Compare Othello and Fences.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one element of comparison between both works is that the protagonist of each possesses an inability to trust in a woman that has demonstrated emotional commitment.  This is something that strikes me as interesting in both.  Desdemona is completely loyal to Othello.  She has sacrificed for him, represented nothing but commitment and care towards him.  Yet, he cannot take that leap of faith to be able to commit to her in a manner that eliminates doubt and insecurity.  Somehow, he believes that she will abandon him and act in a disloyal manner towards him.  This thought is what creates a barrier between both, and this "fence" is where Iago strikes with complete success.  Iago understands this insecurity in Othello is a part of his character that prevents him from fully interacting and being a part of his world.  Troy is much the same.  For him, the emotional barriers that exist within him do much to prevent him from being able to fully interact with or place his trust in the world and the people in it.  This is what prevents him from having a functionally working relationship with anyone.  Troy cannot trust Rose, even though she has been the epitome of a good wife and given no reason to be insecure.  In the end, this is what drives an emotional wedge between them.  Troy also cannot trust that Cory's happiness does not trade off with his loyalty as a son, helping to drive a similar point of divergence between him.  While there is no "master criminal" such as in Shakespeare, the emotional division that is present, brought on by the protagonist, is what helps to forge a similarity between both dramas.

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