Othello And Wnttak Analysis

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An individual’s identity is shaped by the way they perceive their connections with others and the world around them Both the Shakespearean play Othello and the novel We Need to Talk About Kevin (WNTTAK) by Lionel Shriver strongly represent this concept through their character’s sense of belonging within society and with their loved ones. Shakespeare’s tragedy focuses on Othello’s relationship with his wife Desdemona and his advisor Iago while WNTTAK explores the connections between the narrator Khatchadourian and her family. Through the use of various techniques such as visual imagery and juxtaposition both texts explore the ramifications of belonging and how it can affect an individual’s sense of self-worth and their identity. They also convey…show more content…
In Othello this can be seen through the character of Desdemona who is established from the start of the play as the loyal and faithful wife of Othello even standing up to her own father after their elopement was revealed and declaring that she was ‘Due to the Moor’. The drastic change in their relationship can be seen through the symbolism of her handkerchief which represents her chastity and worthiness as a wife as well as the strength of their relationship. In Act 3 Scene 3 Othello, after being manipulated by Iago challenges Desdemona’s faithfulness and orders her to show him the handkerchief which he reveals had been a gift from his mother, stating ‘if she lost if or made a gift of it my father’s eye should hold her loathed and his spirits should hunt after new fancies’. This imbues the circumstances with dramatic irony as Desdemona has lost the handkerchief. Desdemona’s identity as a loyal and faithful wife who belonged to a strong marital relationship with her husband consequentially transitioned to a seemingly unfaithful and deceiving whore. In a different manner, WNTTAK highlights this concept through juxtaposition. Eva develops a strong and understanding relationship with her daughter Celia compared to her distant and rocky relationship with Kevin. This is supported through the stark contrast between the two children’s birth which…show more content…
This can be seen through the variety of techniques that Shakespeare uses in Othello to portray the toll the deteriorating relationship between Othello and Desdemona has on their self-worth as their true identities as being confident in their status as faithful and loving marital partners are lost through the manipulations of Iago. It is also highlighted through Iago’s duplicitous nature and the irony of his façade as ‘honest’ Iago. Lionel Shriver also uses many different techniques in WNTTAK to convey this concept such as the narrator Eva Khatchadourian’s insecure feelings about her role as a mother due to her own son’s rejections and the juxtaposition of it in contrast with the strong relationship that she develops with her daughter. It can also be seen through her inability to belong to the suburban house that husband picked out in accordance with his patriotic view of a perfect American
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