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Discuss the positive depiction of Othello (verbal and behavioral) and the split...

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doodzz | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 4, 2013 at 8:04 AM via web

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Discuss the positive depiction of Othello (verbal and behavioral) and the split opinions of society towards the other relationships between people willing to accept change and integration such as Brabantio and narrow minded racists such as Iago.

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted November 5, 2013 at 12:09 PM (Answer #1)

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In the play 'Othello' by William Shakespeare, we see the main character presented in both positive and negative terms. The positive depiction of Othello  is both verbal and behavioral. We hear about his integrity and great bravery and heroism through the speeches of others and perceive it through Desdemonana's admiration. We see him behave towards her and others in a genteel, caring and courteous fashion. However we also see the split opinions of society towards the other relationships in the play. Some people are willing to accept change and integration such as Barbantio who has more modern and open minded views, Desdemona who could be said to be very Christian and charitable in her outlook, looking beyond class and colour to the nobility of the soul underneath (thereby showing her own purity of thought and nobility) and Cassio who sees nothing but honour in accepting authority from a man of integrity whatever his colour. Others could be seen to be more narrow minded and racially prejudiced, for example Iago. But he is a complex character and there may be other forces at work besides racial prejudice. There may be envy, jealousy, revenge, pride, rejection and control issues at work which may dwarf the over-simplification of motives such as race alone. It is a good ideas to look for examples and quotes for these, rather than to focus on race alone as a theme in Othello.

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