Othello Reflects the Context and Values of its Time

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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. The racism of the first text is overtly xenophobic and natural, whilst the “moor” is unnatural whereas the updated context portrays Othello’s race as natural and racism as unnatural. Therefore these examples show how Shakespeare’s Othello, and it’s appropriation, Geoffrey sax’s Othello, reflect the context and values of their times.

Within Shakespeare’s Othello there is an analysis into the context of the female. Brabantio’s rhyming couplet “Look to her, Moor, If thou hast eyes to see/ She has deceived her father, and may thee,” demonstrates his domineering and patronising attitude, as the Elizabethan era was a patriarchal society and the role of the female was to be ‘obedient’ to their father or husband. Brabantio also endeavours into placing a seed of doubt in Othello’s mind as a result of his jealousy. Consequentially Brabantio objectifies Desdemona when he states, “Where has thou stow’d my daughter?” exemplifying how he deems her as a possession, which can be stolen like any other. Othello prolongs this objectification through asserting that he “won his daughter” portraying Desdemona as a prize to be won, and a possession to be owned and argued over by husband and father. Desdemona is depicted early on in the play as the “angel” wi...

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...adulterated voice on the soundtrack.

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 has been shown 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. The racism of the first text is overtly xenophobic and natural, whilst the “moor” is unnatural whereas the updated context portrays Othello’s race as natural and racism as unnatural. Therefore these examples show how Shakespeare’s Othello, and it’s appropriation, Geoffrey sax’s Othello, reflect the context and values of their times.

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