Power, Race and Women in Othello by Shakespear and Sax
Race Shakespeare – A fear of foreigners during Elizabethan times promoted misogynistic and racist values, which is evident in the method Othello’s blackness becomes a symbol of alienation to which all characters in the play should react. – Utilizing grotesque animal imagery, Iago voices an explicitly stereotypical view of Othello, as a “Barbary horse,” portraying him as an animalistic outsider. Through the image of conflict in black and white, Iago stresses on the racial demarcation in between Othello and Desdemona, that “an old black ram is tupping your white ewe,” associating Othello with unrestrained animalistic sexuality.
Iago’s overt and vicious bigotry becomes agent of the reigning stereotype of the African on the Elizabethan stage – Insecure due to the fact that of his race, Othello echoes Iago’s choice of bestial image “I had rather be a toad and live upon the vapour of a dungeon,” showing his barbaric nature and status as an outsider. – Shakespeare demystifies and questions the racial hierarchies in the society due to which meritorious individuals like Othello need to suffer. Sax In Othello, Sax centres on the concern of race as an essential social and political style in the modern context, and makes an extreme talk about the institutionalised racism of the Metropolitan police force, and by extension, the society in basic. – Like Iago, Jago’s outburst to the audience is filled with indignation as bestial imagery, “you dumb, purchasing from ape,” pervades his dialogue. Jago hide his racist belief with pretentious affability in a seemingly jesting comment, “you smart black bastard,” yet the bitter undertones of his declaration stimulates tokenism and significant paradox. This hypocrisy is representative of the facade of racial tolerance which the government and police systems hold up for political correctness. – The concept of tokenism is reinforced through the juxtaposition of the restroom scene, where Commissioner Carver makes racist remarks, and the diner function, where he declares to promote Asian and Black officers. As an outsider, John is a victim of reverse racism, used as a political pawn to obliterate the allegation of racism. Both John and Othello are tortured by insecurity since of their race. As John becomes nervous he alienates himself from his buddies at the supper celebration, asserting “similar to the old ideas– blacks waiting on whites … you people brought my individuals over there to work and die as slaves on your plantations,” which portrays his understanding of himself as an outsider. Gender: Shakespeare and Sax echoes and challenges the adherence to patriarchal rules and stereotypes within 2 contexts. Shakespeare demonstrates concepts in relation to female virtue and the secondary position of ladies in the 16th century. – With little autonomy, females were dealt with as ownerships of men. This is evident in the way Brabantio explains the loss of Desdemona as though she was a piece of residential or commercial property that is “taken from me and damaged”. – Desdemona is represented as the virtuous child who is “A maiden never ever vibrant, of spirit so still and quiet that her motion blushed at herself.” This shows the patriarchal expectations towards females of being pure and modest. However, Shakespeare challenges these expectations to a level through Desdemona as she falls in love unconventionally and defies her father’s authority. As she speaks plainly and honestly in her words, “My worthy daddy, I do perceive a divided duty.” While these words develop for the audience her nerve and her strength of conviction, Desdemona’s loyalty and the function of females in a patriarchal society is nonetheless further checked out as she transfers her responsibility from her daddy to her hubby. In her dying breath, Desdemona represents the virtues of solid loyalty of a wife in supporting her spouse, “No body, I myself, farewell,” where she submissively accepts Othello’s authority as an explanation for her death. Sax – Sax strengthens the concept of the inferior position of ladies in modern society, where females enjoy a certain amount of autonomy, demonstrated in the lack of Brabantio to show Dessie’s independence. However, comparable to the play, John indirectly refers Dessie to “other guys’s leavings” which suggests the subordinate position of women, objectified as a part of male honour. Sax checks out parallelism in between Desdemona, who is nervous to present herself as a “vessel”, and Dessie who portrays herself as chaste, “I resembled a blank sheet waiting on you to write your name on me”. This shows the expectation of females of the modern context, untainted and pure, like a “blank sheet”, which considerably shows propensities that look like Elizabethan female attributes. – Sax directly contrasts Lulu’s silence to Emilia’s strength. “Tis proper I obey him but not now”, states Emilia, who defies her hubby’s authority and social conventions. Both texts portray patriarchal societies, Shakespeare makes a powerful statement relating to the function of women in the 16th century and their potential strength, whereas Sax represents ladies as ironically weaker in the democratic modern-day society Power: Both texts analyze the corrupting and unsteady impact of power. Shakespeare – Shakespeare’s concept of the rare and transitory nature of power is formed by a context where the country was nervous due to the unexpected death of Elizabeth. – It is the concept of the corruptive nature of power which Shakespeare draws on Othello. Othello’s authority is expressed in his very first words as he thinks his credibility will vindicate him, “My parts, my title, and my ideal soul shall manifest me appropriately.” He speaks in verse, “Most potent, serious, and reverend Signiors,” where his lines are often run-on as ideas are established in a meaningful and positive method. – Moreover, he shows certainty about his relationship with Desdemona, declaring, “Nor from mine own weak benefits I draw the smallest worry or doubt in her revolt, for she had eyes and she chose me.” – Iago is a candidate after power who takes a delight in intrigue and is intoxicated by his success.
He breaks down Othello’s control through planting the seeds of jealousy in the pretence of friendly issue, “O beware, my lord, of jealousy: it is the green-eyed beast which doth mock the meat it eats.” Iago is the monster who has power over Othello using his wicked nature. – Othello’s speech evokes tortured contradicting emotions. His syntax starts to fall apart as he speaks in juxtaposition, “By the world I believe my partner be sincere, and I think she is not/ I believe thou art simply and I believe thou art not.” The shift his articulate speech at the beginning to this use of prose metaphorically highlights his descent of power.
Sax – The 1980s context in Britain was likewise one that was unsteady, where riots, economic instability and dreadful policies led to anxiety within the country. – In a direct connection to Othello, John’s strength is developed in the way he manages the rioting crowd with self-respect, “We have our dignity, we simply desire out justice, justice under the law” which is highlighted by a brave and patriotic music. – Just like Iago, Jago delight in the machinations of his workings as they begin to affect John. He speaks straight to the electronic camera: “So what do you think? I understand.
I feel it too … it’s up and running. It’s beyond my control”. A distorted video camera angle reinforces his evil and destabilises the audience. Dramatic irony is developed as Sax maintains Iago’s soliloquies. – When Jago encourages John to send out in the bathrobe, accompanied by an eerie music, his shadow expands on the wall, which metaphorically represents the power he has over John. – Sax has fun with the concept that power can be accomplished through corruption, reflecting the unstable context of 1980s Briton and also the cynicism and selfish attitudes of the 20th century.
Sax re-contextualises the universal styles of racism, power-play, and the function of gender checked out by Shakespeare in the 16th century, through sound and visual strategies which are simply as efficient in communicating concepts as Shakespeare’s discussions. In Othello, Sax foregrounds these problems as crucial social and political styles in the modern context, in an effort to not just amuse, but to condemn worths and mindsets towards race and gender in contemporary England.
In a focus of the universal themes of race, gender and power explored by Shakespeare’s Othello, Sax has actually controlled characterisation, performance and spatial aspects through sound and visual techniques, which are just as effective in conveying concepts as Shakespeare’s dialogues. In Othello, Sax has adjusted and disposed of Shakespeare’s ideas to captivate contemporary audience however likewise to make an extreme discuss the institutionalised racism and limited female liberty.