Different Perceptions Of Othello Essay

1118 words - 4 pages

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 view of the play, in which Iago is attempting to overcome the classes and force his way into the higher class. This view is very flimsy and can only be used to explain parts of Iago’s actions; this is because Iago states his motive at the start of the play “But partly led to diet my revenge,” Even though a Marxist view of the play has severe plot holes it provides a different perspective for the play to be read and helps augment an overall view of the production. This idea can be continued on for the other perceptions such as the feminist view. Shakespeare has been considered a man several hundred years ahead of his time by people such as Findlay, however Findlay did not take into consideration that Shakespeare was catering towards the female side of the audience. This can be seen through Emilia’s speech to Desdemona about the rights that women have in marriages. “Yet we have some revenge”, during the Shakespearean Era this was considered quite controversial for women to be talking about revenge against their husbands. The feminist look at the play too has flaws, much like the Marxist version. This is because the society in Othello is one where men are in charge, rather than the women. Women are also treated much like...

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