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What Continues to Make Othello Worthy of Study?


What Continues to Make Othello Worthy of Study?William Shakespeare’s

classic tragedy,’Othello ‘written in around 1603, continues to be studied and appreciated even now in contemporary society, more than 4 hundred years after it was written. Apart from the obviousness of Shakespeare’s capability to utilize diction to attract the audience, ‘Othello’ has many qualities which permit it to be interpreted and re-interpreted through time. It can relate to any audience and context due to the fact that its different themes, values and concepts, remain appropriate to all societies making it possible for anyone to relate to ‘Othello’ on some level.

This, together with Shakespeare’s representation of typical human emotions, and his ability to represent these in such a sensible way continues to make ‘Othello’ worthy of vital study. The universality of Shakespeare’s styles appear not only in ‘Othello’ however in nearly all of his works. The most apparent theme in the text is that of jealousy. Iago significantly warns, ‘O, beware, my lord, of Jealousy. It is the green-eyed beast which doth mock the meat it feeds on’ (act 3, scene 3).

This caution is directed at Othello, but is likewise essential for Roderigo and Iago himself. Although Iago might be called one of the most diabolical antagonist/villains in literature, his actions are spurred by such common human feelings; jealousy and greed. Jealousy acts as a great literary device in the text because it is an incredibly universal feeling which nearly all living creatures can sensation, and this provides the audience a psychological accessory to the characters and plot. It allows the audience to feel sympathy for the characters. Othello’ have fun with the jealous nature of the characters, such as Iago’s envy of power and position, along with his suspicions about his wife. These things encourage the plot, and start the series of occasions to unfold during the text. Through Iago, Shakespeare conveys the lengths to which a male will go to accomplish his objective. Iago’s manipulativeness triggers Othello to become a victim of unfounded jealousy, and this drives the whole plot. Furthermore, Iago’s hatred and jealousy is fueled by his racism.

The audience is constantly advised of Othello’s colouring through the character’s discussion, motives and actions. Shakespeare develops vulgar visual imagery with the metaphor, “Really now, an old black ram/ Is tupping your white ewe.” (act 1, scene 1). Regrettably, racism and prejudice prevail throughout history as minorities and groups are deemed lower than others, and this continues still to this day. Division and stereotyping of groups due to race, sex, sexuality and capability have existed through the ages, and regrettably will continue to exist.

Another discernible style in ‘Othello’ is love. This emotion too is universal feeling, and the impulsiveness and obsession to disobey family that love can create is revealed through Desdemona’s determination to intentionally disobey her dad in order to privately wed Othello. Love today is among the most popular literary categories, and can be enjoyed by any ages, in all societies. Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ has been adjusted to suit modern-day society such as in the film ‘O’, and analyzed in various media, consisting of dramatical efficiencies, opera, ballet, tv shows and movies.

All of these provide different analyses of the text and show the flexibility of ‘Othello’. Shakespeare’s poetic and stunning language and his usage of themes such as love, power, vengeance, war and jealousy are ageless. His depiction of human ideas and paths of action are also classic, as people standard senses will remain the same. These aspects, intensified with Shakespeare’s capability to continually challenge oncoming generations, both in the literature and dramatical sense, make ‘Othello’ timeless and deserving to continue to be studied in modern-day society and after. Phoebe Atkinson

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