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Othello 2015-5-161. Othello  Plot The play's first act is set in Venice. Desdemona, the daughter of Brabantio, a Venetian senator, has secretly married.

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Presentation on theme: "Othello 2015-5-161. Othello  Plot The play's first act is set in Venice. Desdemona, the daughter of Brabantio, a Venetian senator, has secretly married."— Presentation transcript:

1 Othello 2015-5-161

2 Othello  Plot The play's first act is set in Venice. Desdemona, the daughter of Brabantio, a Venetian senator, has secretly married Othello, a Moor in the service of the state. Accused before the duke and senators of having stolen Brabantio's daughter, Othello explains and justifies his conduct, and is asked by the Senate to lead the Venetian forces against the Turks who are about to attack Cyprus. 2015-5-162

3 Othello 2015-5-163

4 Othello In the middle of a storm which disperses the Turkish fleet, Othello lands on Cyprus with Desdemona, Cassio, a young Florentine, who helped him court his wife and whom he has now promoted to be his lieutenant, and Iago, an older soldier, bitterly resentful of being passed over for promotion, who now plans his revenge, Iago uses Roderigo, “a guli'd Gentleman” in love with Desdemona, to fight with Cassio after he has got him drunk, so that Othello deprives him of his new rank. 2015-5-164

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6 Othello He then persuades Cassio to ask Desdemona to plead in his favour with Othello, which she warmly does. At the same time he suggests to Othello that Cassio is, and has been, Desdemona's lover, finally arranging through his wife Emilia, who is Desdemona's waiting-woman, that Othello should see Cassio in possession of a handkerchief which he had given to his bride. Othello is taken in by Iago's promptings and in frenzied jealousy smothers Desdemona in her bed. Iago sets Roderigo to murder Cassio, but when Roderigo fails to do this Iago kills him and Emilia as well, after she has proved Desdemona's innocence to Othello. Emilia's evidence and letters found on Roderigo prove Iago's guilt; he is arrested, and Othello, having tried to stab him, kills himself. 2015-5-166

7 Othello Iago 2015-5-167

8 Theme-human nature Othello offers a study of human nature, which is made up principally of two warring elements, love and hatred. Of the three characters in Othello, Desdamona and Iago are the antitheses of each other, with the former stands for love and life force that strives for order, community, growth and light and the latter for hatred and anti-life force that seeks anarchy, revenge, death and darkness. Othello is the combination of the two. 2015-5-168

9 Theme In the first part he manages a calm control of himself under law and order, so the love triumphs over hatred. In the latter part, however, when the social conditions in Cyprus are less secure, the Iago spirit starts to undermine the noble values of Othello. Gradually Othello’s noble quality is poisoned by Iago spirit, and yields to evil. The murder of Desdemona acts as the final destruction in Othello himself of all the ordering power of love, trust and bond between human beings. So it is the flaw, the sin that all flesh is heir to that destroys Othello. 2015-5-169

10 Theme ( 1 ) —humanism Othello can be regarded as a tragedy of humanism. Othello is a new man of the Renaissance. He is a great warrior, and too noble-minded to suspect those whom he loves. Though he is a black man, he has great moral beauty. He loves Desdemoda so dearly just because he finds he to be the embodiment of integrity, sincerity and loftiness of mind. These qualities, together with her youth and beauty, make her his ideal of a woman, and her love the greatest reward for his long and hard life. Desdemoda and Othello both belong to the future world. Their tragedy shows that noble-minded people may be led astray by evil forces in an evil society and commit horrible mistakes if they cannot distinguish truth from falsehood, and good from evil. 2015-5-1610

11 Theme ( 2 ) —jealousy Jealousy is also often regarded as one main theme of Othello. Almost all the characters in the play are in some way jealous or are involved in jealousy. Othello, the essentially noble man, who is not “easily jealous”, has been infected by Iago’s jealousy and becomes a prey of jealousy. Evil conquers Othello with jealousy and destroys his nobleness. Subtle variations of torture reduce him to a beast of fury and madness. The love that united man and woman, youth and maturity, black and white in marriage is shattered. So this play is a close study of man’s nature. 2015-5-1611

12 Theme ( 3 ) —racial prejudice Othello is also a tragedy of the coloured people in a society of racial prejudice. Though well-known as a soldier and in high position, Othello has been a man living in loneliness, because he is black. The citizens of Venice seem to be treating him as one of themselves, but to have him marry one of their daughter is quite another matter. Here we can find strong racial prejudice against the black. Iago, in carrying out his evil intrigue, sees this, and in his hint to Othello, he touches persistently on the unnaturalness of Othello’s marriage in the eyes of the white gentlemen. Here lies the social background of Iago’s success in ruining Othello’s happiness 2015-5-1612

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