How Certain Aspects Of Shakespeare's Othello Are Contemporaneous To Problems That Face Modern Society Today?

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How certain aspects of Shakespeare's Othello are contemporaneous to problems that face modern society today?


William Shakespeare's famous tragedy, Othello, the Moor of Venice is a masterpiece which exemplifies classical Elizabethan literature. This tragedy was his own revision of an earlier tale from an Italian writer, Giraldi Cinthio, titled “Of the Unfaithfulness of Husbands and Wives.” It contains many literary devices that William Shakespeare is renowned for. The play is set in the Mediterranean empire of Venice and the Venetian outpost of Cyprus. The main character of the play, Othello, is an African Turkish military general that is sent with his newly married wife, Desdemona, to Cyprus to defend it from an impending attack from the Turkish Empire. While not an obvious theme in the play, race plays a deep and important role in the actions and attitudes from all the characters involved. The racist remarks and the attitudes, would eventually leading to the Othello becoming deceived by Iago's cruel intentions.


In the opening scene of Othello, Iago and Roderigo wake Brabantio in the middle of the night to inform him that his daughter, Desdemona, has eloped with Othello. Iago pleads for Brabantio to listen to him “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe. Arise! Arise!” (Shakespeare 1.1, 91 - 92). At first, Brabantio does not believe Iago's accusations, but then calls up a group of men to go throughout the city to locate Othello and his daughter. Iago's hatred of Othello has been more successful in the military and chose Michael Cassio over him to be his assistant. Iago and Roderigo form a plan to get what each other want, Iago a promotion, and Roderigo Desdemona. Racist remarks are spoken by even the minor characters early in the first acts and continue all throughout the ...