Name Institution Instructor Course Date How Orson Welles, Ira Aldridge and Tommaso Salvini Have Portrayed Othello The play Othello, which originally had the title the Moor of Venice, was first performed by Shakespeare theater group in 1604 in London at the Whitehall Palace…
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One of the major differences that have been seen in the character of Othello has been his race. Scholars have always had controversy over Moor’s origin. Some think that he is Arabic others think that he is black. However, before the blacks got into acting, Othello’s role has been played by white actors wearing blackfaces. However, this has slowly been black actors with the white actors being quite rare today (Shakespeare, 135). In this article we are going to discuss how Orson Welles, Ira Aldridge and Tommaso Salvini have represented the character of Othello. Orson Welles was a white actor who takes the role of Othello. He applies a lot of makeup in order to appear black. He was generally able to bring out the best of the character Othello. For instance, despite the fact that he stood out of the crown not only because he was tall but he that he was very courageous and would challenge anyone. Welles Othello is a flawless lover who finds himself in caught between honesty and intrigue. He is a vulnerable hero with two personalities. At some point he is brutal and baseless and at other times he is sensitive and noble. He does not realize that his wife has been faithful and devoted all the way until it is too late and at this point he decides to commit suicide. Unlike other Othello’s who were either black or which actors who wore a blackface, Welles Othello had a brown skin and black hair. He however wore a white cap at the scenes in the beginning of the play. Iran Aldridge was the first black actor to take up the role of Othello. This was after two hundred years of white actors taking up this role. He played several other Shakespeare roles. His acting as Othello was quite spectacular and left the audience earning for more. However, since he lived in an era when racism was very ripe, he was not welcomed by the conservatives who believed that the place of black people was just being slaves. The Times once commenting on one of his performances in Covent Garden said that it was objectionable for Desdemona to be pawned upon by a black man on stage London was the hub of racism and he was not allowed to perform in London theatre. He however performed in several other cities where he got a better reception. A Russian critic commented that Iran performances “were undoubtedly the best that I have ever spent in the theatre’ (Lindfors, 64). He acted under the directions of Dowling who followed the structure of the original play closely with the lines being quite the same. He used an accent that revealed an African dialect. This was a better portray of Othello considering that he was believed to be black in the original play. Tommaso Salvini is another actor who played the role of Othello. This man had won an international reputation of performing the roles of the Shakespeare tragic heroes. He performed in various countries starting with America Europe and his home country Italy. He was a not English speaker the use of bilingualism on stage gave this actor a unique appeal. He would say his lines in Italian alongside and English speaking Lago. He had an imposing figure giving the Othello character Intensity and passion. Some critics are of the view that he was too passionate at times. In fact, it was said that he played the last scene aggressively than was intended in the book. Rumors said that some actors would refuse to be his Desdemona for this reason. Salvini also made other
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It makes connecting to a heroic character an easy task and at the same time leaves room for excusing personal excesses by referring to the greater damage to which those similar emotions led others, just like Othello. The moral that Othello conveys can be applied to the everyday events of human lives.
The paper tells that Othello’s behavior is “based on military codes of conduct”. A number of elements in the characterization of Othello reveal his inner opposition to the Venetian society. The Moor can serve Venice at virtually any position up to the post of the commander of large military units. But he cannot organically enter this society and merge with it.
Shakespeare in his play, Othello depicts about social unacceptability of a moor in Venetian society and draws the attention of his readers towards the cultural values of the society in terms of color and complexion of Othello. Othello’s being an alien in Venice and the gulf of the culture, race and complexion—that exists between him and the Venetians—is an important factor in his tragedy.
The play is regarded as one of the finest love tragedies that revolve round the characters like Othello who is a general in Venetian army, where he is Moor, his wife Desdemona, the antagonist and his trusted ensign, Iago and the lieutenant, Cassio. This particular play of Shakespeare is very universal and timeless because it captivates themes and social issues like race, jealousy, romance, treachery and betrayal.
Writer Customer English Literature 7 December 2013 Critical Analysis of Othello Every piece of literature is an amalgamation of a variety of stylistic and linguistic characteristics which amalgamate together to create an excellent piece of writing and providing the reader with the opportunity to analyze the given text more thoroughly.
In a short review of Othello, Michael Billington termed this as a very clever and clear story depicting the cunning character of Lago beside a noble guy Othello (Michael Billington, 2013). This play demonstrates how the environment and people play their role in order to modify the personalities.
William Shakespeare was born in the city of Stratford-upon-Avon, England, in 1564. His father John Shakespeare was a merchant and had previously been an alderman. Shakespeare had three younger brothers and two older sisters. He attended a local grammar school where he studied Latin, Poetry, Greek and history.
It was in 1833, that the audience in London had an experience to watch a black actor play the historic character of Othello (McDonald). The color difference and the difference of status of black and white in the society is one of the most cardinal themes of Othello, that were aimed to analyze through this research paper.
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