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Explore the different themes within William Shakespeare's tragic play, Othello. Themes are central to understanding Othello as a play and identifying Shakespeare's social and political commentary. In Othello, the major themes reflect the values and the motivations of characters.
Love In Othello, love is a force that overcomes large obstacles and is tripped up by small ones. It is eternal, yet derail-able. It provides Othello with intensity but not direction and gives Desdemona access to his heart but not his mind. 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 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 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. Jealousy forces Othello's mind so tightly on one idea, the idea that Desdemona has betrayed him with Cassio, that no other assurance or explanation can penetrate.
Such an obsession eclipses Othello's reason, his common sense, and his respect for justice. Up to the moment he kills Desdemona, Othello's growing jealousy maddens him past the recall of reason. Upon seeing that she was innocent and that he killed her unjustly, Othello recovers.
He can again see his life in proportion and grieve at the terrible thing he has done. Once again, he speaks with calm rationality, judging and condemning and finally executing himself. Prejudice Iago's scheme would not have worked without the underlying atmosphere of racial prejudice in Venetian society, a prejudice of which both Desdemona and Othello are very aware.Reality Uploaded by firealive (20) on Oct 30, William Shakespeare focuses a lot of his play, Othello, on the theme of appearance versus reality.
Othello, along with other characters in the play, depend on only their eyes and with that they jump to major conclusions.
The play 'Othello' is an epiphany of the ultimate battle between appearance versus reality in the respect that Iago is the complete opposite from what he appears to be. One of the first instances where the theme appearance versus reality appears, is when Othello sees Cassio walking away very quickly after conversing with Desdemona, Othello’s wife. The basis around which he is suspicious comes from Iago, a very jealous man. Jul 07, · In William Shakespeare's illustrious play Hamlet, a clear divide between appearance and reality is achieved through the actions of the three flawed characters Claudius, Polonius, and Hamlet throughout the r-bridal.com: Resolved.
The Handkerchief of Love and Deception in Othello - Othello and Desdemona started their life together thinking it was to be forever. The handkerchief symbolizes the start of a new generation, a token of their union and ultimately determines their fate and the main characters lives being changed by the events.
This webpage is for Dr. Wheeler's literature students, and it offers introductory survey information concerning the literature of classical China, classical Rome, classical Greece, the Bible as Literature, medieval literature, Renaissance literature, and genre studies.
Othello Essay Assignment Directions: Choose one of the essay topics below and write a well-developed essay that incorporates support from the text.
Use basic essay format (introduction with thesis statement, body paragraphs with topic sentences, conclusion). Irony. Harmon and Holman in A Handbook to Literature define irony as "a broad term referring to the recognition of a reality different from appearance."Othello is an essentially ironic play in that Shakespeare creates such a wide divide between what appears to be real to the characters in the play and what appears to be real to the audience in the theater.
A major theme in Our Day Out is the lack of education and opportunity for young people in the inner-city. Using scenes from the play, show how Willy Russell makes the audience aware of this theme.