• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Sexual perversion in Wuthering Heights, Othello, and a View from the Bridge.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How do "Othello", "A View From the Bridge" and "Wuthering Heights" explore the theme of sexual perversion in relation to the "darker side" of love? In reference to Wuthering Heights J. Hellis Miller once stated "This secret truth would be something formulable as a univocal principle of plantation which would account for everything in the novel.". I aim to show that each of the titled texts do indeed have a governing principle which accounts for the eventual tragedy and demise of each set of lovers. Shakespeare's Othello, Miller's A View From the Bridge and Bronte's Wuthering Heights all seem to challenge contextual boundaries. In all three, there appears to be an underlying "principle" - whether it be religious, cultural or evolutionary - which acts as a barrier for "love". Othello seems to be a stark commentary upon social opposition to miscegenation which is reinforced through constant references to theological superstition, whereas the conflict (internal and external) in AVFAB appears to be due to the protagonists' repressed homosexuality emphasised through the many scenes which may be interpreted as allegorical sex scenes illustrating his subconscious (and, in the context, incongruent) desires. Finally, in Wuthering Heights there is the possibility of consanguinity between Catherine and Heathcliff which doesn't seem to be "reductive" in any way; it seems well-enough able to stand as the "principle", acting as explanation for the affinity between the two. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore, both plays Othello and AVFAB show the "darker" side of love being the innate repression of a true sense of sexuality and real identity which ultimately culminates in the destruction of another heterosexual relationship. Each culture, Venetian and Italian, had set traditions and underlying principles, and religious opposition to homosexuality may have led to the rejection of ones sexuality, thus acting as indirect motivation for both Iago and Eddie to inflict terror upon the people they are supposed to "love". Furthermore, perversion in Wuthering Heights lies upon the assumption that there could be a blood line between Catherine and Heathcliff. Earnshaw's reference to Heathcliff being "a Gift from God" may be admission that he is indeed his illegitimate son. This would mean that their union cannot be completed according to certain religious or evolutionary rules. To me, Heathcliff and Catherine's relationship goes beyond any possible rationality and therefore, there must be an underlying reason as to why they cannot consummate their love which is contrary to evolutionary and religious doctrines. This "theory" seems likely due to the very Byronic nature of Bronte literature; the innate passion between Catherine and Heathcliff incongruently combined with their intransigence in pursuing that quest suggest transcendent meanings, like in Othello. ...read more.

Conclusion

and the former is consumed by homoerotic sexual jealousy. Furthermore, the character of Iago uses the phrase "I am not what I am" which directly contrasts with Exodus 3:14, where God says to Moses "I am what I am". Therefore, Iago uses the line to foreshadow his deception of Othello, but simultaneously Shakespeare may have also used the allusion in order to show that Iago directly contrasts with God, portraying him as satanic, and, thus, these binary oppositions elucidate the central theme of "good" versus "evil". In the same way, I would argue that embedded within the narrative of Wuthering Heights is a complex system of biblical hermeneutics. Most poignant is the idea that love has become a religion; which would offer an explanation for the inexorable connection between love and death in the characters' speeches and actions. The way in which Wuthering Heights can be read as an anti-Christian novel, so too can Othello, for the reason that during Elizabeth's reign as Queen of England, her Protestant religious settlement more or less forbade Catholicism in the country. Shakespeare, therefore, being secretively Catholic may have included subverted relationships as an attack upon the religious tradition of his time and society. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    These feelings bring him closer to her, and soon they become lovers. Hana sits by the English patient in his room, and he tells her that he was part of an expedition in 1930 that went searching for the lost oasis of Zerzura.

  2. comparsion of jane eyre and wuthering heights

    David Daiche states, "Ultimate passion is for her (Catherine) rather a kind of recognition of oneself." This perspective of her is evident throughout the novel her selfish, headstrong and passionate nature leads to her own death and Heathcliff's madness. Charlotte Bronte handles the love theme very delicately. She shows how love should be based on mutual respect, mutual need and mutual recognition of weaknesses.

  1. English Lit Coursework (Comapring Othello, Wuthering heights and Gatsby)

    Whereas East Egg is 'glittered' with houses that are described as 'white palaces' with well kept lawns, suggesting well kept, good quality people, over all setting a lavish and opulent scene. Never the less, the houses themselves are concentrated on more so in Wuthering Heights as they are the dominant

  2. How do Arthur Miller and Tenessee Williams explore the blurring of reality and fantasy ...

    This therefore, may add to the blindness of truth that she already holds and give her false hope, unbeknown to her. Benjamin Nelson (1970) comments on this view of Joe Keller; saying that in the man's eyes "there is nothing dishonest in a plea to the two values upon which

  1. Compare and contrast the writers presentation of the consequences of obsessive love in: Othello, ...

    not want to kill her soul without her asking god forgiveness of her sins. By this, we realise that Othello is going to kill Desdemona, not because she hurt him but because it is the moral and just thing to do.

  2. Compare and contrast the presentation of sex and sexuality in The Color Purple by ...

    Letter 60 portrays this further as sewing is pictured as an activity that unites women. Celie's replies to Shug's suggestion of making and wearing pants are "I ain't no man" and "Mr. not going to let his wife wear pants".

  1. Comparing the Role of Women in Sense and Sensibility and Othello

    That's a low thing to do. We see that because of Marianne's misjudgment of Willoughby, she is making her family suffer with her. Then, Marianne marries her long-time admirer, Colonel Brandon, who had revealed Willoughby's reality to Elinor which saved Marianne form less suffering.

  2. How do the writers present sexuality and gender in Tales Of Ovid, Streetcar Named ...

    This peaceful language of the natural world is tinged however with a more foreboding aggression in the ?viper?[75] like elegance of her ?sinewy otter?[76] like body, which portends her sexual experience in contrast to the innocent young boy Hermaphroditus, who blushes at the naming of love.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work