Othello questions-context


Similarities and differences between the actions and events involving Desdemona in Othello and Disdemona in Cinthio's story


-In Shakespeare's Othello, Desdemona is not the only charcacter named, thereby showing how the play does not just resolve around the lust Iago feels for "Disdemona", it focuses on all the charcters and how they impact the play. On the other hand the fact that Didemona was the only character named may emphasise her power by defying social norms, this forces the audience to focus on the female charcter and the interacial marriage element of the story instead of sexual jealously, race, love ect in Shakespeare's play.

-In Shakespeare's play Desdemona is killed by only Othello, this may emphasise Iago's pure evil nature, machivellian ways and power of manipulation, as he is able to manipulate Othello enough to kill his own love. This further adds to the dramatic element of the play as Othello's own negative traits are used against him and heightened by the pupeteer. On the other hand in Cinthio's story, both Othello and Iago kill Disdemona, which lessens the dramatic tension, as Iago, the villian is also responsible for the murder. Moreover in Cinthio's version Disdemona is killed by sandbags, creating a more comical image, by Othello killing Desdemona with his bare hands in Shakespeare's play, the warlike image of Othello is created, further intensifying the feelings of pity and fear in the play, making a typical tradegy according to Aristotle.

-Cinthio’s Disdemona, after the Moor begins to show suspicion of her, has reservations about her decision to marry a “hot-blooded” Moor. In Shakespeare's play, Desdemona’s love for Othello never wavers, not even after he has strangled her


O, who hath done this deed?


Nobody; I myself. Farewell.

Commend me to my kind lord: O, farewell!


-Both Skakespeare's play and Cinthio's story desscribe the character as virtuous and beautiful, who then rebels against the patriachal powers 

-In both sources, Desdemona is accused of adultery, women in venice were often seen as promiscious within their society, which would have been seen as a disgrace for the husband and the father, as it reiterates their lack of control and status

What effect is created  by Shakespeare's adaption of the original text?

-The title of Shakespeare's play focuses on the moor, thereby highlighting the play's concentration, in tragedys it is often common for the protaginst to be in the title, however another common feature of a tragedy is their downfall, Shakespeare immediately foreshadows Othello's destrution and downfall, which will later evolve

-Other characters in the play are given names in the play which show they all have a key role in the tragedy, this also show it is not just focused on one theme like Cinthio's story

-By introducing Roderigo iago's machevillian is explored further, showing he has dominance of any character regardless of race, gender, religion ect, this further adds to his villianous nature and role as a pupeteer, Brabantio is an example of a stereotypucal venetian man, and adds to the context of…


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