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Othello An Introduction to Shakespeare and the Play.

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Presentation on theme: "Othello An Introduction to Shakespeare and the Play."— Presentation transcript:

1 Othello An Introduction to Shakespeare and the Play

2 Background There have been numerous movies made that feature Shakespeare’s works!

3 The Elizabethan Era The Elizabethan era was a time associated with Queen Elizabeth I's reign (1558–1603) and is often considered to be the golden age in English history. It was the height of the English Renaissance and saw the flowering of English poetry, music and literature.

4 Othello Background Othello was first performed by the King’s Men at the court of King James I on November 1, 1604. Written during Shakespeare’s great tragic period, which also included the composition of Hamlet (1600), King Lear (1604–5), Macbeth (1606), and Antony and Cleopatra (1606–7), Othello is set against the backdrop of the wars between Venice and Turkey that raged in the latter part of the sixteenth century. Cyprus, which is the setting for most of the action, was a Venetian outpost attacked by the Turks in 1570 and conquered the following year.

5 The Turks Shakespeare’s information on the Venetian-Turkish conflict probably derives from The History of the Turks by Richard Knolles, which was published in England in the autumn of 1603. Battle of Lepanto on 7 October 1571 Turkish Empire, drawn by Hondius, just at the end of the Long War, 1606

6 Details The story of Othello is also derived from another source—an Italian prose tale written in 1565 by Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinzio (usually referred to as Cinthio). The original story contains the bare bones of Shakespeare’s plot: a Moorish general is deceived by his ensign into believing his wife is unfaithful.

7 Characters

8 Tragedy Tragedy is kind of drama that presents a serious subject matter about human suffering and corresponding terrible events in a dignified manner. Aristotle defines Tragedy in his famous work “Poetics” as: “Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is admirable, complete (composed of an introduction, a middle part and an ending), and possesses magnitude; in language made pleasurable, each of its species separated in different parts; performed by actors, not through narration; effecting through pity and fear the purification of such emotions.” From the above definition, we can understand the objective of the Greek tragedies i.e. “…purification of such emotions” also called “catharsis”. Catharsis is a release of emotional tension, as after an overwhelming experience, that restores or refreshes the spirit.

9 Tragic Flaw A tragic hero is a person of noble birth with heroic or potentially heroic qualities. This person is fated by the Gods or by some supernatural force to doom and destruction or at least to great suffering. But the hero struggles mightly against this fate and this cosmic conflict wins our admiration. Because the tragic hero simply cannot accept a diminished view of the self and because of some personality flaw, the hero fails in this epic struggle against fate.

10 Othello’s Tragic Flaw Jealousy! Othello is consumed with jealousy and he knows it, but can do nothing about it. Othello requires little evidence and only persuasion by Iago who himself is shocked to see how swiftly his plan works.

11 Iago’s ‘Evidence’ 1.Tells Othello that Desdemona is too close to Cassio 2.Tells Othello that Cassio dreams of Desdemona 3.Lets Othello believe that Cassio has the handkerchief, without Othello ever seeing it with his own eyes. 4.Overhears a conversation about the hankerchief with Cassio and Bianca 5.Tells Othello that Cassio confessed to him to having been with Desdemona

12 Lets Look At Some Of Iago’s Evidence Turn to A3S3 L37, 41 - 43 Iago: Ha, I like not that. Iago: Cassio, my lord? No, sure, I cannot think it That he would steal away so guiltylike, Seeing your coming.

13 A3S3L475 - 482 Iago: In sleep I heard him say “Sweet Desdemona, Let us be wary, let us hide our loves.” And then, sir, would he gripe and wring my hand Cry “O sweet creature!” then kiss me hard, As if he plucked up kisses my the roots That grew upon my lips; (then) laid his leg O’er my thigh, and (sighed,) and (kissed,) and then (Cried) “Cursed fate that gave thee to he Moor!”

14 A4S1 L166 - 167 Bianca: Let the devil and his dam haunt you! What did You mean by that same handkerchief you gave me even now?

15 The Scientific Method Shakespeare is commenting on the rise of the Scientific Method at this time. Is Desdemona Faithful She Deceived her Father when marrying Othello Desdemona was with Cassio Iago says that Cassio dreams of Desdemona and that he saw him with the handkerchief Iago has Othello listen to Cassio talk about what he thinks is Desdemona and the handkerchief with Bianca Othello tells Desdemona she is cheating and kills her

16 What This All Means Shakespeare is warning people of his time and today, that you cannot believe only in science because your senses (Othello’s, eyes, ears, est.) can deceive you as they have deceived Othello.

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