Different Perceptions of Othello

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Through the consideration of different perceptions of Othello I have augmented my understanding of Othello. My perceptions have changed over the changing contexts of the times. The Aristolean model is used as the template for the play and can be read in many ways such as Racist, Feminist and Post-Colonial readings.

The Aristolean Model or Notion of Tragedy can be defined as “an imitation of an action that is serious, complete possessing magnitude; in embellished language;” Othello is a perfect example of an Aristolean model as it involves the tragic flaw or hamartio of Othello which is the centre of the entire play. The story must begin with the good fortune or status of the main character for it to be an Aristolean model, in this case, Othello is the General in an army, “Well, my good lord, I’ll do’t” This statement by Iago shows that he was forced to respect the man he hated. The next part of the model is their downfall, for Othello this was due to his jealousy. “The smallest fear or doubt of her revolt” Othello is jealous as he is black man, living in a white society. He feels that his wife may leave him for a younger, stronger white male such as Cassio. Othello’s hamartio leads to his downfall; however this concept is not as relevant to today’s audiences as it once was. This is due to the fact that modern day audiences do not believe in such a tragic downfall happening over such a short time, due to this perception new views have been made to help entertain the modern day audiences.

Modern day audiences look for a more believable story and this can be found in the multiple readings of the play. From one perspective Iago is seen as the protagonist of the play instead of the villain. This is only possible in a Marxist vie...

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...that are found in the film would be extremely unbelievable.

A psychoanalytical view has severely augmented my perception of the play. This is due to the fact that the main antagonist, Iago uses basic psychological ideas such as reverse-psychology. “Though I am bound to every act of duty,” In actuality Iago is feeding his own needs with this basic psychological behaviour. This view point can also extend to all of Iago’s actions “You know, what you know”, forcing guilt onto Othello even though Iago was the main perpetrator in this play. It also shows that Shakespeare was involving a technique in his play that was only thought about decades later.

My view of Othello has been augmented by the various perceptions that have been created by others. However, my view is a blur of all these as it is not possible for the play to be considered from one angle completely.
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