Iago literally betrays Othello and the inhabitants of Cyprus with his compelling lies; while Othello, Cassio, and Roderigo all betray their own values as they unknowingly capitulate to each of the Seven Deadly Sins. Shakespeare takes advantage of human follies by developing events inextricably entangled with the sins. The nature of betrayal in Othello contributes to the work as a whole by introducing the aspect of religion. This gives the meaning of the play a link between virtue and sin, as the reader learns that good and evil and two sides of the same individual. Othello, who converts to Christianity to become “good” in his society, turns “evil” again when he goes against all of his moral values and kills his innocent wife.
Another view would be that the ambiguity, the indecision, the disbelief and the forced choice, are all part and parcel of an urgently ironic reading. This can be justified through the ultimate irony of the play: that as "character driven," it lacks a real character to drive. "The King," after all, is an abstract concept bounded by prescribed rules of conduct in contradiction to subjective agency. This reading borrows from post-colonial critiques such as Spivak, since it leads to authority as being responsible for generating its own excesses by virtue of what it is; it winds up parodying itself. It is a devastating critique of governance and for those that seek to govern; in this reading, Henry V may go beyond Machiavellian orchestrations to undermining the entire project of governance.
Conversely, in The Jew of Malta, it is used in a most blasphemous sense – for the purpose of mocking the Christian faith. The faith is ridiculed when the staff is used satirically to ‘support’ the dead Friar and when Jacomo uses it with the intention to murder. This is explicitly ironic. Thus this essay has shown how irony, hypocrisy, mockery and sexual innuendo all serve the same purpose in these plays – to challenge the society by the subverting and perverting moral, religious and political codes.
Shakespeare obviously intended on demonising the Jew of his play, making Shylock an outcast to the community of Venice. In England in the 16th Century, with the absence of Jews, a popular negative image was created for them. Just as, today, we may imagine aliens to be estranged to us, enemy to us, and possibly even dangerous; the Jews were as good as aliens to England four hundred years ago. There were no Jews around to defend such a bad name, and so that reputation worsened to stereotype the Jew as a murderer and a demon. The rumours were exaggerated and invented tales were passed on.
Shakespeare makes Malvolio part of a harsh practical joke after he ruined everybody’s fun and is labelled ‘a kind of puritan’ by Maria. As the puritans were opposed to the theatres, it is no wonder that Shakespeare created devastating parodies of the puritan mentality on stage; this is done by mocking the puritanical ways and highlighting their opposition to the Globe theatre. The fact Malvolio is aligned with the puritan and is humiliated makes his disgrace an important part of the play's rebellious spirit. Puritans were accused of being power hungry and Malvolio's secret social ambitions fit the bill. When Malvolio is daydreaming about marrying Countess Olivia, we learn that his desire has less to do with love and more to do with his aspirations for social power.
The news the oracle delivers to Oedipus is catastrophic. He is told that he will ... ... middle of paper ... ...hooses to be ignorant to the truth rather than see reality is abundant. His choice to blame others for his wrongs and his arrogance make him responsible for his crimes. Sophocles’s tragic play Oedipus Tyrannus induces catharsis in the audience and rouses exciting debate revolving around the morality concerned with Oedipus’s crimes. It is often argued whether Oedipus is truly responsible for the loathsome crimes of patricide and incest.
As for Shylock himself, Shakespeare is most explicit in having him say: I hate him for he is a Christian; / But more for that in low simplicity / He lends our money gratis, and brings down / The rate of usance here with us in Venice” (Opie 1-2). These three Jews play a significant role in the play to help influence the idea of a Christian versus Jew conflict. I will focus more on Shylock and Jessica from The Merchant of Venice. “In contrast with the
Anti-Semitism in The Merchant of Venice Though many view Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice as anti-Semitic, careful examination shows that the playwright actually develops the opposing point of view. These views can be easily established through a careful reading of the plays dialogue, character comparisons, and more subtly through indirect thematic developments by the playwright showing that on both simple and complex levels, Shakespeare attacks the anti-Semitic attitude that has been prevalent in society for centuries. The words of the play actually challenge anti-Semitism. In one of his most eloquent moments Shylock addresses this prejudice when he verbalizes the equality of all men in Act III, Scene 1. He [Antonio] hath disgrac'd men, and hinder'd me half a million; laughed at my losses, mock'd at my gains, scorn'd my nation, thwarted my bargains, cool'd my friends, heated my enemies; and what's his reason?
An aspect of the play reveals and mocks the hypocrisy of the kingdoms as they exert authority and pose as the ideal of religion. The king is a murderer who prays to god without belief. The one who attempts to remain righteous is an outcast amongst his kingdom. The biggest speculation is drawn on the rectitude of revenge. Does Hamlet have the right to kill his uncle?
Marked by malicious deceit, gruesome violence, and macabre humour William Shakespeare's revenge tragedy Titus Andronicus illustrates the fall of a war hero through a cycle of brutal revenge. Shakespeare introduces the Roman General, Titus, as both a diplomatic and loyal defender of his state, unwilling to compromise the rightful succession of the Roman throne; Titus rejects the opportunity to rule the country. Nevertheless, Titus finds himself embittered towards Rome with each act of treacherous revenge committed by Tamara, Titus ebbs closer towards insanity. Developed for two fundamental reasons, Shakespeare firstly employs Lavinia, Titus' cherished daughter, as a device to perpetuate the plot. However, underpinning the surface value of the character is her secondary function, which is to act as a symbolic device.