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

How do you respond to the presentation of racial and sexual issues in Othello in Act I scene iii?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Adheela Rafique How do you respond to the presentation of racial and sexual issues in Othello in Act I scene iii? Bear in mind: * Opposing points of view * How this scene fits into the context of the play as a whole when you present your argument. Othello is a play by Shakespeare which is said to be written in the first quarto of 1622, according to William Rolfe. There are several ideas explored through the play: Sex and violence, Love and Hate, Honour and Dishonesty, Loyalty and Betrayal, Trust and Suspicion. There are also many themes in this play, some of these are: pride, jealousy and racism. However the main theme throughout the play is the love between Othello and Desdemona. William Rolfe in his book of A life of William Shakespeare explains that stokes were written in the quarto of 1622, the oath 'S' blood while this is omitted in folio. In 1622, Othello was first put into print by Thomas Walkley which was the last edition of single play before collected edition. Othello was Shakespeare's best plays during the seventeenth century. Othello had made the transition from stage to film over twenty times and from stage to TV at least 5 times. ...read more.

Middle

Lawrence Danson believes "Masculine anxiety about female self possession is one result of tragic protagonist, a general desire for knowledge" he thinks that this power cannot be used to control a wife like the "absolutist demands". I personally agree to this opinion as it is wrong for an "absolutist" to have knowledge and control over their wife. A wife should be trusted and given freedom and it is wrong to be controlled by their husbands. Desdemona and Othello's relationship is different from other relationships as both these characters are equal in their relationship, therefore there is no dissatisfaction with the two characters, and Iago leads this marriage to a breakdown. Marriage has made Emilia cynical about male-female relationships; she thinks she is just "food" for Iago as she is acceptable until she disobeys him and refuses to be silent and is then called a "Villainous whore". This shows that in this relationship all the power is given to Iago and therefore she is unhappy. In comparison to Othello and Desdemona's relationship where there is no dissatisfaction "That there be woman who abuse their husband/in such gross kind?" Iago believes from the start that the relationship between Othello and Desdemona will not last, he is willing to put money on it "It cannot be that/Desdemona should long continue her love to the/ Moor -Put money in thy purse-nor he is to her". ...read more.

Conclusion

Iago destroys the black white harmony there is in society and makes Othello behave in a way that is unnatural for him but is expected from him as a black character in an Elizabethan drama. The black stereotype is created through Iago's racist descriptions 'an old black ram is tupping your white ewe'. Iago's imagery is cruder than Brabantio, Roderigo with his reference to 'an old black ram' 'a barbary horse' and 'the beast with two backs'. Stephen Greenblatt's intro to Othello in Norton Shakespeare says that it doesn't matter what skin you are what matters is the 'existential situation of being an outsider scorned by society's insiders' I agree to this as well, I think that colour should not play a big part in this play but to an Elizabethan audience it really mattered. Iago is jealous of Othello because of his 'daily beauty' in the moor's life. His motives for destroying Othello's happiness are by negative impulses and his sexual jealousy. Othello has many racial issues and sexual issues in this play which are extreme in today's society and no one would even consider thinking some of the things that Iago's said 'old black ram'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Othello 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 GCSE Othello essays

  1. Is Othello a 'noble hero' brought down by 'a devil of motiveless malignity' or ...

    He will say: Now, by heaven, My blood begins my safer guides to rule, And passion, having my best judgement collied, Assays to lead the way. If I once stir Or do but lift this arm, the best of you Shall sink in my rebuke (II, iii, lines 203-8).

  2. In Act III Scene III, what techniques and dramatic devices are used by Shakespeare ...

    Iago also says "Pricked to't by foolish honesty and love/I will go on". This is said just before Iago tells Othello of Cassio's dream, Iago tells Othello that he is driven by honesty and love, neither of which are true; Iago is driven by malice and revenge.

  1. Othello - Examine the importance and effectiveness of Act III, scene 3, considering the ...

    It is ironic though, because at the beginning of Act II, scene 3 Othello calls Iago honest: "Iago is most honest" (2.3.6) At the same time Othello is saying this, Iago is carrying out an evil plan to get revenge on Othello.

  2. The presentation of Desdemona In Othello

    This is a very courageous thing to do, as it was uncommon for a white woman to be married to a black man at the time that this play was written. This would cause a lot of jealousy to other men from Venice who would find it strange that a

  1. How Desdemona is presented as acharacter and perceived by others in Othello.

    It is most likely that Iago does not believe she is like this really or ever would, but needs to convince Roderigo. He says 'Her eye must be fed; and what delight Shall she have to look upon the devil?'

  2. How does Othello's character change from the beginning of the play to the end ...

    a big plan formulated by Iago and feel great sympathy for Othello as he could be thought of as vulnerable. The 16th century audience would realise Iago's intentions and could possibly find it amusing as Othello's outsider status, due to his alien race, and it could be thought of that Iago is manipulating Othello's lack of knowledge.

  1. What Destroys Othello

    a foreigner Othello is black North African man living in Venice where a high percent of the population are white and have high suspicions of Othello because he is from a different background and couture. Desdemona's farther seems to think that Othello used witch craft to charm his daughter because

  2. Examine the presentation of Othello in Act One

    He also says 'I am not what I am,' reinforcing the fact that he may be untrustworthy, and suggesting that he may be two-faced, which we later discover he is. From the conversation between Iago and Roderigo, and even more so when Brabantio enters, we get the impression that Othello is an untrustworthy, irrational and not particularly liked.

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