William Shakespeare’s classic disaster, ‘Othello’ composed in roughly 1603, continues to be studied and appreciated even now in contemporary society, more than 4 hundred years after it was written. Apart from the obviousness of Shakespeare’s ability to use diction to attract the audience, ‘Othello’ has many qualities which permit it to be interpreted and re-interpreted through time. It can connect to any audience and context because its diverse styles, values and ideas, remain appropriate to all societies making it possible for anyone to connect to ‘Othello’ on some level.
This, in addition to Shakespeare’s representation of typical human emotions, and his capability to portray these in such a reasonable way continues to make ‘Othello’ deserving of crucial research study. The universality of Shakespeare’s styles are evident not only in ‘Othello’ however in almost all of his works. The most obvious theme in the text is that of jealousy. Iago notably cautions, ‘O, beware, my lord, of Jealousy. It is the green-eyed beast which doth mock the meat it eats’ (act 3, scene 3).
This caution is directed at Othello, however is likewise important for Roderigo and Iago himself. Although Iago could be called one of the most wicked antagonist/villains in literature, his actions are stimulated by such typical human emotions; jealousy and greed. Jealousy acts as an excellent literary device in the text due to the fact that it is a very universal emotion which practically all living creatures can sensation, and this gives the audience a psychological attachment to the characters and plot. It enables the audience to feel sympathy for the characters.
Othello’ plays with the jealous nature of the characters, such as Iago’s envy of power and position, together with his suspicions about his spouse. These things motivate the plot, and initiate the series of events to unfold throughout the text. Through Iago, Shakespeare conveys the lengths to which a man will go to accomplish his goal. Iago’s manipulativeness causes Othello to become a victim of unproven jealousy, and this drives the whole plot. Moreover, Iago’s hatred and jealousy is sustained by his racism.
The audience is continuously advised of Othello’s colouring through the character’s discussion, motives and actions. Shakespeare creates vulgar visual imagery with the metaphor, “Very now, an old black ram/ Is tupping your white ewe.” (act 1, scene 1). Unfortunately, racism and bias are common throughout history as minorities and groups are considered lower than others, and this continues still to this day. Department and stereotyping of groups due to race, sex, sexuality and ability have actually existed through the ages, and regrettably will continue to exist.
Another discernible style in ‘Othello’ is love. This feeling too is universal emotion, and the impulsiveness and compulsion to disobey family that love can create is revealed through Desdemona’s determination to intentionally disobey her father in order to covertly marry Othello. Love today is one of the most popular literary genres, and can be enjoyed by any ages, in all societies. Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ has actually been adapted to suit contemporary society such as in the movie ‘O’, and analyzed in different media, including dramatical performances, opera, ballet, television shows and films.
All of these provide different interpretations of the text and demonstrate the adaptability of ‘Othello’. Shakespeare’s poetic and gorgeous language and his use of styles such as love, power, revenge, war and jealousy are classic. His depiction of human ideas and courses of action are likewise timeless, as human beings fundamental senses will stay the same. These aspects, intensified with Shakespeare’s capability to constantly challenge approaching generations, both in the literature and dramatical sense, make ‘Othello’ timeless and deserving to continue to be studied in modern society and after.