) for its dialogue, especially the five-foot iambic pentameter” (TalkTalk, 2013, [online]. Nevertheless, the term Elizabethan literature is only chronological recommendation and “does not explain any special quality of the writing” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2013, [online].

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica (2013, [online] a few of the other crucial writers of this duration are Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, Roger Ascham, Richard Hooker, and Christopher Marlowe. Both Shakespeare and Marlow were very popular authors during Elizabethan age. Both utilized “controversial subjects for their drama, including the concern of political power” which we can see in Tamberlaine the Great by Marlow and in Shakespeare’s Macbeth (TalkTalk, 2013, [online]. There were much more authors writing about comparable issues.

For instance, Thomas Kyd was affected by William Shakespeare a lot, which can be seen in his play called The Spanish Disaster since it is really comparable to Shakespeare’s Hamlet (TalkTalk, 2013, [online]. Social conditions were doubled during this period– there were rich individuals who ended up being even richer and on the other side poor individuals who ended up being even poorer. This provided factors to many authors to compose the pamphlets providing view of “a dreadful world of vagabondage and criminal offense, the Elizabethans’ greatest, unsolvable social problem” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2013, [online].

The handouts of Thomas Harman and Robert Greene, along with Shakespeare’s King Lear are the most essential and well-known ones. Moreover, throughout this duration many works concentrated on black and exotic people began to be written. As the examples we can use Shakespeare’s Othello, and Johnson’s The Masque of Blackness. Literary impact on developing Othello According to Johnsen-Neshati (2005, [online] the standard source for the plot of the play Othello was a short story written by Italian writer Cinthio Giambattista Giraldi. The plot of Cinthio’s story centres on four characters, all of whom Shakespeare obtained for his tragedy: the Moor, the Ensign, the Captain and the Moor’s spouse, Disdemona” (Johnsen-Neshati, 2005, [online]. However, all these characters are a little bit distinguished from the initial ones. For instance, “Cinthio’s Moor reflects specific racial stereotypes of the day, such as a predisposition towards jealousy and enthusiasm, whereas Shakespeare takes pains to develop Othello’s brave qualities along with his blind areas” (Johnsen-Neshati, 2005, [online]. The contrast of black and white colour in Othello

The contrast of black and white has an essential significance in Othello. It is represented primarily with a race because Othello is Moor and the contrast between a white lovely girl and a black Moor is remarkable for people through many centuries. (Hilsky, 2010, 538) The contrast can be seen in the speech of Iago when he wakens Brabantio with the news that his child eloped with Othello: IAGO Even now, now, extremely now, an old black ram Is tupping your white ewe. Emerge, arise; Awake the snorting residents with the bell, Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you. Arise I state! (Shakespeare, 1968: 54)

The term Moor was utilized for non-whites or Muslims of any origins. These people were stereotypically described as devils or villains and their blackness was gotten in touch with moral corruption, animal sexuality, sins, propensity to be jealous and indicate, while white colour was considered to be pure and noble (Johnsen-Neshati, 2005, [online]. Hilsky (2010: 542) mentioned that Roderigo and Iago are attempting to enforce their view of Othello that refer Elizabethan racist stereotype of black guy or Moor: IAGO Due to the fact that we come to do you service and you believe we are ruffians, you’ll have your child covered with a Barbary horse; ou’ll have your nephews neigh to you; you’ll have coursers for cousins and gennets for germans. […] I am one, sir, that concerns inform you your child and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs. you’ll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse; you’ll have your nephews neigh to you. (Shakespeare, 1968: 55) Nevertheless, Iago’s words are hypocritical due to the fact that when Othello appears we understand that he is a trustful, level-headed, smart and peaceful person which rejects all stereotypes about Moors. Instead of a black devil there is a sensible male, a soldier who does not like ineffective violence (Hilsky, 2010, 543).

However, during the play Othello modifications and becomes an envious and villainous person due to the fact that of his trustfulness. Throughout the play, Shakespeare uses black colour with an irony. For example, when Desdemona sees Othello’s envious humour, she “refers to black bile, among the 4 ‘humours’ that were believed to affect human feeling” (Kay, [online]. Moreover, black colour is discussed by Othello as well. He calls Desdemona “begrimed and black as mine own face” (Shakespeare, 1968: 119) and talks of “black vengeance” (Shakespeare, 1968: 121). The paradox is that it is Iago with whom “black revenge” is associated.

In my perspective, this play is classic due to the fact that it deals with concerns like race or jealousy that are still legitimate these days, although this play was written nearly four centuries ago. As I see it, the reality that Shakespeare was able to blog about these issues makes him a fantastic and distinct playwright. Referrals: Encyclopaedia Britannica: Elizabethan Literature. Encyclop? dia Britannica, Inc. [online] 2013 [cit. 2013-12-30] Offered from: http://www. britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/ 184911/Elizabethan-literature HILSKY, Martin. Shakespeare a jeviste svet. Praha: Academic community, 2010. ISBN 978-80-200-1857-1. JOHNSEN-NESHATI, KRISTIN. A Cultural Context for Othello. In: Shakespeare Theatre Business [online] 2005 [cit. 2013-12-30] Readily available from: http://www. shakespearetheatre. org/plays/articles. aspx?=83 KEY, Karen. Race in Othello. In: Britain in print [online] © 2013 [cit. 2014-01-01] Dostupne z: http://www. britaininprint. net/shakespeare/study _ tools/race. html SHAKESPEARE, William. Othello. London: Penguin Books, 1968. ISBN 0-14-070707-7. TalkTalk: Elizabethan Literature. © TalkTalk [online] 2013 [cit. 2013-12-30] Readily available from: http://www. talktalk. co. uk/reference/encyclopaedia/ hutchinson/m0026117. htm

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