Themes in Othello

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  • Created by: dellalou
  • Created on: 29-01-16 12:52
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  • Themes in Othello
    • Love
      • The immediate attraction between the couple works on passion
    • Jealousy
      • How jealousy is fueled by mere circumstantial evidence
      • Jealousy takes many forms, from sexual suspicion to professional competition
      • Up to the moment Othello kills Desdemona, his growing jealousy maddens him past the recall of reason
    • Race
      • Othello has risen to a position of power and influence; a military general
        • However, his status as a black man in Venice marks him as an outsider and exposes him to racism
      • Several characters in the play believe that black men sexually contaminate white women
      • Iago's scheme would not have worked without the underlying atmosphere of racial prejudice in Venetian society
    • Manipulation
      • Iago is an impressive master of deception throughout the play, through manipulating Othello to believe Desdemona has been unfaithful
    • Gender
      • Unmarried women are regarded as their fathers' property, and the 2 marriages in the play are marked by male jealousy and cruelty (both wives are killed by their husbands; Desdemona and Emilia)
      • Most of the male characters assume that all Venetian women are promiscuous, and this explains why female sexuality is a huge threat to men in this play, and why all three women in the play are accused of infidelity


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