Texts and their appropriations reflect the context and values of their times. Within Shakespeare’s Othello and Geoffrey Sax’s appropriation of Othello, the evolution of the attitudes held by Elizabethan audiences and those held by contemporary audiences can be seen through the context of the female coupled with the context of racism. The role of the female has developed from being submissive and “obedient” in the Elizabethan era to being independent and liberated within the contemporary setting.
Shakespearean plays with racial prejudices, perhaps to determine whether Shakespeare was a racist or not. Shakespeare’s use of characters of color, for instance, has raised controversies and even curiosity on what role does race contributes in his plays. It should be noted that racism or the belief that one’s race is superior to another is already observed in 16th century Europe. It was during this time when Europeans become increasingly engaged with people of different racial origins, especially with
discussions of prejudice. The modern chronology of Othello’s worldwide criticism is consistently laden with race issues and exhibits the development of human thought in its gradual drift away from the archaic structural notions of human difference toward a more humanist and sensible perspective. This timeline of documented literary reactions validate the importance of discussing race in Othello. Proclivity toward racial misconception plagued Othello’s early modern critical works so frequently that
Century. Do you agree that this is the case and does it apply to Giovanni? As defined by Aristotle in his analysis of tragedy, an audience must experience a sense of catharsis to be affected by a tragedy, meaning it is key that sympathy is felt for the tragic hero or the tragedy will be ineffectual. What makes Othello a successful tragedy is the way that Shakespeare
be represented as more rounded, but the fact still remains that racial bias and outright racism and prejudice are present in both texts. In "The Merchant of Venice", the Jewish moneylender, Shylock (full character analysis here) seems to fit the stereotype common in Shakespeare’s time of the greedy and unfeeling Jew. Although we are not told about the racial bias by any narrator, several of the characters refer to him using racial epithets, Antonio in particular. Although stated in the past tense
increased interaction with foreign cultures fomented by various commercial and diplomatic engagements gave rise to apprehension in English sensibility. Eventually, Christian England would attempt to reshape these ‘strangers’ in their image and modern racial tensions sprung forth. Recursion of the trope of race, under the guise of blackness, heathenry, or even femininity occurs extensively in literary tradition, and especially within Shakespeare’s oeuvre. “There exists in all literature an archetypal
Essentially, Iago is a representative of the white race, a pre-Nazi figure who tries to inform the public of the impurity of Othello and Desdemona's marriage. He demonstrates how this miscegenation is threatening to the existing social order. Thus, through analysis of racism, the play represents the hatred possessed by mankind -- a hate so strong that society sees the mixing with an "other" to be a curse to humanity and a terrible threat to Aryan culture. The play is structured so that the climax, or rather