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Othello Thesis

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Katelyn Clevenger

on 4 May 2015

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Transcript of Othello Thesis

Othello ~ Thesis

Thesis #1
When Othello's sense of identity is called into question by an institutional collision of marriage, he loses sight of who is truly loyal to him, furthering the theme that paranoia destroys the mind.
Thesis #2
In Shakespeare's
Othello
, Desdemona is pushed to question her true identity as her institution of marriage is compromised; She responds with strength and commitment, showing the vast difference in gender portrayal on the emotional level throughout the play.
Our Prompt
Novels and plays often depict characters caught between colliding cultures --

national, regional, ethnic, religious, institutional
. Such collisions can call a character's sense of identity into question.
Choose a character from Othello who responds to such cultural collision
. Then write a well-organized essay in which you
describe the character's response and explain its relevance to the work as a whole.
Thesis #3
Othello’s ethnicity makes him feel separated from the rest of society and builds up a wall of distrust that reinforces the overall meaning of the work, unnecessary jealousy.
Outline
Outline
Although Othello asks for evidence, it doesn't take much to convince him.
Even as Othello tells Desdemona that he will kill her, she stays faithful and committed to him, once again reflecting on her strength, and his weakness to jealousy.
She is so committed she never even suspects this jealousy he is feeling until it is almost too late, she never believes him capable.
Even when she does, she never leaves.
Outline
Othello feels separated from society.
He is referred to as the “Moor”.
This is an act of marginalization that pushes Othello away from mainstream society.
This causes jealousy because he is arbitrarily pushed away. Because this is arbitrary, it is could be avoided.
Desdemona’s father disapproves of their marriage.
This is an open rejection of Othello, primarily based on his ethnicity.
This causes a jealousy towards the rest of society because anyone else with Othello’s standing would be able to marry her without being questioned.
Othello’s ethnicity builds up mistrust between him and society.
Iago is able to convince Othello to mistrust others.
Already feeling separated, it is easy for Iago to convince him that Desdemona and Cassio are being dishonest with him.
Iago convinces Othello of this dishonesty, something that would have been much harder in a context lacking this racial tension.
Othello uses strong language in his monologues.
This is insulting others behind their backs.
He does not trust them, though he is not certain enough to directly confront them. Othello turned out being wrong, showing that this mistrustful act was not needed.
Paragraph 1 Examples
Paragraph 1
Topic Sentence: As Othello loses his identity, he places unyielding trust into Iago, causing him to fall further into despair.
Paragraph 2
Topic Sentence: As Othello's marriage weakens from paranoia, his relationship with Desdemona alters devastatingly.
Paragraph 2 Examples
IAGO
Ha! I like not that.
OTHELLO
What dost thou say?
IAGO
Nothing, my lord: or if--I know not what.
OTHELLO
Was not that Cassio parted from my wife?
IAGO
Cassio, my lord! No, sure, I cannot think it,
That he would steal away so guilty-like,
Seeing you coming.
OTHELLO
I do believe 'twas he. (3.3.1)
1.
2.
OTHELLO
Get me some poison, Iago; this night: I'll not
expostulate with her, lest her body and beauty
unprovide my mind again: this night, Iago.
IAGO
Do it not with poison, strangle her in her bed, even
the bed she hath contaminated.
OTHELLO
Good, good: the justice of it pleases: very good. (4.1.38)
1.
No, Iago;
I'll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove;
And on the proof, there is no more but this,—
Away at once with love or jealousy! (3.3.31)
2.
IAGO
Trifles light as air
Are to the jealous confirmations strong
As proofs of holy writ: this may do something. (3.3.33)
None of the females waiver, they easily show the strength Shakespeare is portraying in them while the males show weakness in jealousy and revenge
She stands up to her father
Her father was being weak with prejudice while Desdemona was being strong with love
T.S: Within the play of
Othello
, Desdemona's strength is very quickly challenged when her world begins to fall apart, yet she responds with more strength than any of the male roles played around her, just as many of the females do.
T.S: Desdemona's blatant and unbreakable commitment to Othello throughout the stresses of their short marriage reflect strongly on her character and the theme of gender.
Full transcript