The Tragedy Of Othello

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The Tragedy of Othello


Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story Un Capitano Moro (A Moorish Captain) by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565. The work revolves around four central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army; his wife Desdemona; his lieutenant, Cassio; and his trusted ensign Iago. The major themes of Othello play were appearance and reality; race; pride; magic; order compared with chaos; self-knowledge; honesty; misrepresentation; good and evil. Because of its varied and current themes of racism, love, jealousy, and betrayal, Othello is still often performed in professional and community theatres alike and has been the basis for numerous operatic, film, and literary adaptations (Halliday1964, 346).

Shakespeare belonged to the Elizabethan era, and his residence was in the middle where the fight between women rights and Catholic Church was taking place. Discriminating government harrying of faction of the Catholic faith made the people of small, autonomous families, turn to their relations for spiritual guidance. During the Elizabethan Era, women fought for greater rights and some freedoms from their husbands. Although many women fought for these rights, it was still socially acceptable for women to remain both loyal and obedient to their husbands. One of Othello's tragic events was when Iago shapes a fight with drink Cassio where Othello dismisses him from his authority. The ending of the play was tragic which filled Othello with such guilt that he killed Desdemona first due to jealousy and then killed himself due to hatred (Leech 1969, 39).

Feminist theory in Othello

The feminist theory of oppression can be applied to her through these male characters. Desdemona proves to be oppressed because she is expected to fulfill her duties as a wife during the Elizabethan Era, and because she is constantly suppressed by Othello in ways such as not being able to speak in order to voice her opinion. The Elizabethans distinguished between black Moors or Negroes whose blackness and malignity was emphasized in the text, and the white or tawny Moor, portrayed as a dignified oriental but, as Jones explains, still capable of the cruelty credited to all Moors (Jones 1971b: 86-87).

The English playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616) apparently wrote his tragedy Othello between 1602 and 1604, for five years especially productive of his career during which he composed (besides Othello) Julius Caesar, Hamlet and King Lear. Othello was not published, like all his plays, until after his death, appearing in 1622 in the so-called 'First Quarto' and in 1623 in the 'First Folio' along with 35 other works are almost entirely the dramatic Shakespearean canon (Booth1983, 76).

Race in Othello

It is in this sense that I understand that they won't Othello analysis can provide not only new light on one of the seminal dramatic texts from the pre-modern Europe (1485-1660) but it can help us better understand the nature and the entity Moorish tragedy of Shakespeare's Europe, within the framework of the role for ...
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