Compare Othello And Tess Of The D Urbervilles

3116 Words13 Pages
Compare how Shakespeare and Hardy present situations where their characters’ love and relationships are influenced by the need to uphold appearances within society, with particular reference to Othello and Tess of the d’Urbervilles This essay will explore the social interactions between characters, the effects of appearance on their relationships and how this drives them to make certain decisions. This includes how the claustrophobia of their society is portrayed and its effects through form, style and literary techniques. All four texts explore the conflict between public and private selves. In Othello , Shakespeare reveals the taboo surrounding an interracial sexual relationship between a black man and a white woman during the Sixteenth Century. In Hardy’s Nineteenth Century novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles , we see the clash between sexuality, laws and codes of the time. I will compare these texts to The Franklin’s Tale and Pride and Prejudice , looking at how the rigid codes of courtly love impact on male and female behaviour within relationships and how the social and cultural attitudes and values of Regency England influence young women in their marriage choices. In both primary texts, the parents of the main characters struggle with the practice of exogomein and endogomein. In Othello, Brabantio adopts a motherly role, guiding Desdemona towards an acceptable marriage. Yet the marriage she chooses is exogamous. Brabantio sees through Othello’s high rank, royal blood and Christianity, casting a shadow over the relationship between Othello and his daughter due to Othello’s skin colour, unacceptable within that Venetian society. Desdemona lives within a patriarchal society and is objectified and commodified. Brabantio strugg... ... middle of paper ... ...entally to mete out her demise. Empathy is felt for her as she realises self-worth is the polar opposite to the superficiality of social standing. She finds peace of mind and is reunited with Angel, when Hardy tears her away with death, typical of tragedy. Othello’s military role and social worth do not majorly affect his relationship. Instead, Iago’s ruthless self-interest in enhancing his own appearance within society and disinterest in the welfare of others, kindles the doubt between Othello and Desdemona. The relationships that collapse are those of the characters whose judgments fail them as another controls them. From the study of these two texts and reference to Pride and Prejudice and The Franklin’s Tale, we can now see that it is more strength of self and mind, than efforts to uphold an appearance, which affects love and relationships within all the texts.

    More about Compare Othello And Tess Of The D Urbervilles

      Open Document