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Othello by Shakespeare - Book Report/Review Example

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This book review "Othello by Shakespeare" analyzes a complex and controversial character of Othello as he leaves it to readers to decide his intentions and inner feelings. The character of Othello in the play cannot truly be considered as an independent one…
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Othello by Shakespeare
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Download file to see previous pages The complexity of the character of Othello has led to opposed views of him and to significantly different interpretations of his intentions. Othello falls so easily into Iago's web because of the epistemological crisis and feeling of alienation caused by his origin and differences between him and the majority.
Othello’s epistemological crisis is caused by his position in society and origin. Through the character of Othello, Shakespeare explores in some depth the theme of the outsider, how his integrity and secure identity can be undermined within an unfamiliar culture. Shakespeare writes:
This passage portrays that Othello is depicted as a stranger in this city. Respected and utilized for his military prowess, the Venetians employ him to conquer a more threatening outsider, but he remains a stranger within the private world of Venice. Shakespeare underlines that a stranger in the city can face threats and uncertainty unaware of its norms and traditions: “And pray the Moore be safe; for they were parted”. Above all, Shakespeare suggests, the subtle differences among cultures are what makes the alien in a European city especially vulnerable.
Othello falls so easily into Iago's trap because he feels loneliness and alienation in a new city. While Othello finds it difficult to understand a strange culture, Iago becomes a guide who helps him to understand the city, its morals and norms. Iago explains to Othello norms and morals:
Part of Othello’s susceptibility to Iago's words is the fact that Iago is able to exploit Othello’s limited knowledge of Venetian customs to undermine the Africans confidence in his fitness to be Desdemona's husband and in the admirable persona he has constructed for himself in the city-state. Iago is subtle enough to work with the truth when it suits his purposes. Cunning and false notes are evident in the line: “I would not haue your free, and Noble Nature”.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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