Othello Essay

Topics: Othello, Elizabethan era, Iago Pages: 2 (1153 words) Published: November 4, 2014

English Essay
Interpretation of texts can shift and change with time and place. Considering your time and place, reflect on the ways in which context shaped your critical interpretation. The way in which texts are read and understood is heavily dependent on when and where you are. It is obvious that Othello would not be understood and interpreted as the same character in a country with different social views in a different time period. Othello was written by William Shakespeare during Elizabethan times in England where the views of society were very different to today. Shakespeare created the characters in this play to build the story he was telling such that it would gain popularity with the people of his time and thus it is generally true that the people would have interpreted his play and thus his characters and their actions differently than one would today. Within Othello, the major characters are Othello, Desdemona, and Iago as their presence and actions dictate most of the course of the play. The interpretation of Othello and Desdemona will have changed the most as views on sexism and racism have vastly changed but the base interpretation of Iago will have changed the least with time and place as he is a villain and the word villain has universal meaning. The moor of Venice, Othello, will be interpreted very differently given a vast difference in time and/or place given the physical and behavioural attributes assigned to him by Shakespeare. Shakespeare positioned Othello as an outsider in Venetian social because his skin colour was black contrasting the white skin of those around him in Venetian society. The racial remarks about Othello would not have been noticed or stood out as much in the time when Othello was written as the audience was heavily discriminant against those of other races and this was considered normal in society. However, today since we have established that racism is socially unjust we tend to notice racist remarks against Othello...
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