In both visual and written texts, love operates as a powerful and inescapable force, which can influence life in various ways. In Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ love is represented as a forbidden romantic experience which ultimately ends in tragedy. Wayne Bennet represents a love of life in his autobiography, ‘Don’t Die With the Music in You’, through the exploration of his love for football and coaching. Finally, Baz Luhrman represents love in the film ‘Moulin Rouge’ as a romantic force that can conquer all things. This essay will argue that whilst these three texts represent diverse forms of love, the message that love is a powerful and inescapable force is ultimately evident in all texts.
In Shakespeare’s “Othello” the protagonist and his wife, Desdemona, experience a controversial but idyllic marriage which ultimately ends in their tragic demise. Throughout this tragedy Shakespeare has used juxtaposition and characterisation to illustrate the inescapable and overpowering force of love. Shakespeare’s use of juxtaposition to emphasise the forbidden nature of Othello and Desdemona’s love is immediately evident, with the couple’s racial backgrounds referred to in animal terms: “an old black ram is tupping your white ewe” (I.1.86-90). This juxtaposed imagery of black and white is reinforced with the birth of Iago’s plot to use Othello and Desdemona’s love as a weapon to destroy his military superiors:
“I’ll pour this pestilence into his ear…will turn her virtue into pitch / And out of her own goodness make the net that shall enmesh them all” (II.3.350-61).
This statement reveals Iago’s plan to turn love into envy, and cements his role as the catalyst for the play’s tragic ending. This juxtaposition creates the forbidden aspect of their firstly romantic courtship which rapidly ends in tragedy. Although their love is forbidden, the two protagonists still rely on it to live, even though it is obvious their love could...