Elizabethan Times- Othello
How do the opening scenes and closing scenes of your Shakespearean text show the Elizabthan values/ beliefs? The Venetian society in which the Shakespearean play, Othello is set in is a clear representation of the writer’s context. The values, attitudes and beliefs that Shakespeare reveals in the opening and closing scenes of Othello, are the specific to the ones accepted by the Elizabethans of the sixteenth century. With the minimal variety of Black individuals being around, in Othello we can see the racist remarks that are being made upon one, as well as the resilience to accept one within a society.
Despite the fact that the play itself is set in Venice and Cyprus, it shows highly upon the values and beliefs of Shakespeare’s own society where people thought highly in the fantastic chain of being, risk of emotions and punishment for major sins. The Great Chain of Being describes the idea that every existing organism and things has its place within the universe. This hierarchical order apart individuals into various classes and had God as a magnificent sovereign leader.
This was a value and belief that was extremely well recognised within the Elizabethan society in the 16th century. The opening scene of Othello introduces the wrong villain Iago talking to Roderigo about his scene of revenge upon a certain character that stays unknown in this point of time. With making use of language techniques, Iago exposes to the audience his real evil spirit in relation to the remarkable character who remains unidentified, “I follow him to serve my turn upon him? hen I have actually lined my coat I shall do myself homage”; thus exposing to the audience his villainous character and sly nature. Iago was the primary character that caused the disruption in the natural order as he had the essential power to use individuals’s weaknesses. This substantial character displays lots of unfavorable points throughout the play. He exposes his sense of pride when he conceitedly exclaims “I understand my cost and should have no even worse a location”. Showing pride in any sense was constantly frowned upon in the Elizabethan times as it was thought about to be distressing the natural cycle of life.
Being happy goes directly versus the natural order of life because one shall never try to reach higher, yet enjoy with their location in society as it was set by God. With the development of the story, the disturbance of natural order ends up being extremely apparent and the audience knows that the one that modifies it will stop working, and the natural order of life will ultimately be brought back. Iago utilized sexual imagery as one of his techniques to offend Othello and location him listed below his position in the society, where he insulted Othello by calling him “an old black ram”.
Iago constantly uses animal imagery to get his point throughout about Othello. With Othello being black and Muslim, he was turned down by the society. He was always considered an excellent soldier yet never good enough to marry ones child. Iagos declarations aim directly at Othello’s color, reinforcing his rejection by the society. There were few black individuals within the Elizabethan society, and with the little variety of them around it was sill fresh to them that individuals of various colors existed, therefore their reaction and racist remarks towards Othello weren’t of surprising nature.
An Elizabethan society would often concur with Iagos consider as Muslims were viewed as a threat to the Christian world due to the fact that they did not follow the bible or practice the same religious beliefs. Upon learning that his child has actually run away with the Moor, Brabantio states “Fathers from for this reason trust not your children”, this reinforces the little trust that females of the Elizabethan times possessed and likewise mirrors the images of how females at that time were treated. Desdemona has disturbed the natural order by weding a Muslim Black guy and lying to her father, hence she has broken her faith and whatever she was taught to be.
The primary character, Othello is introduced to the story in Scene II, where he is represented to be a strong and bold individual, contrary to the impression we got of him from the villainous Iago. Although Othello is viewed as a strong character who has not committed any sins yet, he himself disturbs the natural order by showing lots of big-headed and prideful remarks “My parts, my title and my best soul will manifest me appropriately”. In the closing scenes of Othello, we sense that as the natural order of life had been disturbed, justice will dominate, and ultimately the natural lifestyle will be restored.
With Othello perceiving himself as a worthy guy and a character of justice, upon accusing Desdemona of betrayal he feels it is his responsibility to eliminate her, thus restore the natural way of living. “She must pass away? else she’ll betray more guys”. By doing this, Othello himself is making a huge error as eliminating somebody was thought to be one of the biggest sins against ones faith and belief in the gift of life. As it was thought, Natural order was restored in the closing scenes of Othello, with Othello killing himself and Iago suffering lifelong penalty.
With the natural order now in place, it appeared that even Shakespeare himself, very much trusted the beliefs and values of the Elizabethan society. Throughout the Elizabethan times, people believed that reasonable thinking was the only aspect that separated humankind from animals. During this period, emotions were seen as an unfavorable force that has the ability to destroy one to its core, as seen in Othello. The nature and contrast of feelings can be noted in Othello’s behavior in the opening and closing scenes of he play.
In Scene Two, where Othello is introduced, he is depicted as a calm, kind and well mannered male who can not reject himself of the love he feels for his “sweet Desdemona”. His emotions are really strong for her, “I like the mild Desdemona”, hence he is prepared do challenge many people for her. Nevertheless, Othello finds himself disagreeing with his feelings, where in Scene Two she was his “sweet Desdemona” to Scene V, where he names her a “slut”. As of his personal qualities, and kind heart, Iago takes advantage of Othello’s weak points and feeds his greed on others discomfort.
With Iago achieving his goals and objective, Othello is seen as doubting in Desdemona’s love for him. This is plainly indicated in Scene V, where Othello observes Desdemona sleeping and estimates “I’ll not shed her blood not scar that whiter skin of hers than snow and smooth as alabaster”. His love for her has actually developed into an obsession, yet with Iagos wicked plan in location, Othello discovers himself questioning whether to eliminate his love. As he speaks of her death and killing her, Othello is still seen as wandering away and discussing the love he feels for her.
The power of emotion appears thoughts the play, particularly as Othello’s love becomes jealousy and confusion, nevertheless this was an unfavorable element as it was frowned upon in the Elizabethan world. As the story advances Iago has fun with Othello’s weaknesses and clouds his mind, thus whatever Othello when appreciated about Desdemona has actually vanished form his mind and he is entrusted discomfort, agony, confusion and jealousy. Additionally, Iago himself has actually demonstrated jealousy from the simple start.
In the opening scenes he was jealous of Michael Cassio, as he was Othello’s new appointed lieutenant. This was the stimulate of the play as it lit Iagos will to seek vengeance in order so please himself. In addition, Desdemona was also affected by feelings, as she had and outburst of feeling when she fulfilled Othello. Love blinded her, resulting in her devastating fate. As emotion was viewed as a negative factor in the Elizabethan Society, Desdemona, Othello and Iago were destined to be penalized in order for the natural lifestyle to go back to its typical cycle.
Suicide and taking ones life was thought about to be among the significant sins that could be dedicated in the Elizabethan times. Individuals of this time were extremely religious and had an extremely strong connection with God and the Holy Bible. Life was believed to be given by god and one should look after it and obey Gods orders. If a life must be eliminated then, that person will be penalized seriously throughout their life. In addition, it triggers disruption in the natural order because it leads to an imbalance in between the great and bad within a society.
In Othello, the effect of ones forcible actions can be seen in the opening and closing scenes. Othello, a bold male who has actually killed numerous, for he is a soldier; nevertheless this was not negative as it was during wartime. In addition Iago himself confesses to being involved in the war and took part in killing “To do no contiv ‘d murder; I lack iniquity, Sometimes to do me service: 9 or ten times”. If one has actually eliminated in the war it was thought about to be a courageous act, however it isn’t up until we progress to the closing scenes that the unfavorable side of killing comes into location.
Iago played on Othello’s weaknesses and turned his love for “sweet Desdemona” into jealousy till his instincts required him to eliminate her. “A murder, which I believed a sacrifice”, as Othello has actually fallen into Iagos trap he feel as if it is his duty to eliminate Desdemona and bring back the natural order, for she will do no great to the society. Othello followed his instincts and eliminated Desdemona which was what Iago had desired all along. Desdemona’s death is revealed to the audience in Scene V where Othello tells Emilia “She’s dead”.
In addition, the audience currently have an idea regarding Othello’s future due to the fact that he has actually done many wrong things throughout the play, and it would just be regular to be penalized as it would suit precisely with the Elizabethan values and beliefs. Moreover, the fact conclusively came out and it was out in the open. With all the blame pointing to Iago, he then, out of rage and anger eliminated his other half Emilia whilst calling her a “Atrocious slut”. Othello himself dedicated suicide for the wrong he had actually done and killing his sweet love by error “I kiss ‘d thee ere I eliminate ‘d thee ere, no chance however this, killing myself, to pass away upon a kiss”.
Emilia, Desdemona, Othello and Iago had all disturbed the natural order of life and for that they need to be penalized. Emilia shall never disobey her other half and since her dying and as well as all the other characters, natural order were brought back which was much to the liking of the Elizabethan society. Worths and beliefs to a person who is religious are whatever. People of the Elizabethan period were exceptionally religious and believed in the natural order of life. There were numerous factors that might disturb the natural order of life; for this reason a punishment is enforced upon them.
In William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Othello, the main characters that the play was based on all passed away or were penalized in some kind due to the fact that they distress the natural lifestyle and questioned their status. People of that age had strong beliefs regarding the power of feelings. It has the power to eliminate ones identity and disturb the society. Furthermore, significant sins consisted of suicide and taking ones life. As they were extremely religious taking a life that God has approved one would imply eternal punishment and unavoidable and horrible future occasions.
Eventually, the fantastic chain of being which was a hierarchal pyramid separating deferent beings into numerous classes of value. Disturbing the excellent chain of being would be discredited and one must constantly stay in their place. The opening and closing scenes of Othello are extremely closely connected to the worths and beliefs of the way the Elizabethans behaved and acted. It appears that by disturbing the natural order of life or performing any act that is unchristian would reward one a tragic fate and destiny.