How Is Resolution Achieved in Othello?

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Othello is a masterpiece, a compelling tragedy that can be interpreted in many ways, by many different people. It is compelling as it breaks the racial stereotypes and focuses on gender, power, love, sexuality race and violence of the Elizabethan time, compared to modern society. Since the film’s production, many attempts to re-contextualise Othello into more accessible contemporary issues have been made. We, as the audience, are challenged to new ways of reading and interpreting the text through different critical approaches. A New historicist and a feminist reading are applied to Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, Othello.

A new historicist critical reading of Othello is primarily interested in exploring the underlying ideologies evident in the text. Hence, new historicists examine both the implicit and explicit activities to racial digression represented in Othello.

Shakespeare’s contemporaries are aware of race and differences, and it can affect the way of someone’s race position.

Othello partly understands himself as someone who is needed and necessary to Venetian, that the state needs him. In some ways, the image of himself is more important to him than anything to do with his relationship with Desdemona. He is unaware and unselfconscious of the fact that he is black, an outsider and has an alien origin. He was always effortlessly in charge. He had such power and authority that he never had to think twice about the image of himself.

However, In Act 1 Scene 1 of the play, Othello’s simple virtues stand no chance against Iago’s master of deception. The play opens with Iago proclaiming his hatred for Othello. Iago has been passed up for a promotion, which went to a less experienced man. Othello, whom is Iago’s master, has made this decision, which Iago obviously does not agree with.

His hatred may have started on a professional level, but in part due to Othello’s heritage, Iago’s contempt quickly deteriorates to racism. This brings about a...
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