Essay on Othello 2

This essay has a total of 975 words and 4 pages.

Othello 2


William Shakespeare's Othello is a play set in Venice. The plot is based on a story about
two people who love each other dearly and the problems and conflicts they face from the
start. The conflicts are, for the most part, tied in with racial issues and questions of
loyalty. These conflicts stem from the society around the couple, as well as from the
couple themselves as they too are part of this society, but with very different
backgrounds: The female protagonist is the daughter of a highly-respected Venetian
senator: Brabantio. Othello--also known as the Moor--is a foreigner, black in colour, has
a past filled with tragic and exotic tales and has proved himself worthy of the title
General in the Venetian army.


Even before we, as an audience, have had a chance to meet Othello and Desdemona we learn
that the match is considered as disgusting as it is outrageous. From the very beginning
everyone and everything seem to work against them, but in the hope that love will conquer
all we do not allow ourselves to despair as yet. And indeed, the first act proves us
right. After having explained why they love each other the world seems to accept this
alliance.


But Brabantio's comment tells us that everything is not all right: (I.iii.293-4) "Look to
her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see:/She has deceived her father and may thee." By
disobeying her faher Desdemona has shown herself able to betray the person she is supposed
to love and--according to Venetian norms--obey. The phrase "look to her" suggests several
things: that Desdemona needs to be watched closely, in other words; she cannot be trusted,
or that Othello should notice what a deceiver looks like and lastly, if Othello looks at
her he may find that she is not as fair as he thought--the opposite of fair being black.


Desdemona has actively sought to alienate herself from the other Venetians by marrying
him. Othello, on the other hand, seems to be more than anxious to conform with Venetian
ideals. By adding "Moor" rather than a name or his position Brabantio emphasises Othello's
difference (=blackness). Brabantio dehumanises Othello, by taking away his name, his
individuality and in so doing makes Othello acutely aware of his difference as well as
well as making him believe that he is a barbarian.


When he says "if thou hast eyes to see" what he may be saying is that in order to see what
Brabantio sees i.e Desdemona's marriage as a betrayal he must see the whole situation
through Venetian spectacles, ot it could reflect Brabantio's assumption that only if he is
totally blinded by love he will fail to see what Desdemona really is. End-rhyme serves as
a nice rounding off of the statement making it easy to remember.In III.iii200,209 Iago
repeats the main ideas very effectively.
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