Comparative Study of Text and Context, Being Different; Othello and Guess Whos Comming to Dinner

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The relevance of “being different” depends on the relationship between the values and context within a society. This concept is shown through the comparative study of the 1600’s play “Othello”, by William Shakespeare, and the 1967 feature film “Guess who’s coming to dinner”, by Stanley Kramer. Both these texts have similar issues of difference in the form of race and character trait. Comparing the two texts it can be seen that the presents and or elimination of evil and the values of trust, honesty, protection and suspicion all impact upon the characters that are considered to be different. The values and character traits present in these two texts are part of the context of the society in which they were composed in; therefore showing the relationship between values and context. Both composers communicate their own messages about those who are different. The texts were composed in different time periods and places. William Shakespeare would have had responders from the 1600’s and Stanley Kramer would have had responders from the 1960’s. Due to the different contexts of the texts, both the responders and composers would have comprehended different meanings and messages. So a responder from Australia in 2011 will be influenced by the knowledge of the difference between these two contexts and their own context. The Value’s of support and abandonment of those who are considered different play a massive role in the preservation of difference. In the play “Othello”; when the fair beauty Desdemona elopes with a dark skinned man she is disowned by her father. The marriage of a white woman and Black man was unheard of in that society and in that context morally it was a huge insult and sin. “O heaven! How got she out? O treason of the blood! Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters’ minds”, the use of punctuation like exclamation marks shows the intensity of Brabantio’s (Desdemona’s father’s) words. This mistrust and abandonment is one of the two main reasons why...
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