This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

What Way Would A Modern Audience React To The Way Race And Racism Is Portrayed In 'othello'?

1705 words - 7 pages

In the Sixteenth century, as we see clearly from Othello and other works of both Shakespeare and Cinthio's original version of Othello, race was a topic of great debate and discussion. Today, in the twenty-first century the debate retains its controversy and passion. However, attitudes towards race have taken a dramatic turn during the last century. In the developed world people are now living in an increasingly cosmopolitan society would undoubtedly be more tolerant and would reject or even be offended by racial discrimination to any person or sections of the community. Openly 'racist' people today are seen as outcasts. Taking this into account, the way a modern audience would react to race and racism in Othello is dependent upon the way in which that modern audience would interpret 'Othello'. This prompts the questions of what sort of message Shakespeare wanted to send to his audience and was Othello the moor portrayed as a tragic hero or did his character eventually come to resemble the prejudices of which he was a victim. Shakespeare also discusses the issue of race with other characters such as the hateful Iago and the prejudices hidden deep in Barbantio.

The actions of Barbantio initiate the interest in the race issue in Act 1 Scene 1 more so than Iago's foul abuses because the type of hidden racism is actually present in modern society. Barbantio disapproves of his daughter ever marrying Roderigo who has not got a good reputation with him but after listening to Iago tell him that his daughter is seeing a moor he wishes Roderigo,

"...O, Would you had had her!"

Thus Barbantio suggests that a disrespected white man is superior to a respected noble and gentleman in the army whose only 'problem' as Barbantio sees it is that he is black. These words are enough to show Barbantio's true feelings even though he has been rudely awaken from sleep on hearing what for him is awful news in a most crude manner. The hypocrisy of Barbantio, though striking to a modern audience is still prevalent today. In a recent survey by students at Nottingham University, from a sample of 3000 people, 54% said that they would not consider inter-racial marriage. Shakespeare immediately can grasp an audience's attention through an issue as relevant now as it was almost half a century ago and by portraying Barbantio as misguided in his words, Shakespeare is criticising people who may be outwardly gentlemen but covertly hold racist views.

There is some evidence that Shakespeare was using the play to promote racially prejudiced views as some critics suggest. They suggest that Othello finally becomes the violent animal, which he is personified to be by those who dislike him. Cinthio's original version of the play had Othello being a Muslim and was made to be a beastly character but Shakespeare has altered him to be a noble and a Christian. Instead, Iago is portrayed as the most evil villain and also the hateful racist. Iago seems to have few motives for his...

Find Another Essay On What Way Would A Modern Audience React To The Way Race And Racism Is Portrayed In 'Othello'?

In what way would it be fair to describe Martin Luther as a revolutionary'?

1605 words - 6 pages dramatically and fundamentally changed, the Renaissance had a tremendous impact upon the way in which men thought and challenged beliefs.Luther's ideas had opened up new debates about how the church and papacy was run, his ideas certainly were revolutionary. However, Luther the man was not nor could it be said be solely responsible for the reformation. Without the increased feeling of nationalism in Germany ,support from the people, and favourable conditions at the time, Luther's ideas would not have caused such turmoil for the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore it would be unfair to call Luther a revolutionary.

How would an audience react to "Henry" at the end of Act 1, Scene 2?

598 words - 2 pages with us." Henry is doing the opposite of what someone would normally do. He keeps his cool in a measured response of a great insult. This is showing the Dauphin that he is mature and he doesn't act like a child would when insulted. Henry then says, "We will in France, by God's grace, play a set." This shows the Dauphin that when he has taken France he will play tennis. This shows he is determined to win. Henry goes on by saying "...he hath made a

Discuss the way Adige has utilized literary techniques to position his audience to respond to Balram in this way.”

1629 words - 7 pages discussing the layout of Delhi he states “But I ask you, who built Delhi in this crazy way?” This develops Balram’s identity as funny yet intriguing person, forcing the reader to gain a closer relationship with Balram and expose his likeable nature. His honesty is also extremely evident throughout the text and he keeps no secrets from the reader. A clear example of this is when he reveals his murder of Mr Ashok within the first chapter, saying “I slit his

What is the function of the Inspector in the play 'An Inspector Calls'? Consider what he represents, the way he affects structure and pace, his effect on the characters and his effect on the audience

2012 words - 8 pages . Gerald?s involvement with Eva is brought up when Shelia whinges to him about his whereabouts during the last summer. It is later revealed that Gerald spent that time with Eva Smith when she was his mistress. The uncovering of this sort of scandal would shock the audience but also engage in the play more. They would be keen to find out more details about the affair and see how the others would react to Gerald?s confession. This is a clever

How would a modern audience respond to Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice'?

1604 words - 6 pages the next turning of all on your left, marry at the very next turning turn of no hand, but turn down indirectly to the Jews house.'There is just a slight difficulty in understanding the play for the modern audience, but this would not pose a problem in understanding a delightful play such as 'The Merchant of Venice'.The main themes of 'The Merchant of Venice' are racism, revenge and love.Racism is towards Jews i.e. Shylock mainly because he has

Compare and contrast the way men are portrayed in two different film genres

1084 words - 4 pages dreams and try their best to find what their hearts desire. On the contrary, action genres portray men as heroic as they show a high level of masculinity. They are the “lead” character within the movies and what they say goes.Within drama genre movies, it takes on a slower and less aggressive point of view; it is to keep in mind that drama movies are for a totally different audience in comparison to action genres. Action genres are for

Explore the way marriage is portrayed in 'Pilate's Wife' and how it is presented in other poems in The World's Wife

838 words - 4 pages Carol Ann Duffy's,“Pilates Wife” raises important moral issues on the institution of marriage, the most important issue is of how love and desire can fade in marriage. Pilate's wife no longer desires Pilate and this can be seen in many other Poems in “The World Wife”. Duffy uses a lot of imagery in this poem and the most important imagery is to do with hands ,“Firstly, his hands a woman's, softer than mine”. Duffy uses the

How a modern audience would perceive the supernatural characters in the play Macbeth

801 words - 3 pages as another act and would give no head to what they stood for. Shakespeare used them to symbolize the fate of mankind, but this message may be lost on modern audiences.In Act 1/ Scene 3 the witches reappear with their trademark of thunder and lightening. They speak in a rhyming singing way which sets them apart from the other characters who speak in blank verse. Though they are clearly supposed to be the most dangerous characters in the play

In what way dose racism impact on the lives of Britain's black population

2390 words - 10 pages stereotypes. While such policies are being corrected to eliminate institutional racism, individual racism nonetheless persists (miles,1990)There are a couple of misrepresentations in discussions on 'race' and racism. The fact is that racism is principally a post-war phenomenonAssociated with the greater presence of black people in Britain and the expansion of the welfare state. The second is that defiance against racism is a relatively new. Racism

In what way has the marketing of 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, fulfilled the expectations of the target audience?

2790 words - 11 pages violence would appeal to the older predominantly male viewer. This is a sound marketing technique as it enables the movie to have a wider spread of appeal. It is clear however that the storyline is aimed predominantly at the male audience, evident as how the narrative is based upon battle, war, and the ideology of a brotherhood of men brought together to fight a common purpose. At the time of when the novels were written in the 1950's, war was a very

The Role of Ethnicity and Race in the Way Audiences Interpret Media Messages

1602 words - 6 pages The Role of Ethnicity and Race in the Way Audiences Interpret Media Messages According to the sociological definition of race and ethnicity, there is a close interrelation between race and ethnicity. Race has not been defined by the biological difference that it is stood on the social construct. Race does not discriminate the skin color from others which is related to the ethnicity. Race is defined on the social construct which based on

Similar Essays

Explore How The Roles Of Men And Women Are Portrayed In "The Winter's Tale"(William Shakespeare) And How The Modern Day Audience Would React To Them

2778 words - 11 pages applicable on a human level, portraying the idea of letting nature run its course instead of letting the human ideology of the time control relationships according to classes. She is clearly modest, and recognises artifice within herself, as she feels uncomfortable at the festival in the way she is "most goddess-like prank'd up". Perdita's connections with nature would have made the contemporary audience felt that she was moral and true. This image

Survey About Criminal Psycology, Crime And The Way You Would React In A Given Situation

691 words - 3 pages Hey people, the members in this website are really quite clever so I would like to conduct a survey about criminals, using your minds and thoughts. Just to test public opinion. I'm currently studying criminal phycology at my last year at high school. I want to know what you think about the following questions, and to answer them please. Please just write your comment/opinion below. By the way thanks in advance =DQuestion 1-What do you blame in

In What Way Might Titus Andronicus Have Been Satisfying And Pleasurable To An Elizabethan Audience?

513 words - 2 pages The main satisfaction of an Elizabethan audience would be that they could relate to the violence on stage. They themselves were probably very much used to pubic executions and bear baiting. The acts that, to us, are gory an horrific, could have been a reality to a majority of the audience:"[He is] to be hanged until he were half dead, his members cut-off, his bowels to be cast into the fire, his head to be cut off, his quarters to be divided

Different Reactions Of A Modern And Elizabethan Audience To Othello

825 words - 3 pages . For a modern audience it is hard to apprehend the racism towards Othello and even harder to accept that this kind of cruelty towards blacks was an accepted expect of Elizabethan society What's more, a modern audience would most likely not be superstitious and rather than taking the witchcraft accusation seriously would call Brobantio `a silly old man', simply because advances in technology have proven that witchcraft does not exist and didn't