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Othello Essay

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❶Bradley , and more recently Harold Bloom , have been major advocates of this interpretation.

Othello Thesis Statements and Important Quotes

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William Shakespeare

Other people in the play are racist against Othello, like Desdemona's father and some of the court. When Desdemona's father, a senator named Brabantio, finds out the Othello and Desdemona are getting married he flies into a fit of rage it seems and brings Othello in-front-of the court saying that Othello, because he is a moor, is playing witchcraft on his daughter. Here is the scene:. Brabantio intends to send Othello to prision because he thinks that since Othello is a black man that means that he is doing witchcraft on his daughter to get her to love him and marry him.

Harold Bloom suggests that Barbantio has the same thoughts as "fathers contemplating the marriages of their daughter to black men whose sexual potency is an essential part of white racial mythology. The myth is paradoxically designed to repel white women-black men are insatiable and a woman who sleeps with one is feeding her baser, animal passions" Bloom, Barbantio gets over his racism by realizing that Othello was not lying about not putting any curse or practiced witchcraft on his daughter.

Othello is very self conscious of his skin color to the point he becomes racist against his own skin. Othello shows he is racist against his own skin when he utters these lines:. These lines suggest that he sees his skin as a stained visage of a white man who has done crimes and had his body stained with these deeds.

He is associating his skin with something dirty or stained. He goes on to say that his black skin can be associated with vengeance against Desdemona on line through in act three scene three. Othello shows a lot of hatred against his skin and it shows in the play that he associated his skin color with why a lot of things happen to him. Iago's intents and words show that while some reasons why he is trying to overthrow Othello are because Othello giving away power to someone else, that some can be linked back to his discrimination against Othello.

Literature Resources from Gale. State University of New York Press, Structure, Sound, and Sense. Types of love and what that means are different between different characters. Othello finds that love in marriage needs time to build trust, and his enemy works too quickly for him to take that time. The immediate attraction between the couple works on passion, and Desdemona builds on that passion a steadfast devotion whose speed and strength Othello cannot equal.

Iago often falsely professes love in friendship for Roderigo and Cassio and betrays them both. For Iago, love is leverage. Desdemona's love in friendship for Cassio is real but is misinterpreted by the jealous Othello as adulterous love. The true friendship was Emilia's for Desdemona, shown when she stood up witness for the honor of her dead mistress, against Iago, her lying husband, and was killed for it. Appearance and reality are important aspects in Othello.

For Othello, seeing is believing, and proof of the truth is visual. To "prove" something is to investigate it to the point where its true nature is revealed. Othello demands of Iago "Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore, be sure of it, give me the ocular proof" Act 3, Scene 3.

What Iago gives him instead is imaginary pictures of Cassio and Desdemona to feed his jealousy. As Othello loses control of his mind, these pictures dominate his thoughts. He looks at Desdemona's whiteness and is swept up in the traditional symbolism of white for purity and black for evil. Whenever he is in doubt, that symbolism returns to haunt him and despite his experience, he cannot help but believe it.

Jealousy is what appears to destroy Othello. It is the emotion suggested to him by Iago in Act 3, Scene 3. Iago thinks he knows jealousy, having rehearsed it in his relationship with Emilia to the extent that Emilia believes jealousy is part of the personality of men, but Iago's jealously is a poor, weak thought compared to the storm of jealousy he stirs up in Othello.

Iago has noticed Othello's tendency to insecurity and overreaction, but not even Iago imagined Othello would go as far into jealousy as he did. The book was an enormous success in Europe, and was translated into many other languages, [8] remaining a definitive reference work for decades and to some degree, centuries afterwards.

While supplying the source of the plot, the book offered nothing of the sense of place of Venice or Cyprus. The earliest mention of the play is found in a Revels Office account, which records that on "Hallamas Day, being the first of Nouembar The play was entered into the Register of the Stationers Company on 6 October , by Thomas Walkley , and was first published in quarto format by him in One year later, the play was included among the plays in the First Folio of Shakespeare's collected plays.

However, the version in the Folio is rather different in length, and in wording: Some of these cluster together in quite extensive passages. The Folio also lacks a scattering of about a dozen lines or part-lines that are to be found in the Quarto.

These two versions also differ from each other in their readings of numerous words. Although its title suggests that the tragedy belongs primarily to Othello, Iago plays an important role in the plot. He reflects the archetypal villain, and has the biggest share of the dialogue.

In Othello , it is Iago who manipulates all other characters at will, controlling their movements and trapping them in an intricate net of lies. He achieves this by getting close to all characters and playing on their weaknesses while they refer to him as "honest" Iago, thus furthering his control over the characters. Bradley , and more recently Harold Bloom , have been major advocates of this interpretation. Leavis , have focused on Othello.

Although characters described as "moors" appear in two other Shakespeare plays Titus Andronicus and The Merchant of Venice , such characters were a rarity in contemporary theatre, and it was unknown for them to take centre stage.

There is no consensus over Othello 's ethnic origin. Honigmann , the editor of the Arden Shakespeare edition, concluded that Othello's race is ambiguous.

As critics have established, the term 'Moor' referred to dark-skinned people in general, used interchangeably with terms such as 'African', 'Somali', 'Ethiopian', 'Negro', 'Arab', 'Berber', and even 'Indian' to designate a figure from Africa or beyond. Iago twice uses the word Barbary or Barbarian to refer to Othello, seemingly referring to the Barbary coast inhabited by Berbers.

Roderigo calls Othello "the thicklips", which seems to refer to Sub-Saharan African physiognomy, but Honigmann counters that, as these comments are all intended as insults by the characters, they need not be taken literally. However, Jyotsna Singh wrote that opposition of Brabantio to Desdemona marrying Othello-a respected and honoured general-cannot make sense except in racial terms, citing the scene where Brabantio accuses Othello of using witchcraft to make his daughter fall in love with him, saying it is "unnatural" for Desdemona to desire Othello's "sooty bosom".

Michael Neill, editor of The Oxford Shakespeare , notes that the earliest critical references to Othello's colour Thomas Rymer 's critique of the play, and the engraving in Nicholas Rowe 's edition of Shakespeare assume him to be Sub-Saharan, while the earliest known North African interpretation was not until Edmund Kean 's production of He stayed with his retinue in London for several months and occasioned much discussion.

While Shakespeare's play was written only a few years afterwards, Honigmann questions the view that ben Messaoud himself was a significant influence on it. Othello is referred to as a "Barbary horse" 1.

Desdemona's physical whiteness is otherwise presented in opposition to Othello's dark skin: In Elizabethan discourse, the word "black" could suggest various concepts that extended beyond the physical colour of skin, including a wide range of negative connotations.

Othello was frequently performed as an Arab Moor during the 19th century. He was first played by a black man on the London stage in by the most important of the nineteenth-century Othellos, the African American Ira Aldridge who had been forced to leave his home country to make his career. The first major screen production casting a black actor as Othello did not come until , with Laurence Fishburne opposite Kenneth Branagh 's Iago. The casting of the role comes with a political subtext.

Patrick Stewart played the role alongside an otherwise all-black cast in the Shakespeare Theatre Company 's staging of the play [35] [36] and Thomas Thieme, also white, played Othello in a Munich Kammerspiele staging at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre , Stratford.

Michael Gambon also took the role in and ; their performances were critically acclaimed. The race of the title role is often seen as Shakespeare's way of isolating the character, culturally as well as visually, from the Venetian nobles and officers, and the isolation may seem more genuine when a black actor takes the role. But questions of race may not boil down to a simple decision of casting a single role.

Bal, a Hawaiian actor of mixed ethnicity, playing Iago. As the Protestant Reformation of England proclaimed the importance of pious, controlled behaviour in society, it was the tendency of the contemporary Englishman to displace society's "undesirable" qualities of barbarism, treachery, jealousy and libidinousness onto those who are considered "other".

Audiences of the time would expect Othello to be insecure about his race and the implied age gap between himself and Desdemona. Though the actual racial definition of the term is murky, the implications are religious as well as racial. Vozar, in a article in Philosophy and Literature , suggests that the epileptic fit relates to the mind—body problem and the existence of the soul. There have been many differing views on the character of Othello over the years.

Bradley calls Othello the "most romantic of all of Shakespeare's heroes" by "hero" Bradley means protagonist and "the greatest poet of them all".

On the other hand, F. Leavis describes Othello as "egotistical". There are those who also take a less critical approach to the character of Othello such as William Hazlitt , who said: Othello possesses an unusually detailed performance record. The play is there attributed to "Shaxberd".

Othello was also one of the twenty plays performed by the King's Men during the winter of , in celebration of the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Frederick V, Elector Palatine. Soon after, on 8 December , Thomas Killigrew 's new King's Company acted the play at their Vere Street theatre, with Margaret Hughes as Desdemona — probably the first time a professional actress appeared on a public stage in England. It may be one index of the play's power that Othello was one of the very few Shakespearean plays that was never adapted and changed during the Restoration and the eighteenth century.

This production was the first ever in America to feature a black actor playing Othello with an otherwise all-white cast there had been all-black productions of the play before.

It ran for performances, almost twice as long as any other Shakespearean play ever produced on Broadway. Although it was never filmed, it was the first lengthy performance of a Shakespeare play released on records, first on a multi-record 78 RPM set and then on a 3-LP one. The critics had mixed reactions to the "flashy" production which included mid-western accents and rock-and roll drumbeats but gave Robeson primarily good reviews.

Darlington of The Daily Telegraph ranked Robeson's Othello as the best he had ever seen [51] while the Daily Express , which had for years before published consistently scathing articles about Robeson for his leftist views, praised his "strong and stately" performance though in turn suggested it was a "triumph of presence not acting". Actors have alternated the roles of Iago and Othello in productions to stir audience interest since the nineteenth century.

The stunt renewed interest in Booth's tour. The American actor William Marshall performed the title role in at least six productions.

From his first entry, slender and magnificently tall, framed in a high Byzantine arch, clad in white samite, mystic, wonderful, a figure of Arabian romance and grace, to his last plunging of the knife into his stomach, Mr Marshall rode without faltering the play's enormous rhetoric, and at the end the house rose to him.

The Broadway staging starred James Earl Jones as Othello and Christopher Plummer as Iago, who became the only actor to receive a Tony Award nomination for a performance in the play.

When Laurence Olivier gave his acclaimed performance of Othello at the Royal National Theatre in , he had developed a case of stage fright that was so profound that when he was alone onstage, Frank Finlay who was playing Iago would have to stand offstage where Olivier could see him to settle his nerves.

The film version still holds the record for the most Oscar nominations for acting ever given to a Shakespeare film — Olivier, Finlay, Maggie Smith as Desdemona and Joyce Redman as Emilia, Iago's wife were all nominated for Academy Awards. Olivier was among the last white actors to be greatly acclaimed as Othello, although the role continued to be played by such performers as Donald Sinden at the Royal Shakespeare Company in —, Paul Scofield at the Royal National Theatre in , Anthony Hopkins in the BBC Television Shakespeare production , and Michael Gambon in a stage production at Scarborough directed by Alan Ayckbourn in Gambon had been in Olivier's earlier production.

In an interview Gambon commented "I wasn't even the second gentleman in that. I didn't have any lines at all.

I was at the back like that, standing for an hour. All the line used to listen to The Archers.

How does Desdemona react on her deathbed?

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Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4: Classic Archetypes in Othello Part of what makes Othello such a resonant play, even with modern audiences, is the fact that the characters and situations are so universal.

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Essentially, a thesis statement is a bold statement, argument, or claim that you need to prove using evidence. In this assessment you want to find at least two critics from different time periods that support or refute your belief.

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F. Brabantio’s insistence on how Desdemona was beguiled by Othello versusIago’s beguiling of Othello. G. Othello’s comments to the . Thesis Statement Othello A FEW MORE TOPICS & THESIS EXAMPLES TOPIC: body piercing BAD: Body piercing is popular among kids nowadays.

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View Full Version: Othello Thesis Statements Out In The Agora > othello thesis statements > Othello Thesis Statements zIFBoards gives you all the tools to create a successful discussion community. The tragedy Othello focuses on the doom of Othello and the other major characters as a result of jealousy. In Shakespeare’s Othello, jealousy is portrayed through the major characters of Iago and Othello.