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Historicism In Othello

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The article attempts to read Shakespeare in a New-Historicist perspective. We find Shakespeare’s Othello as a literary deviation of history. Consequently, the text is decentered on a contesting principle. By contest, we mean a reference to Shakespeare’s New-Historicist perception of history. Shakespeare contests and doubts the historical Othello who in fact led the readers into finding resemblances with King James I. In the process, even the Roman Emperor Marcus Salvius Otho Caesar Augustus who existed before Christ,comes into consideration. The paper also negotiates Ferdinand de Saussure’s precept of signifier/signified as stable. Our understanding of Shakespeare’s Othello is that the signifier/signification of history is…show more content…
A scrutiny of the sources, from which Shakespeare drew the character Othello gives a better understanding of the character. A New Historical reading untangles all the tangles.The story "A Moorish Captain" (1565)written by Cinthio. It tells the tale of Desdemona and a Moorish Captain deceived by his wicked Ensign. This clearly provides an assumption of Shakespearemight have taken the framework for his tragedy of Othelloand his Ensign, Iago. In Cinthio’s story, the virtuous and beautiful Desdemona is the only character to be given a name. Against the advice of her relatives, she marries the gallant Moor, not through lust but for love of his velour.Liviu Cuțitaru mentions this…show more content…
When James claims the throne of England, he promotes Shakespeare and his fellow actors, the most popular acting company at the time. They become the King’s Men - the official court players for the king.It is important to know that the play’s first recorded performance was performed in the Palace of Whitehall, in the Banqueting House, for the king himself (Vaughan 21).This was twenty months after James became king.As Ralph Berry puts it, “Within a few weeks of ascending to the throne, James changed the name of Shakespeare’s company from the Lord Chamberlain’s Men to the King’s Men. That was unprecedented royal favour: Shakespeare had become house dramatist to the premier company in the land”
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