Othello - Themes

Chelsey Swann
Mind Map by Chelsey Swann, updated more than 1 year ago
Chelsey Swann
Created by Chelsey Swann over 5 years ago


Mind Map on Othello - Themes, created by Chelsey Swann on 04/17/2016.

Resource summary

Othello - Themes
  1. Jealousy
    1. Jealousy drives most of the action in 'Othello" - Iago's jealousy prompts him to ruin Cassio's career and Othello's happiness, and Othello's jealousy causes him to destroy his marriage, kill his wife and eventually kill himself
      1. Iago experiences professional jealousy
        1. Sexual jealousy springs from love to insecurity
          1. Shakespeare presents jealousy as consuming and unnatural - Characters become consumed and cannot think rationally: Iago describes Othello "eaten up with passion"
            1. Its debatable whether Othello becomes jealous to easily - 1. he doesn't give into the jealousy immediately. 2. It only takes seeing the handkerchief (memorable object) with cassio for jim to believe his story
          2. Gender/Sexuality
            1. Gender played an important role in Elizabethan Society
              1. Men: Society was patriarchal - men had more power. - Honour and reputation were very important and men were expected to act rather than talk.
                1. Women: It was an accepted idea women were responsible for humanity's fall into 'evil'
              2. Men in 'Othello' try to control women
                1. Women are often referred to as property - Othello starts as treating Des as an equal but later try's to gain control.
                  1. Cassio expects Bianca to obey him, using orders - "take it"
                    1. Iago controls Emilia's behaviour, giving her instructions
                  2. Female Character break society's conventions
                    1. Des breaks convention by marrying a black man
                      1. When Emilia sees iago's scheming, she goes against him, when iago realises he cant control emilia anymore he kills her.
                        1. Bianca is seen promiscuous and dishonest because she's a courtesan
                    2. Love and War
                      1. The male characters define themselves as soldiers - Othello has been a solider since the age of 7 - Othello trust Iago as soldiers becuase they were normally loyal and honest. - even though cassio hasnt experienced battle he puts great importance on military honour. - Men shared military background strengthens their friendship
                        1. Love is a Powerful Force: Othello is a domestic tragedy focusses on personal relationships rather than politics of war - love motivates the characters - Othello positively affected "it stops me here, it is too much of joy" (2.1.191)
                          1. Love and War seem compatible at first..... Combined by Othello and Desdemona - however their are early hints the love will be disrupted by war, in Cyprus othello describes des as "FAIR WARRIOR" admiring her strength and beauty
                            1. Othello's speech in Act 1, scene 3: places love before war.
                              1. When war ends conflicts shift in othello's marriage: Othellos elf-esteem is based on his military honour.
                                1. Love and War are NOT compatible
                                  1. When Othello murders Des its shows him acting as a soldier not a husband, Othello recognises his falure as a lover becuase he didnt love 'wisely' and was 'perplexed' by jealousy and realises he "threw a pearl away"
                                2. Race
                                  1. Elizabethan society had negative views of black people - Othello is described as the 'moor' - Racial prejudices existed in Elizabethan england, Moors were generally viewed as savages and treated as slaves.
                                    1. Othello is victim of racism - Racist characters: Iago, Brabantio and Roderigo
                                      1. Some Characters look past othello's race - uses his race as a 'positive quality', othello is well respected in the military - Des overlooks his skin colour, Des fell in love with is exotic history which could make his race a weakness.
                                      2. Honesty and Deception
                                        1. Truth and Honour in 'Othello' -
                                          1. 'Honest' has many meanings in Shakespeare's time, Honourable and to integrity, for women meant chastity.
                                            1. Honest, is used frequently mainly by Iago which is ironic but shows how deceiving he is.
                                          2. Appearances can be deceptive - Iago lets the other characters see what he wants them to see, B'cause of Iago Othello goes from seeing Des' beauty and "sweet" smell which disguises corruption and evil.
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