Changing Meanings of Othello

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Shakespeare’s text Othello’s meaning, changes according to a responder’s interpretation. The characters are often viewed through different perspectives, as intended to by Shakespeare. The main characters, Othello, is a noble, black man who is marginalised in Venice due to his race and beliefs and whereas Iago is a person who conceals his nature of being manipulative and evil under the guise of “honesty”. These two characters are extremely important to the themes and values that are conveyed in this text and this is also demonstrated in the Oliver Parker’s movie. Iago’s continuous manipulation and his ability to create chaos in the midst of society, exemplifies that evil cannot be truly banished and that it is an everlasting aspect. Othello and Iago in Shakespeare’s original text demonstrate a contrast between good against evil. Othello who is noble and honourable, and well-spoken opposed to Iago, who is a manipulative and deceitful person. Through this contrast, Shakespeare intends to enhance Iago’s manipulative and evil nature, where it is illustrated in the quote “I am not what I am” as he tells Roderigo. Iago’s weapon is manipulation, and this is an immensely effective weapon in the naive society of Venice where everyone is trusting of each other. In Shakespeare’s play, Othello is introduced as a noble and honourable man, who is well-respected in Venice due to his military status and his prowess on the battlefield. He is referred to as “Moorship” or “General” where these titles, mean titles of honour and courage in Venice. He is also humble, witty and noble which is reflected in the Duke’s quote “He is more fair than black”. His well spoken dialect which reflects that he is of higher class is illustrated in the quote “Most potent, grave and reverend signors, my noble and approv’d good masters”. It can be said that Othello is deemed to be an honourable character. Iago however is quite the very opposite of Othello. He is introduced to be manipulative and evil...
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