Power Of Perception In Shakespeare's Othello

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Othello is one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy. It follows the romance and downfall of Othello, an African general in the Italian army, and Desdemona, the daughter of a Venetian senator. Othello’s standard bearer, Iago, turns against Othello in order to gain his position in the army. He plots to bring down Othello’s lieutenant, Cassio, by framing Desdemona as being with Cassio behind Othello’s back. He does so with the help of his wife Emilia, and Rodrigo, a young Venetian man who is madly in love with Desdemona. Though his intentions were never to cause any harm, his manipulation has tragic effects. Shakespeare wrote this dynamic and culturally relevant play as a commentary on race, gender roles, and the power of perception.
Background
During the period of time at which Shakespeare wrote this play, people rarely spoke about racism or about women’s role in society. Nevertheless, they were very prevalent issues. Prejudices and myths surrounded African Americans. For example, people often assumed them to be practitioners of witchcraft and voodoo. Othello demonstrates this when
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– and the female characters as male – Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca. We are aware that this is a rather radical change to the original play. We want to vigorously explore gender norms in our society and how women and men can or can’t play the same roles. We think it will show in harsh perspective how men can get away with emotional acts of rage or passion that women never could, and how women can get away with cleverness and manipulation in a way our society doesn’t associate with men. We want to portray Othello as a young black woman coming from a tough childhood. We want her to be bold, quick tempered, and skilled with her words. She should clearly be a fighter. But she should also be manipulative, quick to assumptions, and carrying burdens to her
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