Words of Wisdom:

"Always take advantage of what life offers..." - Jeni589

Essay 1

  • Date Submitted: 09/05/2016 06:10 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 42.3 
  • Words: 404
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Othello is a five-act tragedy written by William Shakespeare in 1604 during the Elizabethan Era. In Othello Shakespeare portrays key human emotions such as love, anger and hatred but places an importance on jealousy. Jealousy is a key human emotion this is wrought by other feels such as ambition and our own insecurities. Shakespeare through his main protagonist Othello, exemplifies these feelings and insecurities showing the destructive nature of jealousy to the audience. This can be analysed through three lenses, race, sexuality and a metaphysical lens; all key ideas which have played a part in the building of Othello’s jealousy. This essay will outline jealousy in correspondence with each of these ideas. In conjunction it will also argue that Shakespeare has created a play which is effective in its treatment and portrayal of jealousy and subsequently has significant value as a critical study.
In Othello, Shakespeare explores jealousy in correlation with race, showing how racial factors and prejudices established in society or one’s mind can nurture jealousy. Shakespeare portrays this through the use of a black protagonist (Othello) whom he gives virtues such as nobility and honour whilst also enlisting him with power. This is portrayed when the characters address him as “the noble Moor.” In juxtaposition the white antagonist (Iago) is of an amoral and manipulative nature but unlike Othello Shakespeare has not attributed him with power. In the Elizabethan context black was associated with dirt and sin, therefore Shakespeare assigning noble virtues to his black protagonist is a true transgression of the stereotype. In Othello the white Iago is jealous of the black Othello as he has power, the fact that Othello is black adds to Iago’s jealousy. Iago’s own racial prejudices as well as his hatred for Othello convey to the audience he is jealous of Othello, his power, and his success as an outsider. Iago’s hatred for Othello can be seen when he bluntly says “I hate...

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