Site Loader

Assessment Aims:

AO1: A systematically fluent. precise authorship. utilizing critical nomenclature to show a coherent and elaborate statement in which the inquiry is good understood and answered.

AO2: Well developed. analytical and systematically elaborate treatment of effects of linguistic communication. signifier and construction and ways in which it affects the audience.

AO3: Well informed and elaborate treatment of different readings of the text by assorted audiences. every bit good as different critical attacks.

AO4: Well detailed and systematically developed apprehension of the significance of context of the text.

Critical Approachs:

A C Bradley ( 1904 ) :
Othello’s nature is all of one piece. His trust where he trust is absolute. If such passion as covetous seizes him. it will swell into a good dark incontrollable inundation.

F R Leavis ( 1952 ) :
Othello has a leaning to jealousy and possess a weak character.

William Hazlitt ( 1827 ) :
Iago is an illustration of the typical phase Machiavel who is an amoral creative person who seeks to manner the universe in his ain involvement.

Kenneth Burke:
Desdemona is the an object of ownership. while the owner is himself possessed by his really engrossment

Thorell Tsomondo:
Othello’s initial debut to the audience takes topographic point in his absence and in the signifier of chitchat. This chitchat may be linked to the 3rd individual narrative point of position which creates the character it describes.

Kenneth Tyan:
The minute he suspects. or thinks he has the smallest evidences for surmising. Desdemona. he wishes to believe her guilty.

Opinion on the wage as a whole:

Dr Johnson ( 1765 ) :
The gradual advancement which Iago makes in the Moor’s strong belief. and the circumstance which he employs to inflame him. are so artfully natural. that we can non but commiseration him when at last we find him perplexed in the extreme.

WIlson Knight ( 1930 ) :
Othello’s poesy hold a rich music of its ain. and possesses a alone solidness and preciseness of picturesque phrase and repose of idea.

Poetic metaphor:

Othello is structured around a cultural aporia a crossbreeding ( crossbreeding between different racial types of people ) . Othello’s poesy holds a rich music all of its ain. and possesses a alone solidness and preciseness of picturesque phrase or image. a repose ( composure ) of idea. which can be clearly distinguished from other Shakespearean dramas.

Feminist Interpretation:

“In the Elizabethan and Jacobean civilization the nexus between inkiness and the Satan. the myth of black gender. the job of black subjugation to authorization. travel against the obeisance owed to the male parent and the God”-George Best-Discourse 1578

“Look at her. Moor. have a speedy oculus to see: She has deceived her male parent. may make thee” Fathers had the right to dispose their girls as they see fit. and noncompliance against the male parents jurisprudence is a descent into snake pit and blackness the drama enacts. “Desdemona’s desire threatens the patriarchal privilege of disposing girls and in the drama universe signals sexual fraudulence ( Deceitfulness ) and lust. ”

The sarcasm of class is that Othello himself is the instrument of penalty. As Wirithrop Jordan points out the significance of black including ‘deeply stained. holding dark or deathly intents. affecting black decease and bespeaking shame and penalty. ” The drama could function as a warning to immature white adult females from affluent households non to run off with aliens. as the effect will be lifelessly.

The accent in Othello. on Desdemona’s equity and pureness “that whiter tegument of hers than snow and smooth as monumental alabaster” . implies the idealisation of female beauty and Petrachainism ( unachievable love as seen in Romeo and Juliet ) is normally said to indicate out the contrast between Othello and Desdemona.

For her evildoing ( traveling beyond the societal norms ) . her desire of difference. she is punished non merely in a loss of position. but even of life. The woman’s desire is punished. and finally its monstrous inspiration as good. As the object of Desdemona’s bastard ( non authorized by jurisprudence ) passion. Othello figures freak. Rymer and Clinthio

Psychological Interpretation:

The construction of Othello develops in a series of jury-rigged undeclared playlets in which Iago organizes functions for his victims. The grade of control he maintains over the characters allows him to bring on a psychological disaffection and separation between some of them. As A C Bradley points out “Any adult male situated as Othello was. would hold been disturbed by Iago’s communications. ” Iago is helped over all the weak points in his secret plan by his victims themselves. Some characters are even used as secret plan devices to assist Iago’s program to go a success. Even the mere random eventuality of events for a piece allows all the accidents to knit up the design it could unknot and expose Iago’s villainousness.

The play’s success depends on eliciting our unprompted want to halt the action and that the more. as civilised theatergoers. we stifle that impulse the more the drama achieves its dominance over us. It is non merely that we lack the release valve provided in dumb show. but instead that we are confronted once more and once more by our weakness. We have no entree to a hero who needs our aid. instead we have entree to the scoundrel sharing his programs through his soliloquies’ and explicating to us why the characters must fall into the functions he has shaped for them. “For most audiences. he stirs a passion of mingled love and commiseration that they feel for no other character in any other Shakespeare drama. ”-A C Bradley

Political Interpretation

Shakespeare was composing at a clip of rapid alteration socially. politically and economically. Feudalism was giving manner to capitalist economy ; there were onslaughts on the Crown.

Aristotle’s Poeticss:

Othello follows the classical attack to tragedy set out in Aristotle’s Poetics. The drama imitates actions which excite commiseration and fright. The character between two extremes that of a adult male who is non eminently ( respectfully ) good and merely. yet some mistake or infirmity ( conditions of being wear or delicate ) . He must be one who is extremely celebrated and prosperous-a personage like Oedipus of the Grecian Myth. or other celebrated work forces of such households. A well-constructed secret plan should hence be individual in its issue. instead than duplicate as some maintain. The alteration of luck should be non from bad to good. but reversely. from good to bad. It should come about as the consequence non of frailty. but of some great mistake or infirmity in character either such as we described. or better instead than worse.

Iago’s secret plan is Iago’s character in action:

Iago is a being who hates good merely because it is good. and loves evil strictly for itself. His action is non prompted by any apparent motivation like retaliation. green-eyed monster or aspiration. It springs from a “motiveless malignity” or a disinterested delectation in the hurting of others. Iago is a perfect illustrations of how evil of course arises within the human nature. As Ecclesiastes says “the Black Marias of the kids or work forces are full of immorality. ” The organic manner “I’ll pour this plague into his ear” in which Iago’s secret plans consume the other characters and find their behaviour makes his conniving. human evil seem like a force of nature. That organic growing besides indicates that the heads of the other characters are fertile land for Iago’s attempts.

Critics disagree about the motive behind Iago’ actions. Stephen Greenblatt’s suggest ‘Shakespeare makes the motive opaque. He substitutes inquiries instead than replies. ’ There may be three chief grounds for Iago’s green-eyed monster ; sexual. personal and professional green-eyed monster. The lone ground which Iago gives for his actions in his first monologue. is a obscure rumor that Othello has ‘twixt my sheets…He’s done my office. ” It could be a compelling thrust. if Iago’s injury of good repute of ‘fair Desdemona’ actions are seen non merely as a mechanical retaliation for Othello’s wrong-doings. but portion of his general misgiving of adult females. Tim McInnery’s public presentation in the recent Globe production of Othello seemed to stress this facet. as if by destroying Desdemona’s repute. Iago could someway be proved that his paranoid position of womankind was right.

Iago is a mastermind at misrepresentation and a maestro at control. He is certainly the most sure character within the drama. He is the lone 1 who everyone believes see as ‘honest Iago. ’ Iago can be seen as Malcontent. which highlights his character division amongst itself. On one manus he is the ‘honest. honest Iago’ . but on the other he is a barbarous and self-serving scoundrel. Iago can be seen as a Machiavellian is a term used to depict person whose exclusive intent is to pull strings and pervert others for the individual’s personal addition.

Iago and Kind Lear’s Edmund:

One can happen itself compelled to compare Iago with Kinda Lear’s Edmund. The monologues of both characters show what their programs are. and both attempt to conceal and mask themselves. Furthermore. both Edmund and Iago are wholly cognizant of their actions. which they carry out of their ain free will. Iago says ‘Our organic structures are gardens. to the which our volitions are gardeners” . adding peculiar accent on the fact that we are the 1s who make things go on in our lives. Similarly Edmund argues “I should hold been that I am. had the maidenliest star in the celestial sphere twinkled on my bastardizing. ” Edmund besides recognises his ain evil nature and decides to utilize it to his advantage. However. the chief difference between the two is that the cause of Edmund’s evil can be traced to the unfairnesss made towards him by society due to being an bastard boy. there is no unfairness made towards Iago.

Iago and Hamlet:

The audience can non assist but like the brutal candidly by which Iago expresses himself in his monologues. something that they besides experience refering Hamlet. They are both work forces of idea. but the substance of their statements differ drastically. Unlike Hamlet. Iago plots actions. He thinks for a matter-of-fact ground. whereas Hamlet holds actions the more he engages in idea. Iago notes “Dull non device by coldness and delay” . which serves as a direct unfavorable judgment to Hamlet’s cunctation.

“The accomplishment of Iago was excess ordinary. but so was his good fortune”- F R Leavis

It may be assumed that Iago’s mind and his good luck belong. like Napoleon and his. to history. may be taken as demoing that Shakespeare succeeded in doing him sensible plenty for the intent of the play. to execute his map as a dramatic machinery of invincibly cunning deviltry.


They manner in which adult females behave and conduct themselves is undeniably linked to the idealogical outlooks of Shakespeare’s Elizabethan society and to the patriarchal Venetian society that he creates. Society weights to a great extent on the shoulders of adult females ; they feel that they must back up the work forces. even if the actions of the work forces are questionable.

The Senator hopes that Othello ‘use Desdemona well’ may intend to look after her. but the Venetian outlooks may propose. that the adult females are to bow to their hubbies who may handle them as they wish.

Desdemona is treated as Othello’s ownership “assign my married woman. ” He implies that she is a trade good to be guarded and transported.

Marriage: Marriage is described as an act of a purchase. “Come. my beloved love…The purchase made. the fruits are to ensue” . A adult female is brought by her hubby. efficaciously as a favor and is expected to carry through his sexual desires in return for the privilege.

Womans looking powerful: Emilia suggests that work forces are beastly and simplistic. unable to command their desire with logical idea. It is possibly dry that the actions of Iago and Othello confirm her statement. She argues that adult females are the same as work forces. but the lone difference is that work forces are mentally weaker “frailty that therefore errs. ” Emilia besides portrays feminism when observing “Nay. we must believe work forces are non Gods. ” However. Emilia’s sentiments are given to Desdemona in privateness. so the patriarchal control of adult females is still present. and their freedom of address and thoughts is still limited.

Desdemona foremost appears strong minded in forepart of the Duke. when she expresses her love and responsibility towards Othello. She additions her freedom and additions acknowledgment of her matrimony by Brabantio. However. she appears more stereotyped when she is struck ; “I have non deserved this. I will non remain to pique you. ”


It could be said that it is a mixture of naivete. artlessness and passion that causes Othello’s ruin. Arguably. it is the artlessness of love that makes the calamity of the drama all the more profound.

Othello is described as a adult male of royal line of descent. place and power. These may contrast with the imagination presented at the start of the drama. where Othello is described as an ‘old black ram’ . ‘thick lips’ and ‘devil. ’

Othello stays highly unagitated. even when he is accused of witchery. which in Elizabethan England. was considered a serious menace and a penalty by decease. Othello demands to ‘keep your bright blades. for the dew will corrode them. ’ Shakespeare highlights the existent and honest adult male that Othello is. contrasting within the images nowadayss at the start.

Othello explains himself in a poetic mode and lucidity which is about hypnotic. Shakespeare uses the accusal of captivation to its advantage. Brabantio let Desdemona run into him. and they both fell in love. His address pains an image of an incredibly romantic image. as A C Bradley suggested Othello being ‘the most romantic figure. ’ However. Othello’s anti-critics. such as T S Elliot. ‘Othello is highly self centered. ’

Some productions of Othello. performed at the national theater. gazing Laurence Olivier as Othello. made Othello’s spiritual diminution seeable. Olivier rips a outstanding cross. ever worn by Othello. during Scene three. It may foreground Othello rejection faith. as Christianity and the cross suggest ego control and reason. Once Othello starts believing Iago. as the seeds of doubt start turning. Othello about sells his psyche to the metaphorical devil-Iago.

Post Author: admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *