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The character othello in othello a play by william shakespeare

Roderigo is upset because he loves Desdemona and had asked her father for her hand in marriage. Iago hates Othello for promoting a younger man named Cassio above him, whom Iago considers less capable a soldier than himself, and tells Roderigo that he plans to use Othello for his own advantage.

Iago convinces Roderigo to wake Brabantio and tell him about his daughter's elopement. Meanwhile, Iago sneaks away to find Othello and warns him that Brabantio is coming for him. Brabantio, provoked by Roderigo, is enraged and will not rest until he has beheaded Othello, but he finds Othello's residence full of the Duke of Venice's guards, who prevent violence. News has arrived in Venice that the Turks are going to attack Cyprusand Othello is therefore summoned to advise the senators.

Brabantio has no option but to accompany Othello to the Duke's residence, where he accuses Othello of seducing Desdemona by witchcraft.

Othello defends himself before the Duke of VeniceBrabantio's kinsmen Lodovico and Gratiano, and various senators. Othello explains that Desdemona became enamoured of him for the sad and compelling stories he told of his life before Venice, not because of any witchcraft.

The senate is satisfied, once Desdemona confirms that she loves Othello, but Brabantio leaves saying that Desdemona will betray Othello: Iago, still in the room, takes note of Brabantio's remark. By order of the Duke, Othello leaves Venice to command the Venetian armies against invading Turks on the island of Cyprusaccompanied by his new wife, his new lieutenant Cassio, his ensign Iago, and Iago's wife, Emilia, as Desdemona's attendant.

Othello orders a general celebration and leaves to consummate his marriage with Desdemona. In his absence, Iago gets Cassio drunk, and then persuades Roderigo to draw Cassio into a fight.

Montano tries to calm down an angry and drunk Cassio, but they end up fighting one another.

Montano is injured in the fight. Othello blames Cassio for the disturbance and strips him of his rank. Iago persuades Cassio to ask Desdemona to convince her husband to reinstate Cassio. When Desdemona drops a handkerchief the first gift given to her by OthelloEmilia finds it, and gives it to her husband Iago, at his request, unaware of what he plans to do with it.

Act III, scene iii is considered to be the turning point of the play as it is the scene in which Iago successfully sows the seeds of doubt in Othello's mind, inevitably sealing Othello's fate. Act IV[ edit ] Iago plants the handkerchief in Cassio's lodgings, then tells Othello to watch Cassio's reactions while Iago questions him. Iago goads Cassio on to talk about his affair with Bianca, a local courtesan, but whispers her name so quietly that Othello believes the two men are talking about Desdemona.

Later, Bianca accuses Cassio of giving her a second-hand gift which he had received from another lover. Othello sees this, and Iago convinces him that Cassio received the handkerchief from Desdemona. Enraged and hurt, Othello resolves to kill his wife and tells Iago to kill Cassio.

Othello proceeds to make Desdemona's life miserable and strikes her in front of visiting Venetian nobles. Meanwhile, Roderigo complains that he has received no results from Iago in return for his money and efforts to win Desdemona, but Iago convinces him to kill Cassio.

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  • III "In my mind's eye";
  • Iago then persuades Cassio that he can get back into Othello's favour if he gets Desdemona to intercede on his behalf;
  • This production was the first ever in America to feature a black actor playing Othello with an otherwise all-white cast there had been all-black productions of the play before;
  • This production is of particular importance because it marked the first time a woman was accepted on the English stage.

Roderigo, having been manipulated by Iago, attacks Cassio in the street after Cassio leaves Bianca's lodgings. During the scuffle, Iago comes from behind Cassio and badly cuts his leg. In the darkness, Iago manages to hide his identity, and when Lodovico and Gratiano hear Cassio's cries for help, Iago joins them.

When Cassio identifies Roderigo as one of his attackers, Iago secretly stabs Roderigo to stop him revealing the plot. Iago then accuses Bianca of the failed conspiracy to kill Cassio. Othello confronts Desdemona, and then strangles her in their bed. When Emilia arrives, Desdemona defends her husband before dying, and Othello accuses Desdemona of adultery. Emilia calls for help.

The former governor Montano arrives, with Gratiano and Iago. When Othello mentions the handkerchief as proof, Emilia realizes what her husband Iago has done, and she exposes him, whereupon he kills her.

Othello, belatedly realising Desdemona's innocence, stabs Iago but not fatally, saying that Iago is a devil, and he would rather have him live the rest of his life in pain. Iago refuses to explain his motives, vowing to remain silent from that moment on. Lodovico apprehends both Iago and Othello for the murders of Roderigo, Emilia, and Desdemona, but Othello commits suicide.

Lodovico appoints Cassio as Othello's successor and exhorts him to punish Iago justly. He then denounces Iago for his actions and leaves to tell the others what has happened.

No English translation of Cinthio was available in Shakespeare's lifetime, and verbal echoes in Othello are closer to the Italian original than to Gabriel Chappuy 's 1584 French translation. Cinthio's tale may have been based on an actual incident occurring in Venice about 1508.

Cinthio drew a moral which he placed in the mouth of Desdemona that it is unwise for European women to marry the the character othello in othello a play by william shakespeare men of other nations.

Brabantio, Roderigo, and several minor characters are not found in Cinthio, for example, and Shakespeare's Emilia takes part in the handkerchief mischief while her counterpart in Cinthio does not. Unlike in Othello, in Cinthio, the "Ensign" the play's Iago lusts after Desdemona and is spurred to revenge when she rejects him. Shakespeare's opening scenes are unique to his tragedy, as is the tender scene between Emilia and Desdemona as the lady prepares for bed.

Shakespeare's most striking departure from Cinthio is the manner of his heroine's death. In Shakespeare, Othello suffocates Desdemona, but in Cinthio, the "Moor" commissions the "Ensign" to bludgeon his wife to death with a sand-filled stocking.

Cinthio describes each gruesome blow, and, when the lady is dead, the "Ensign" and the "Moor" place her lifeless body upon her bed, smash her skull, and cause the cracked ceiling above the bed to collapse upon her, giving the impression its falling rafters caused her death.

  • Desdemona pleads on behalf of Cassio making her lover suspicious and extremely jealous;
  • Eighteen years passed before Othello was first put into print in 1622 by Thomas Walkley.

In Cinthio, the two murderers escape detection. The "Moor" then misses Desdemona greatly, and comes to loathe the sight of the "Ensign". He demotes him, and refuses to have him in his company.

The "Ensign" then seeks revenge by disclosing to the "Squadron Leader" the "Moor's" involvement in Desdemona's death. The two depart Cyprus for Venice, and denounce the "Moor" to the Venetian Seignory; he is arrested, taken to Venice, and tortured. He refuses to admit his guilt and is condemned to exile. Desdemona's relatives eventually find and kill him.

Othello (character)

The "Ensign", however, continues to escape detection in Desdemona's death, but engages in other crimes while in Venice. He is arrested and dies after being tortured. Cinthio's "Ensign's Wife" the play's Emiliasurvives her husband's death to tell her story. The book was an enormous success in Europe, and was translated into many other languages, [8] remaining a definitive reference work for decades and to some degree, centuries afterwards.

As it hath beene diuerse times acted at the Globe, and at the Black-Friers, by his Maiesties Seruants. Written by William Shakespeare. However, the version in the Folio is rather different in length, and in wording: Some of these cluster together in quite extensive passages.

The Folio also lacks a scattering of about a dozen lines or part-lines that are to be found in the Quarto. These two versions also differ from each other in their readings of numerous words.

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Themes[ edit ] Iago versus Othello[ edit ] Although its title suggests that the tragedy belongs primarily to Othello, Iago plays an important role in the plot. He reflects the archetypal villain, and has the biggest share of the dialogue. In Othello, it is Iago who manipulates all other characters at will, controlling their movements and trapping them in an intricate net of lies.

He achieves this by getting close to all characters and playing on their weaknesses while they refer to him as "honest" Iago, thus furthering his control over the characters. Bradleyand more recently Harold Bloomhave been major advocates of this interpretation.

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

Leavishave focused on Othello. Honigmannthe editor of the Arden Shakespeare edition, concluded that Othello's race is ambiguous. As critics have established, the term 'Moor' referred to dark-skinned people in general, used interchangeably with terms such as 'African', 'Somali', 'Ethiopian', 'Negro', 'Arab', 'Berber', and even 'Indian' to designate a figure from Africa or beyond.

  1. The Tragedy of Othello. Othello returns to the castle to kill his wife.
  2. While no English translation of Cinthio was available in Shakespeare's lifetime, it is probable that Shakespeare knew both the Italian original and Gabriel Chappuy's 1584 French translation. Macready played Othello and Iago, as well as all of Shakespeare's other great creations.
  3. Some dates are therefore approximate other dates are substantiated by historical events, records of performances and the dates plays appeared in print.

Iago twice uses the word Barbary or Barbarian to refer to Othello, seemingly referring to the Barbary coast inhabited by Berbers.

Roderigo calls Othello "the thicklips", which seems to refer to Sub-Saharan African physiognomy, but Honigmann counters that, as these comments are all intended as insults by the characters, they need not be taken literally.

He stayed with his retinue in London for several months and occasioned much discussion. While Shakespeare's play was written only a few years afterwards, Honigmann questions the view that ben Messaoud himself was a significant influence on it.

Othello is referred to as a "Barbary horse" 1. Desdemona's physical whiteness is otherwise presented in opposition to Othello's dark skin: In Elizabethan discourse, the word "black" could suggest various concepts that extended beyond the physical colour of skin, including a wide range of negative connotations.

He was first played by a black man on the London stage in 1833 by the most important of the nineteenth-century Othellos, the African American Ira Aldridge who had been forced to leave his home country to make his career. The casting of the role comes with a political subtext.

Patrick Stewart played the role alongside an otherwise all-black cast in the Shakespeare Theatre Company 's 1997 staging of the play [35] [36] and Thomas Thieme, also white, played Othello in a 2007 Munich Kammerspiele staging at the Royal Shakespeare TheatreStratford.

Michael Gambon also took the role in 1980 and 1991; their performances were critically acclaimed.

  • Turkey threatens Cyprus and the Senate charges Othello to defend Cyprus to become the new governor;
  • His son, Charles John Kean, was also an actor and theatre manager.

The race of the title role is often seen as Shakespeare's way of isolating the character, culturally as well as visually, from the Venetian nobles and officers, and the isolation may seem more genuine when a black actor takes the role.

But questions of race may not boil down to a simple decision of casting a single role. Bal, a Hawaiian actor of mixed ethnicity, playing Iago. As the Protestant Reformation of England proclaimed the importance of pious, controlled behaviour in society, it was the tendency of the contemporary Englishman to displace society's "undesirable" qualities of barbarism, treachery, jealousy and libidinousness onto those who are considered "other".

Audiences of the time would expect Othello to be insecure about his race and the implied age gap between himself and Desdemona. Religious and philosophical[ edit ] The title "Moor" implies a religious "other" of North African or Middle Eastern descent. Though the actual racial definition of the term is murky, the implications are religious as well as racial.

Vozar, in a 2012 article in Philosophy and Literaturesuggests that the epileptic fit relates to the mind—body problem and the existence of the soul. Bradley calls Othello the "most romantic of all of Shakespeare's heroes" by "hero" Bradley means protagonist and "the greatest poet of them all".

On the other hand, F. Leavis describes Othello as "egotistical".