Complexity Of Powerplay In Othello And Prize Giving

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Question: Relationships at all levels involve complex powerplay. How is this complexity represented in Othello and Prize Giving?
Othello, by Shakespeare, and Prize Giving by Gwen Harwood, both have relationships that involve complex powerplay. Powerplay is the subtle shifts of power between people for some ulterior motive. Powerplay is complex because of its varying representations and its ability to shift suddenly. In Othello, the complex powerplay is represented by the racial tension of society compared to individual characteristics and inter-relationships between the characters and emotional power compared to social status. In Prize Giving, the complex powerplay is represented through intellectual power compared to sexuality and the differing attitudes and the differing ages between the characters.
The racial tension that exists within the society of Othello’s world compared to their necessity for him is one element of the complex powerplay that exists within relationships. Othello is a ‘moor’, of North African ancestry, in a society of white men, but holds considerable power as the best general. As a result of this, his relationship with the rest of Venice is a careful balance between racism and usefulness. In times of peace, the inbred racism in their society emerges strongly and Othello sinks to the bottom of the social hierarchy. This is conveyed by the words they choose to describe Othello, such as ‘old black ram’ and ‘sooty bosom / of such a thing as thou’. This animal imagery conforms to the stereotypical image of a bestial and violent black man that existed in that era. However, when he is needed, such as in Act 1 Scene 1, the rest of society are able to overlook his black skin and even flatter him so that Othello defends the city to the best of his ability. An example of this is when the Duke calls him ‘Valiant Othello’. He uses this because he needs

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