University Degree: Othello
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Othello. Emilias monologue in act IV scene iii lines 82-99 articulate her views that women and men are not so different
In an attempt to unite the sexes with equality, her expression conveys a somewhat different meaning. The division between men and women is highlighted through the use of the colon "if wives do fall: say that they slack their duties." The reference here to both husband and wife failing the other in some way, is separated with the colon, which ultimately separates the "fall" of the wife and the men who "slack their duties" despite the argument that one occurs because of the other.
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In William Shakespeares Othello, we witness the tragedy of a man tormented by the fabrications of his own mind. Originally, Othello is tempted by Iago to believe in his wifes infidelity.
It would be impossible for Shakespeare (or any Victorian audience, for that matter) not to notice the striking similarity to the definition of God "I am what I am" which is the direct translation of Yaweh, the Hebrew name for God. Later, he promises Roderigo that "If sanctimony and a frail vow betwixt an erring barbarian and a supersubtle Venetian be not too hard for my wits, and all the tribe of hell, thou shalt enjoy her" (1.3.350-354), implying not only that marriage is nothing more than a "frail vow", but also that "all the tribe of hell" is on his side.
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'The Jew of Malta' was written between 1589 and 1591 and first published in 1633. Jews were common in Renaissance literature, often to portray villains, as Jews were not well liked or even allowed in England as well as throughout Europe. A Moor was commonly thought of as a Muslim of North African descent. Othello is a Moor; he can be represented or seen as exotic, interesting and brave. Othello is a soldier, a General, who has managed to distinguish himself and win respect in the eyes of his superior officers.
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Once Brabantio is awake, he himself interrupts to tell him that Othello is having sex with Brabantio's daughter - lines 88-89 'an old black ram is tupping your white ewe'. Now we as the audience know this is not true, and so we deduce that Iago is deceitful and a meddler. By the end of the scene, Iago has successfully turned Brabantio against Othello. Othello, on the other hand, comes across as honest, honourable and respectable when we meet him in Act 1 Scene 2.
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With close reference to the representation of female characters in the first three chapters of the White Devil write about the representation of women.
Lodovicio's opening speech finds him blaming his definition of evil from 'great enemies' to feminine virtues, 'that right whore' (I 8-9) 'a devouring she wolf' (I, 8-9) In Act 1 scene two, Vittoria shows herself to be excersing her sexual nature, she talks in sexual puns in relation to her husband, 'I carved him at supper-time' (I, ii 125) Lines 202 onwards reveal sexual implications. The scene furnishings may be seen as provoking a sexual act, as 'Zanche brings out a carpet, spreads it out and lays on it two fair cussions'.
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Governor Kathleen Blanco was persuasive in her address to rebuild New Orleans. Her speech takes on a motivated sequence design
She is credible to ask for federal funding because she is the governor of Louisiana. She established even more credibility because she promoted identification, commemoration, plans of action, and personal experience in her speech. First, she ushered in a sense of community to all the people of Louisiana by speaking to the, "brave and resilient". Positive trigger words like brave and resilient unified everyone involved in the storm, made the people of Louisiana appear strong, and helped those not involved feel more compassionate about what happened. She explained to the audience, "Katrina tore across Southeast Louisiana leaving a path of physical destruction and human tragedy unprecedented in our nation's history."
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Analyse an extract of not less than 500 words from a text of your choosing, commenting upon the use of language and reflecting upon the relationship between the nature of the extract and the era from which it comes.
Waves of the plague swept across the countryside, and pestilence ravaged Stratford during the hot summer months. It is unclear what he did until he landed in London in 1591. He married Anne Hathaway, when he was eighteen and had three children. He could have possibly worked for his father, gone off to war in France or the Netherlands. Shakespeare arrived in London in the 1590's and was an actor and writer. It was an interesting time. It was when the still lamented English aristocratic hero-poet Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophel and Stella were published and the gallants and university wits were caught in 'sonneteering'.
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Shakespeare's "Othello", the third scene of Act Three is the most suspenseful. Through elements such as pace of action, dialogue and stage directions, Shakespeare manages to create a scene laced with tension and conflict.
The third scene of Act Three begins with Desdemona talking to Cassio about interceding with Othello on his behalf: "Be thou assured, good Cassio, I will do All my abilities on thy behalf". These words reveal Desdemona's strong, generous and independent personality; also, it implies that she has a powerful influence over Othello. Emilia hopes that Desdemona will be successful in reconciling Othello with Cassio for it "grieves" Iago "as if the case were his". Dramatic irony is effective here in generating shock amongst the audience who are fully aware that the severed friendship between Othello and Cassio was caused by Iago to initiate his plan of destruction for Othello.
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Iago is a powerful predator who exploits those around him by infecting their perceptions of truth with carefully chosen fallacy.
When he later questions Desdemona's fidelity to Othello, he says: "Men should be what they seem". This use of dramatic irony is successful in creating shock amongst the audience. It can also be seen as a kind of warning to Roderigo who trusts Iago and places all his faith in him. NP Iago convinces Roderigo to help him rouse Brabantio and it is when Roderigo obeys these commands that we are alerted of Iago's true ability to overpower a situation. The play begun with Roderigo behaving very angrily towards Iago yet now he is doing as Iago asks.
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Jealousy can be a dangerous emotion, but why is jealousy so emotionally charged? Usually, jealousy is a negative or passionate reaction to a situation, and that is what can make it so dangerous. If jealousy can be so dangerous, can envy be dangerous too? Envy can also be a dangerous emotion, but there is something important that separates it from jealousy, and that is the passion. You can be envious of your neighbor's new car or your friend's new clothes, but these feelings probably will not lead you to passionate violence. You will not steal the car because you envy it.
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"How does Shakespeare make an audience aware of the contrasting characters of Othello and Iago in the first two acts of the play?"
At the time, "black" was associated with evil and the devil, and in previous plays, Shakespeare had used "blackamoors" only as evil characters. The concept, therefore, of making the main character (and title role) a black man, would have been a new and intriguing draw for his audience. When, at last, we do see Othello, it is in Iago's company, but it is a very different Iago from the one to whom we are initially introduced. If the audience had not had some hint of Iago's real nature, they could consider his opening words to Othello, as those of a decent, honest, courageous and loyal man.
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In the play, Iago is the catalyst of all the destructive events within the play. Iago is able to use Othello's insecurities about being black to play Othello against Desdemona until the marriage fails. Iago is a representative of the white race, who is informing the public of the impurity of the marriage between Othello and Desdemona. The play starts out with Iago and Roderigo witnessing the marriage of Othello and Desdemona. Roderigo also hates Othello because he loves Desdemona and now he can't have her. After witnessing this they go to the residence of Brabantio.
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This shows Iago can not believe he is going to work for Othello. 'I follow him to serve my turn upon him' (L42.A1.S1) This quote is from Iago talking to Roderigo about why he is going to be Othello's ancient. We can see that Iago said he is going to 'serve my turn upon him.' This shows us that the reason he is working for Othello is so that he can take revenge on him. This once again shows us that Iago is a nasty person. Iago want's to take revenge on Othello because he was not made lieutenant.
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In contrast, we have his wife, Desdemona, lying peacefully asleep, unaware of the things that Othello is saying. The innocence and goodness of Desdemona shines through out of the words of Othello, who through out the play has spoken clearly and purposefully, now becomes confused and indecisive. '..........When I have plucked the rose, I cannot give it vital growth again; It needs must wither. I'll smell thee on the tree. (He kisses her.) O balmy breath, that does almost persuade' Lines 13-16 These lines show that there is contradiction in the argument going on inside Othello's mind and that he could be persuaded to go either way, given the right evidence.
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She seems to recall halcyon days when people were all good and there were no problems in the world. She then calls Red Sammy a "good man", and promptly says that she trusts no one as if a good man cannot be trusted. She calls Red Sammy a "good man" despite the fact that he is awful to his wife and very dismissive. The reason that she calls him a "good man" is unfounded as in fact he has just been terribly stupid and trusting and given people gas with out knowing them, not only this but is giving people free gas even a cause to call some one a good person?
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"Othello in his magnanimous way, is egotistic…. A habit of self-approving, self-dramatization is an essential element in Othellos' make up."F.R Leavis - How far do you support each of these statements?
(L125 A1 S3) We can see that Othello loves Desdemona and that he calls her a 'fair' lady. This shows that he is both charming and polite. Once again I believe this shows that Othello is noble. When the Duke says to Brabantio "If virtue no delighted beauty lack, Your son-in-law is far more fair than black." (L288 A1 S3) it shows that he believes that Othello is also a very noble man. This quote is another piece of evidence that shows Othello is extremely noble.
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He is admired for his courage yet he is so naive when it comes to matters of the heart. Othello is so easily manipulated by Iago's conniving ways. Iago manipulates everyone he must, in order to get whatever he wants. He's deceitful, cunning and thinks only of himself. Iago is a two-faced individual that pretends to be loyal to Othello while his treacherous actions prove otherwise. As this drama unfolds, Iago uses Roderigo for his money and in the attack on Cassio. Later we find that Roderigo does not come through that ordeal alive. Either the characters in this story can be seen as being on a borderline of naivety or Iago is the worst monster imaginable.
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His successes and triumphs have rendered him overconfident, however, and his impulsivity and habit of acting precipitantly results in intense hardship. "Oedipus' fate is the result of his own rashness and arrogance. He is headstrong and foolish" (Crane). Oedipus seems somewhat oblivious to the clues that point to the fact that Iocastê is both his mother and his sister. Oedipus does not take into account the vagueness of his past and his origin. When it is mentioned that the king of Corinth adopted Oedipus and Iocastê also mentions that her son was discarded and left in the woods, Oedipus never considers the fact that he may have been the same baby that was left to die by the King (Laios)
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Critics have always felt that Othello and Iago are in some ways equal and opposite or rather, complimentary. However the Elizabethan audience would have considered them to be strangely similar, because they share common values. Both Iago and Othello suffer from the same disease - jealousy. So in this sense they can be seen as parallels. I think that this is what Shakespeare intended, people who appear different but who share common values. Values that transcend race, class and religion something that Shakespeare may have felt very strongly about at the time of writing this play.
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…and Have We Not Affections? Research in to feminist theory in Shakespeares' Othello and Hamlet.
Othello is both emotionally vulnerable to Desdemona and even ambivalent about women in general. It is these anxieties alone which cause Othello to be subject to Iago's murderous seduction. Both Iago and Othello play Desdemona as a pawn and, in that sense she is only considered an object by the men in the play. Desdemona is portrayed as almost slavishly devoted to her husband. Indeed, having betrayed her father, Desdemona is seen to be suspect to all men in general. Brabantio warns, "Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see. / She has deceived her father, and may thee" (I.iii.295-296).
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This of course is an action that was very difficult for a man to do the same way it is difficult for today's men to confide their feelings of love towards a woman to their male peers. After his speech, it is difficult to picture Othello as the brave soldier that he was, and instead the reader is left with a mental picture of a man that is madly in love (or lust?) with his new bride Desdemona. Othello's speech is necessary because Iago stirred up a personal scandal for Brabantio.
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How Would You Stage The final Scene of Othello? Consider (a) Stage and Audience (B) Possible Meanings.
In Elizabethan times the concept of light and dark was deeper than that simply of colour. Darkness was associated with the devil and this is why it is ironic to see Desdemona in darkness and Othello being the bearer of light. However, William Shakespeare portrays Desdemona's innocence many times in the play, for instance in this very scene when Othello says: " Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow." Here, we the audience are about to witness a distressing incident where Othello is intending to kill the women he loves so dearly. And by saying these words Shakespeare is purposely conveying Desdemona as an angelic and almost saintly figure, this is emphasised in the words "white" and "snow".
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There have been critics led by Dr Johnson who have wished away the first act of the play Othello. What is the importance of the first act?
The purpose of the first scene is to give the audience a clue of what the rest of the play is going to be about. In scene one of Othello two characters are arguing about somebody whose name they never say, but they refer to him using derogatory terms so the audience are made aware of the fact that both characters hate him. They refer to this other character in terms of his skin colour and race-'moor, thick lips, Barbary'- they are trying to point out how different he is from them, implying that because of his race he is of less importance as them.
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These contradictions are plainly acknowledged by Pechorin. "I was born with a passion for contradiction. My whole life has been nothing but a series of dismal, unsuccessful attempts to go against heart or reason."3 Pechorin will be true to this statement by contradicting himself throughout the novel on a variety of topics. On the subject of women for example, he paints himself as a tragic fool for love: " I who have loved nothing in the world but them and have always been ready to sacrifice for them peace of mind, ambition, even life itself."4 Only to say thirty pages later that he's "never sacrificed a thing"5 for those he loved.
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It is impossible to decide weather issues of race and gender should be central to a reading of Othello. Do you agree?
However, in Shakespeare's Othello, the main character of the same name is seen as a hero of outstanding qualities. This is central to the reading of Othello. Othello is often given the title "valiant moor"(Shakespeare I.iii.48), although to his face "Valiant Othello" (Shakespeare I.iii.49). Montano also calls Othello "brave Othello"(II.i.38). He is seen as a noble man but yet later in the play degenerates to animalism, rage and revengefulness seemingly reverting to superstitious beliefs. "The black man is, of course, always accused of animal sexuality in racist discourse" (Callaghan, 129). Iago often associates Othello with animal imagery: "an old black ram" (Shakespeare I.i.87)
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