To what extent has your personal response to the play Othello been shaped by the enduring power of Shakespeare’s thematic concerns in the play and one critical evaluation which you have read? Support your evaluation with a close analysis of two themes. (Teacher advised me to do 3 themes to create an even balance with scenes and themes).
In a modern perspective, an individual may respond to Othello in different ways. Shakespeare makes use of a variety of dramatic and language techniques to convey universal thematic concerns. The thematic concerns display relevancy to the Elizabethan society which influences the audience’s interpretation, through the use of gender roles, jealousy and racism. The themes Shakespeare conveyed display relevance also to a contemporary view as they are focused on humanity.
The attitudes and values that Shakespeare reveals through the text are reflective of Elizabethan society in England in the sixteenth century. An insight into those attitudes and values are given through the representations of race. In the text of Othello the thematic concern of racism prominently occurs in Act 1 Scene 1, through the characters of Iago and Roderigo referring to Othello as the ‘moor.’ The thematic concern of race is demonstrated through the use of animal imagery.. “...you’ll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse...” Iago yells to Brabantio. The use of animal imagery is used in many places in the play to convey immorality and illicit passion, as it does in this instance. This statement also increases Othello’s apparent bestial desire by using the phrase ‘tupping’ to discard any romantic lovemaking possibilities. Animalistic Imagery is displayed throughout the text often to racially prejudice the character Othello. Ironically bestial imagery is used to describe Othello to imply the lustfulness and raw animal power of the stereotypical black mand.
Also Shakespeare looks at the thematic concern of racism through the use of Juxtaposition. The...