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The Significance of Power in William Shakespeare's Othello, Gwen Harwood’s “In the Park”, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Decent Essays
Texts explore many aspects of power or lack of power including the potential of the individual or groups to use this power to enrich or challenge other people communities or ideologies to what extent is this true of Othello.

Power and lack of power have the ability to enrich, even challenge other peoples communities and beliefs. Shakespeare’s Othello is one example of a text that expresses the potency of Power and its abilities to enrich and/or Challenge. Power can be illustrated within a text through: The Power of words, the power of racial standing, the power of human emotion to overcome reason, the powerlessness of women and finally the power of reputation. We can also see these aspects power represented in the Sonnet “In the park” by
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Due to Othello’s skin tone he challenges the ideologies associated with dark toned people through his position as a Military leader, using this power to contradict the venetians ideologies, whilst also enriching the lives of people who also may be prejudiced against because of their skin tone.

Continuing on, a major factor in the whole turn of events that occurs within the play is the power of human emotion to overcome reason. Throughout the play many characters fall victim to their own emotions one example would be the infamous Iago. Almost immediately Iago’s soliloquy demonstrates to the audience the effect that hate –in this case his hate for Othello- has had on him by simply stating “I hate the Moor”. This hate is what drives the whole play and Iagos’ plot to manipulate and eventually destroy Othello. Othello is the next to fall. With his jealously of Cassio and his doubt of Desdemona the overall result is one of devastation. He takes Desdemona’s life challenging her purity and her innocence which is seen as the ultimate act of betrayal. This is the pinnacle of the effects that human emotion can have to overcome reason and not only its effects on the individual but also its effects on people surrounding them.

The powerlessness of women is an issue that has tainted the halls of history for a substantial period of time. In Shakespeare’s Othello powerlessness of women a very evident issue whether or not it was addressed at the time. Shakespeare illustrates this
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