Discuss possible topics showing a connection between Othello and Macbeth.
Coursework topics for Othello and Macbeth...
The plays of Othello and Macbeth are to be used. So Can anyone suggest possible topics connecting these two plays for my coursework.
There are several themes and ideas that run through both MACBETH and OTHELLO and comparing any of them would give you an interesting paper to write. Two thematic examples would be paranoia and betrayal.
For example, you could look at the theme of paranoia as it relates to the title characters. Macbeth, after assassinating Duncan and becoming king, says to himself that
"To be thus is nothing; / But to be safely thus!" (Macbeth, III.i.47 - 48).
In other words, he's scared that he might also be assassinated and lose the crown he's just won. His paranoia leads him to commit more rash acts, including more assassinations both successful and unsuccessful. Similarly, Othello's increasing paranoia over his wife's adultery leads him to declare,
"Farewell the tranquil mind! Farewell, content!" (Othello, III.iii.345)
and begin down a dark path that ends with murder. You could also look at how the words of others impact the characters' paranoia. For example, Macbeth's paranoia is spurred by what the witches have said to Banquo; Othello's paranoia is inflamed by things Iago says to him.
You could also explore themes of betrayal in both plays. Macbeth himself realizes that killing Duncan would be a betrayal when he says of the king currently staying in his house,
"He's here in double trust: First as I am his kinsman... then, as his host." (Macbeth, I.vii.12 - 14)
Macbeth's betrayals don't stop there, as he also tries to kill his best friend, Banquo. Both of these betrayals take a toll on Macbeth's psyche. Similarly, Iago betrays his supposed friends (Othello, Cassio and Roderigo) and his wife (Emilia) when he enacts his plot to tear Othello's life apart. In contrast to Macbeth, however, Iago's betrayals seem to have little affect on his own inner state (from Iago we get no moments of doubt or second-guessing), but they cause distress -- personal, financial and mortal -- to those he betrays.
These are just two examples. I'm sure if you look through the plays you can find many more. For example, how could you compare the role of women in OTHELLO and MACBETH (what is the status of Emilia and Desdemona vs. Lady Macbeth? similar or different?)? On the other hand, you could also explore how Shakespeare handles issues of masculinity in both plays (for both Othello and Macbeth's "manhood" or "manliness" is called into question by themselves and others many times in both plays)?