Othello Essay Response

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Shakespeare’s literary work Othello is a text that presents the audience with many universal themes that are still relevant to us today, making his works transcend time and remain relevant modern societyAlthough this text was written many years ago we can still relate to the themes presented, now more than ever, our interpretation of Shakespeare’s work is determined not just by the text itself, but by our own understanding of context, values and attitudes. Thus creating many critical readings of Othello based on these factors, some critical readings include a Feminist view and a Racist view. The balance of power is a prominent universal theme present in Othello which allows us to relate to it. The balance of power held in Othello is mostly held among the men, a patriarchal order, as it usually were during that period of time (Elizabethan Era), some would argue, namely feminists, that the balance is way too in favour of men, being regarded as superior and women as inferior. Desdemona and Emilia are initially seen as the submissive women they were expected to be during that time period, and yet as the play progresses, through these female characters we see an anomaly, a display of power. Unheard of during Shakespeare’s time, suggesting he was ahead of his time with his ideals. Emilia is shown to be aware of the gender roles placed on them by society and is critical of it and wishes to challenge it believing men ‘are all but stomachs, and we (women) are all but food’ (Act 3, Scene 4, Line 98). Emilia describes the way that men use women when she states ‘They eat us hungerly, and when they are full, they belch us’ (Act 3 Scene 4 Lines 99-100), this brutishly describes the use of women to men, to be a possession to men, powerless, submissive and a sexual object. When men have had enough of women, they disregard them, or possibly replace them, as such we see Cassio
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