Othello - A Play That Transcends Time Essay

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Only by considering a range of perspectives can we truly appreciate the world of Shakespeare’s Othello. It is through my exploration of these perspectives and their relationship with changing morals and values that has enriched my understanding of the play. One such reading of the play challenges the marginalisation and objectification of woman in a patriarchal Venetian society, while taking into account the changing role of women in modern society. Another interpretation of Othello examines its post colonial elements through the protagonist Othello, and his insecurities of being a black man in a white society. My interpretation of the play as a portrayal of the values existing in Shakespeare’s time is filtered through these …show more content…
However the textual integrity of the play can be questioned. In terms of its pacing, Othello’s transition from a love that overcame social boundaries to murderous hate is almost too abrupt, to the point that it is unconvincing and unrealistic. The fact that Othello blindly follows the words of Iago, without once consulting Desdemona, takes away the play’s realism. On the other hand, this can be attributed to the gender system of the time, and Othello’s insecurities about his race and age. Stage directions instruct Othello and Iago to kneel, and to modern audiences this symbolises that the bond between the two men is stronger than marriage representative of the patriarchal society of Shakespeare’s time. The play reflects the patriarchal values of society by categorising females into the three main stereotypes: the housewife, whore and innocent virgin are Emilia, Bianca and Desdemona respectively. Women in Othello’s world stand for a marginalised group, outsiders in a man’s world and their role in society is described with “[men] are all but stomachs, and we are all but food”, reflecting contemporary conventional views. Bianco and Emilia portray the negative typecast of women and are slandered by Iago, who accuses them of being “pictures out of doors…players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds”. This fits with the Madonna-Whore Complex, where women are either sexually promiscuous or
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