Humanity In Othello And 'O' Essay

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What have you learnt about humanity through your comparative study of Shakespeare’s Othello and Tim Black Nelson’s ‘O’? Humanity, or the quality of being human, is examined in both Shakespeare’s Othello and Tim Blake Nelson’s film ‘O’. Through the use of dramatic and literary devices, both composers explore the universal themes of racism, jealousy, and appearance vs reality in their respective contexts. These issues challenge our universal human ideals of honesty, truth and acceptance, and are used by the composers to comment on the human condition. Through studying the texts the responder is encouraged to consider these fundamental human values in relation to themselves and their society. Shakespeare and Nelson both used the most popular mediums of their respective contexts to reach the greatest number of people and make individuals question their values and society’s ideals. Tragedy was a popular form of entertainment in Elizabethan England, as it could be viewed by both the wealthy and the poor. The audience had an expectation of what would occur, that a character flaw would impact on many others requiring a catharsis, and often resulting in deaths. Film, a popular medium in the late 20th century and contemporary times, was used by Nelson as it was a cheap and easily accessible medium, and was popular with young adults as it was often incorporated into their social lives. Jealousy is an emotion universal to the human condition, and as such, is relevant to all humans. The jealousy in Shakespeare’s Othello and Tim Blake Nelson’s ‘O’ challenges the societal values of honesty and fidelity in their respective contexts. In Othello jealousy is depicted through the imagery of “the green-eyed monster”, portraying it as a destructive force. The responder is made to consider the dangers of jealousy through witnessing its effect on Othello and Iago. Iago’s soliloquy

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