Presentation on theme: "A discussion of Renaissance racial identity, gender, and what it means to be a sociopath THE TRAGEDY OF OTHELLO."— Presentation transcript:
A discussion of Renaissance racial identity, gender, and what it means to be a sociopath THE TRAGEDY OF OTHELLO
OTHELLO : THE STORY Like with many of Shakespeare’s plays, the story is not his originally Thought to be based on Italian author Cinthio’s tale “A Moorish Captain” and also has similarities to one of the tales in One Thousand and One Arabian Nights Were also Moorish delegations in England around 1600, from Morocco, which could also have been a source of inspiration Shakespeare’s version was written around 1604 and performed the same year; it was first published in 1622
OTHELLO : ONE OF THE GREAT TRAGEDIES In medieval times, tragedy was defined by people who fell from grace, reflecting the focus on the glories of the afterlife Shakespeare wrote his six ( Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus ) major tragedies from 1600 to 1608 all which can be unified through: Hero is a person of elevated rank or position Hero is alienated from his world in some way Hero makes a decision which has significant impact on himself and others Hero is able to make some universal sense from his actions Romeo and Juliet, while tragic, is not included in this as the protagonists are young and undone by the caprices of fate
OTHELLO : A SYSTEM OF PAIRS Othello is one of the most formally constructed of Shakespeare’s plays Each character is balanced by another; things start going wrong when this balance is altered The paired structure goes beyond just character types: Black vs White Venice (the city) vs. Cyprus (the rural island) Christian vs Moor (Muslim) Upper vs Lower ranks Male vs Female
IAGO : A TRUE VILLAIN While introduced as “honest Iago”, he is anything but honest A villain in every sense, Iago is disturbing in his lack of motivation for his actions Lies, plants seeds of doubt, creates problems with serious ramifications, all because he can Presents serious questions for characters, audience: how does one deal with an individual who has no moral center?