Possible Essay Questions On Othello

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It is a difficult plot to follow sometimes and tough to keep the characters straight, but, in short, the reader can understand the following: Othello is an unusual hero for Italy.

He is a Muslim in a society of white Christians whose acceptance is based solely upon his military victories.

Despite the fact that he is heroic, good at arms and a verifiable military leader, Othello has far too many flaws that contribute to his downfall. Othello cannot bear to look weak, and as for even a few nights with his bride before he begins to fight again. This is, for example, evident from Duke of Venice's attempt to defend Othello. Consider a young man, from the streets, who is thrust into a world of unimaginable fortune and fame, because of his physical gifts. "Shakespeare's Venetian paradigm: Stereotyping and sadism in 'The Merchant of Venice' and 'Othello." Papers on Language and Literature. In fact, the presence of a clever and vengeful Iago and that of the easily-duped Othello has covered the play with uses of love that are not what the readers usually attach to Desdemona's "true love." The Oxford Dictionary defines the word "love" in four different ways. Othello thinks that by betraying his trust, Desdemona has shown that her need for love was not met by Othello alone and then she needs to satisfy her urges by having an affair. Othello Of the alleged chief tragedies penned by Shakespeare, Othello has led to a certain degree of embarrassment. Greek theory of tragedy: Aristotle's Poetics academic.edu/english/melani/cs6/New York College.

It shows the differences between Desdemona, a rich Italian, and Othello, a black, foreign Moor of a different religion and background. Othello, as a character, is a prime example of this. Then he vaguely alleges that the Moor may have had a tryst with Emilia, which Emilia later denies, and which seems impossible, given that Emilia and Othello have the most openly adversarial relationship in the play. Thus, when he begins describing Desdemona to Montano, he does so in glowing terms, despite the fact that he has no romantic interest in Desdemona and appears to have little real knowledge of her. [Read More] It is also perfect because it permits Iago to draw Emilia into his schemes, whereby he can punish her for being unfaithful without dealing with whether or not his beliefs are true. In what ways does "reputation" become an element of the conflict with each of the four major characters? [Read More] Works Cited Aristotle, Poetics [online]. Thoroughly humiliated by his being passed over for a promotion by Cassio, Iago sets forth to plan the destruction of Othello and Cassio, and along the way has no qualms about killing Desdemonda, Roderigo, and even his own wife, Emilia. Iago, ironically, even uses the fact that Desdemona loved and married the Moor against her chastity, echoing Brabatino's rhyme: "She did deceive her father, marrying you" (3.3).

Othello's assimilationist efforts to claim a selfhood within the Venetian community leads, for him, to a fatal hybridity" (Marks 101).…… "When Chaos is Come again: Narrative and Narrative Analysis in Othello." Style 39.3 (2005): 259,276,377,379. His wife, and his lieutenant Cassio accompany Othello on this journey.

This is why it is said that "in Othello, the boundary between Self and Other is famously, and perilously, permeable. Essentially, the play is about a Moor, named Othello, who elopes with the fair and beautiful and white Desdemona, and he leaves Venice for Cyprus, where he is to be in command of the Venetian Army. [Read More] Works Cited "Aristotle." Virginia Community College System. This is scandalous for the time Shakespeare wrote the play, and it still shocking today, and yet Shakespeare does not make the love affair between Othello and Desdemona shocking, he just makes it tragic. For example, Othello starts out as the Venetian Senate's choice to lead the Venetian Army at Cyprus, but in the end he is stripped of his position of military leadership (Cassio replaces him in Cyprus) and is then deposed (or would have been) from Cyprus, had he not first killed himself. Retrieved December 11, 2006, from: edu/Shakespeare/Othello The audience is aware of Iago's nefarious nature from the opening scene of Othello. Greek philosopher Aristotle defines a tragic hero as "a [virtuous or noble] person who is neither perfect in…… Retrieved From on 20 July, 2005 Othello as a "Moor" One term that is often disguised in the play but the reader finds out early is that Othello is a "Moor" or a black man in love with a white woman. Othello shares that destiny of reversal of fortune, i.e., "a change from bad fortune to good, or from good fortune to bad" (Aristotle, Poetics, Part VII, paragraph III). The difference in race between Othello and Desdemona does not seem to drive them apart, but because it is mentioned, it was clearly important. To some degree this may be altered and shaped by the play-actors. "Preferment goes by letter and affection, / Not by the old gradation" (1.1.37-38). From "Shakespeare Criticism in the Twentieth Century." From the Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare. In fact, even when Othello enters their bedchamber and talks about killing her, entreating her to pray so that she does not die with a sin on her soul, Desdemona makes no effort to run from Othello, but questions him about why he is upset. Cassio's flaw is that he is too concerned about other people's opinions. Though he knows that he is vulnerable when he drinks alcohol, Cassio allows Iago to goad him into drinking, because he is concerned about Iago's opinion of him.…… The only change for him is that he starts out jealous…… Iago's rage and vengefulness drive the play's plot forward, leading to the death and downfall of many of its main characters. I know our country disposition well; / in Venice they do let heaven see the pranks/They dare not show their husbands; their best conscience/Is not to leave't undone, but keep't unknown" (3.3). The interpretation and even the play's events might have been different if Othello was not black, however. Othello: Fool & Hero Every Shakespearean hero has his own unique qualities, whether those be virtue or savagery of the soul, a tragic turn to the character or a humorous nature. complains to Roderigo that he has been denied promotion because of Cassio's youth, breeding, and better name. Cassio's flaw is not as obvious in the beginning part of the play, but plays a major role in the downfall of Othello. Iago, on the other hand, suffers no reversal of fortune from a high place to a low one. During his conversation with Roderigo, Iago confesses his hatred of both Cassio and of Othello, his commanding officer of whom he says, "I follow him to serve my turn upon him," (I.1.42). New York: Longman, 2005 Iago paints for Othello not simply a negative picture of Desdemona, but of an entire society where men are cuckolded: "that cuckold lives in bliss/ho, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger...Upon first read, Othello, the Moor of Venice, certainly appears to follow many of these conventions. After marrying Desdemona, Othello's first thoughts are of war: "The tyrant custom, most grave senators,/Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war/My thrice-driven bed of down" (I.3). Iago calls the Moor a devil: "Or else the devil will make…… [Read More] ithout magic, Brabantio argues, Desdemona would not have chosen "So opposite to marriage that she shunned" and would not "Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom, / of such a thing as thou -- to fear, not to delight" (1.2.66-70). "Betrayal, Violence of Shakespeare's Tragic 'Othello' Are Rejiggered Around High School Basketball in 'O'." Rev. [Read More] Othello is, indeed, unable to 'read' Iago fully, and is initially overly confident that his merit will transcend cultural barriers. "Othello, the Moor of Venice," Literature and the Writing Process. Edited by Elizabeth Mc Mahan, Susan X Day, and Robert Funk. Chief among these tragedies is Othello, which portrays the aspect of love in different ways. Othello loathes the idea of marriage which makes men believe that they have their wives faithful to them forever and also tricks them into believing that their "appetites" are also saved for their husbands alone.However, closer discernment of Shakespeare's characterization of Othello reveals that the Moor is not a truly Aristotelian tragic hero. Even before Othello can enjoy his wedding night with Desdemona, he must leave her for the military field, and the two are separated. [Read More] Works Cited The Riverside Shakespeare, 2nd Edition. Iago and Brabantio's attitudes toward people of color were very much in line with popular Elizabethan views of black people during Shakespeare's time. By the end of the play, Othello has become so suspicious and twisted by racism that he is unrecognizable, even to himself: "Is this the / noble Moor whom our full senate/Call all in all sufficient? (4.1) parallel situation for a Black athlete is not hard to imagine. Through the eyes of the varied characters, the audience can see that love is easily thrown about to mean a number of things; true love, a phrase that seems to be used only by one character -- or one character type -- hardly figures into the picture. "Modes of Irony in Othello." Shakespeare's Tragedies. The word appetite here refers to sexual urges and need for love. (1997) 'Shakespeare's Tragedies of Love', Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Tragedy, UK: Cambridge University Press.He sees this, along with his marriage to Desdemona, as his “ticket” into white society.Others are plotting against him, not because of his race, but because Roderigo loves Desdemona and wants the marriage to fail.This is perhaps the true irony of Othello as a tragic character -- not that he trusts Iago, but in his every action, even those not…… "If virtue no delighted beauty lack," the Duke tells Brabantio, "Your son-in-law is far more fair than black" (1.3.22). 13 " (Blackwelder) Like Shakespeare's original and Parker's version, Odin's fame and popularity and his love for Desi Brable played by Julia Stiles who is the daughter of the school's headmaster just tees Hugo off. However, the manners and subtleties of the white world are impenetrable to him. Spring 2003.[] Othello: A Dramatic Study in Venetian Alienation According to Shakesperean scholar Maurice Hunt, "Shakespeare's Venice" in the play "Othello" strives to activate "a disturbing paradigm dependent upon the city's multicultural reputation." (Hunt, 2003, p.1) In other words, in Shakespeare's Venice, diversity creates a disturbing and tumultous environment, an environment where only alienation rather than harmony between different races and different people can be sustained. "Invader and the Soul of the State." Shakespeare and Modernity: Early Modern to Millennium. Love is: (1) a "strong feeling of affection, a strong feeling of affection and sexual attraction for someone"; (2) a "great interest…… Othello promises himself that he would rather be a toad living in a dungeon than keep an unfaithful wife which could be used by others. This 'domestic tragedy' lacks the dynastic and political consequences that characterize Macbeth, Hamlet, and Lear. Outline of Aristotle's theory of tragedy edu/home/bmcmanus/Diasporic Identities: In Othello and Heart of Darkness The issue of Diaspora is often associated with only a single culture, that of the Jews who were challenged by the secular and Islamic leaders of their "homeland" to flee for their lives and believe that they are in constant wandering upon the earth.hile arguing that Othello is virtuous and "fair," the Duke is suggesting that blackness has negative connotations. ith jealousy and envy guiding him, Hugo plots to bring Odin down. He may date a hite woman, but has hardly been able to adjust to a world where feelings, rather than physical prowess matter more, just as Othello the general from a hard life has never been married or lived in a world of…… At the beginning of Shakespeare's drama, Othello is a Venetian general who is esteemed, yet finds his illusions of equal participation in the personal as well as the military life of his adopted city cruelly cut short when he marries Desdemona. [Read More] Moreover, when Desdemona's handkerchief goes missing, and Othello approaches her about it, clearly thinking that she has given it to Cassio, Desdemona does not suspect that Emilia has taken the handkerchief from her. This is indeed a serious charge against innocent Desdemona because she had been very faithful to her husband all along and had it not been for Iago, Othello would have never ever mistrusted her. The protagonist, Othello, behaves like a blockhead. Yet the concept of Diaspora is much broader than that, as individuals and groups often feel disconnected from their homeland both figuratively and really in literature and life.

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