The Importance Of Religion In Othello

973 Words4 Pages
During the time when Othello was first performed, society functioned in a hierarchical order, with God being placed at the top. In this way, it was believed that beings were ranked in a pyramidal fashion, all falling under the influence of the divine rule. Shakespeare was well aware of the prevalence of the societal mindset and took advantage of his audience 's beliefs by incorporating religious references, especially the usage of the word “heaven”, in order to not only make his works relatable to his audience but to enforce the underlying ideas he wanted to convey. The characters are often seen making religious exclamations in times of despair and begging to heaven and God for guidance and safety. In Othello, Shakespeare emphasizes the inability of religion to protect from harm in order to bring attention to the dangers of placing trust in a false security. The failure of God’s protection forces the audience to contemplate if religion is a legitimate form of protection or rather fuel for a false reality. Although Shakespeare’s audience would have had a positive view of religion and heaven, it is important to point out that those in the play who placed the greatest amount of trust into the protection of God tragically died in the end. Desdemona believed so greatly in the power of God that she told Othello she could not be with him if “the heavens forbid” (2.1.206). She was deeply in love, but cared more about the approval of heaven than her relationship. Society focused on
Open Document