Othello (Othello) When Othello discovers that his wife, Desdemona, whom he has murdered, is not guilty of adultery, he drives a dagger into his chest and falls dead beside Desdemona's body. Audiences walk away with an idea of what domestic violence really looks like. Nelson uses the setting of an American high school due to its violent culture and makes references to the Columbine high school massacre to show this. Iago is the character who shows least signs of loyalty in the play. Drawing on the concepts of Jungian and Freudian psychoanalysis, I argue that the association of female speech and silence with sexuality is a projection of misogynist and racist discourses. Violence in Othello In William Shakespeare’s Othello violence can be found in several different ways. In the wake of the #MeToo movement and a growing awareness of domestic violence issues, it makes sense for recent production of Othello to highlight the abuse Desdemona endures. Violence in Othello In William Shakespeare's Othello violence can be found in several different ways. In Act 4 Scene 1 Othello publicly hit Desdemona (Shepherd, 2016; Nadelhaft, 1984). “Solely reading about domestic violence may not enrage readers to the point of actually mobilizing for change,” but. One blogger said “the sound of the actual slap pierced my ears and forced my mind to remember the scene long after the play. Many characters in "Othello" are either trustworthy or trusting but few possess both of these desirable qualities. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. October 10 2016. https://my.vanderbilt.edu/vandyperforms/2016/10/othello-and-domestic-violence/, Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), The Truth About Prince Hal | Breaking Bard Ep. Othello's insecurities are so close to the surface that a few words of hint and innuendo from Iago can tear the confident exterior and expose his fears, desires, and tendency to violence. Why your go-to-market strategy should be industry focused; Dec. 1, 2020. This was the direction chosen for the 2016 Bell Shakespeare production. This keeps her constantly on eggshells, another sign of abuse. Revel in the Joy & Absurdity of Shakespeare, TW: emotional abuse, physical abuse, and murder. Domestic abuse often intensified from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence (Smith & Segal, 2017). Gilmore, Leigh. The play holds many elements of what justifies it to be revolving around characters who are middle class, engaged in their private life affairs. Violence can be expressed physically, mentally, and verbally. February 8, 2019. https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2019/02/08/art-othello-in-the-me-too-era-leigh-gilmore. “Domestic Violence and Abuse.” 2019. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/domestic-violence-and-abuse.htm, National Domestic Violence Hotline. “Killing Desdemona: the domestic violence in Othello.” The Sydney Morning Herald. Despite the fact that the research on patterns of abuse weren’t conducted until long after Shakespeare died, he still managed to accurately illustrate the escalation of abuse typically seen in these situations. Theater, as a visual art, has the unique ability to make audiences face realities they may never face. Desdemona attempts to defend herself, escape, and beg for her life. 310-311). If so, how? However, Othello is in too emotional a state to listen, and he has already ordered the lieutenant's murder. Ray Chong Nee, who plays Othello in the upcoming Bell Shakespeare production, wants the conversation to turn to something he believes is more urgent: domestic violence. This tragic play shows how jealousy and envy can overpower a person’s … If so, how? “Abuse Defined.” 2020. https://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/, Vandy Performs. In William Shakespeare's Othello violence can be found in several different ways. Only Iago voices an explicitly stereotypical view of Othello, depicting him from the … Immediately after he slaps her, she says “I have not deserved this.” (A4.S1) After this, she remains an obedient wife until he comes to kill her. “Amid a Reckoning with Toxic Masculinity, Seeing ‘Othello’ In A New Light.” WBUR. “Othello and Domestic Violence.” Vanderbilt University. (HelpGuide.org) Because she doesn’t know why he’s mad, she can’t possibly figure out what will set him off next. Theatre allows us to do that. Dec. 2, 2020. Shakespeare can and does spark conversation about modern issues, and that is what makes his writing so special. Not only does this story give many different examples of violence, it displays how mental violence can promote physical … Even then, he feels that, had she been guilty, he would have been justified. Violence can be expressed physically, mentally, and verbally. This tragic play shows how jealousy and envy can overpower a person's mind and lead them to wreak havoc on others. See reviews, photos, directions, phone numbers and more for the best Domestic Violence Attorneys in Othello, WA. Vandy Performs. Portia (Julius Caesar) Convinced that her husband, Brutus, will not be able to defeat Antony and his army, Portia commits suicide in her Roman home. "That I did love the Moor to live with him, My downright violence and storm of fortunes May trumpet to the world: my heart's subdued Even to the very quality of my lord: I saw Othello's visage in his mind, And to his honour and his valiant parts Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate. Violence can be expressed physically, mentally, and verbally. TW: emotional abuse, physical abuse, and murder. They walk away with a deeper understanding. Othello was married to Desdemona, the … Sound off in the comments! October 10 2016. https://my.vanderbilt.edu/vandyperforms/2016/10/othello-and-domestic-violence/, Play Analysis, Short, Snarky Summaries, Tragedies, abuse, Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Desdemona, Domestic Violence, Education, literature, Othello, Shakespeare, theater, theatre, William Shakespeare, Enter your email and make sure you never miss a post. Although at the centre of the actions is the disharmony brought in between the marital relationship of the protagonists (a common theme of the Elizabethan Domestic Tragedy) and the actions do not concern public matter, Shakespeare brings in an exception to this convention. This tragic play shows how jealousy and envy can overpower a person's mind and lead them to wreak havoc on others. Blake, Elissa. "From the outset, as a team, we looked at violence against women in this show and how to present Desdemona's death," Chong Nee says. However, the audience also understands Iago’s words in another light. Abusive relationships typically start out blissfully and that is why abuse victims often feel a sense of commitment to the relationship. Talking about domestic violence, reading or writing articles, creating awareness months can only go so far, many need to experience a situation in a visceral way. Sound off in the comments! Domestic abuse often intensified from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence (Smith & Segal, 2017). A modern view of family violence leaves Othello as nothing but a killer acting out the narrative of gendered violence of the 16th century Venetian society … This is not unusual in abusive situations. Although Desdemona knew she did nothing to make Othello hit her, she followed his orders and left the room to no longer offend him (Nadelhaft, 1984). Only Iago voices an explicitly stereotypical view of Othello, depicting him from the … “Amid a Reckoning with Toxic Masculinity, Seeing ‘Othello’ In A New Light.” WBUR. Othello finally does fall victim to Iago’s lies and Othello’s future actions are dictated by lies- ultimately proving Iago’s plan to work. This tragic play shows how jealousy and envy can overpower a person's mind and lead them to wreak havoc on others. ‘For if such actions may have passage free,’ Brabantio warns the Venetian Senate, ‘Bond-slaves and pagans shall our statesmen be’ (1.2.98-9). Violence in Othello In William Shakespeare's Othello violence can be found in several different ways. Cassio, who has always given loyal and responsible service to his general Othello gets hatred and violence in return; but silly Othello rewards the terribly evil lago with love and trust in return to his betrayal. Othello finally does fall victim to Iago’s lies and Othello’s future actions are dictated by lies- ultimately proving Iago’s plan to work. Othello, a distinguished warrior in Venice, was always geared up to defend his people from any external threat. Othello pretty quickly becomes convinced that Desdemona has been unfaithful and starts demeaning her publicly. impacted you? The grateful and humble gets an injury, whereas the thankful and malicious gets respect. This tenacity of Desdemona is partly what serves as her downfall; she continues to champion Cassio’s cause even when she knows this may create problems for her. Shakespeare shows us that Iago is dishonest and disloyal in the most blatant of ways. At first, the marriage seems picture perfect (National Domestic Violence Hotline). Theater, as a visual art, has the unique ability to make audiences face realities they may never face. Talking about domestic violence, reading or writing articles, creating awareness months can only go so far, many need to experience a situation in a visceral way. In Act 4 Scene 1 Othello publicly hit Desdemona (Shepherd, 2016; Nadelhaft, 1984). October 24, 2016. https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/theatre/killing-desdemona-the-domestic-violence-in-othello-20161024-gs98kg.html, Gilmore, Leigh. Finally, we reach the conclusion of the play and the abuse. Firstly, when Othello strikes his wife in public, then when he kills her, and when Iago stabs his wife, Emilia. This paper follows the critical lines of feminism and psychoanalysis to argue that Othello is a conflict between female characters' moral voices and male figures' treacherous voices. The story revolves around its two central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army, and his treacherous ensign, Iago. “Othello and Domestic Violence.” Vanderbilt University. Othello cannot stand uncertainty; it drives him to destroy his sanity. The best quotes from Othello by William Shakespeare - organized by theme, including book location and character - with an explanation to help you understand! Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Violence can be expressed physically, mentally, and verbally. Othello is the main character in the play Othello by William Shakespeare. In this reading, Othello returns to a barbarous state under pressure: lacking other means of persuasion he resorts to wanton violence and savage cruelty. Violence can be expressed physically, mentally, and verbally. Introduction In the play “Othello, The Moor of Venice, by Shakespeare, there is a character known as Othello (Shakespeare 16). And the final scenes of the play are conspicuously shocking: Othello … Theatre allows us to do that. It doesn’t matter though because she has already been accused of adultery; she is already “named a whore” and “under that judgement, she falls victim to lethal intimate partner violence as Othello becomes judge, jury, and executioner.” (Gilmore) In Othello’s mind, this is justified because of her crimes. In an attempt to encourage the audience to become more proactive about domestic violence, VUTheatre’s Othello portrays Desdemona as a powerless character whose main function is to absorb men’s anger. can “force the reality of the situation upon the audience – ultimately bringing these articles to life.” (Vandy Performs) Shakespeare, by capturing something innately human, allows us to adapt his writing in ways that make it relevant to our world today. It is the reason Desdemona takes the blame and hopes to fix their problems. She blames herself, believes she can fix the situation, and is always on eggshells. Obviously, the entire narrative of Othello builds toward a horrific act of misogynistic violence: Othello's murder of Desdemona in the play's final scene. 17, How to Think Like Shakespeare | Book Review. Having accurate portrayals of abuse forces the audience to confront the reality of domestic violence, furthering the conversation and, hopefully, advocacy. It’s not until he realizes he was wrong that he shows any sort of remorse. This tragic play shows how jealousy and envy can overpower a person’s mind and lead them to wreak havoc on others. Referring to the wounding of Cassio and the near slaying of Roderigo, Iago asserts to his wife: “This is the fruits of whoring” (V.i.). As a public leader, Othello experiences delight and success … “Domestic Violence and Abuse.” 2019. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/domestic-violence-and-abuse.htm. “Solely reading about domestic violence may not enrage readers to the point of actually mobilizing for change,” but Othello can “force the reality of the situation upon the audience – ultimately bringing these articles to life.” (Vandy Performs) Shakespeare, by capturing something innately human, allows us to adapt his writing in ways that make it relevant to our world today. National Domestic Violence Hotline. Scenes of bloodshed were staged with maximum realism. There are three key points where we see violence against women in “ Othello ”. As Matthew Shepherd put it in his 2016 article, “Othello’s abuse of Desdemona matches the Commission’s [Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence] description of family violence as a multifaceted pattern of escalating behaviour rather than a single event.” Othello starts with emotional abuse before moving to physical abuse that culminates in killing his partner, Desdemona. Violence in Othello In William Shakespeare's Othello violence can be found in several different ways. The actor playing Othello, Ray Chong Nee, was quoted as saying “We all agreed that her death shouldn’t be softened. Othello enters Desdemon’a bedroom with the intention to kill her and does so in a violent and deeply personal way. But Iago’s plan works and he makes Othello love, thank, and … Although Desdemona knew she did nothing to make Othello hit her, she followed his orders and left the room to no longer offend him (Nadelhaft, 1984). Sexual relationships in Othello are the locus of two types of conflicts - same sex conflict as well as male-female conflicts - upon which many other themes like themes of sex and violence, love and hate, honor and dishonesty, loyalty and betrayal, trust and suspicion may be explored. Othello is an essentially public man placed within the framework of a domestic tragedy; the Turkish invasion and machinations of the Venetian state provide the backdrop to an essential private heartbreak. Domestic Violence in Othello. Othello goes from threats to physical violence, and he does it in front of others, including the audience. Iago states, “And practising upon his peace and quiet/ Even to madness” (II.1. Desdemona’s death can be played in an ultra-realistic way, so as to provide the audience with a glimpse of true violence. Drawing on the concepts of Jungian and Freudian psychoanalysis, I argue that the association of female speech and silence with sexuality is a projection of misogynist and racist discourses. February 8, 2019. https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2019/02/08/art-othello-in-the-me-too-era-leigh-gilmore, HelpGuide.org. Othello being African already makes him an outsider and highlights racism in Venice. This paper follows the critical lines of feminism and psychoanalysis to argue that Othello is a conflict between female characters' moral voices and male figures' treacherous voices. October 24, 2016. https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/theatre/killing-desdemona-the-domestic-violence-in-othello-20161024-gs98kg.html. But Iago’s plan works and he makes Othello love, thank, and … Violence can be expressed physically, mentally, and verbally. Has a production of Othello impacted you? In the wake of the #MeToo movement and a growing awareness of domestic violence issues, it makes sense for recent production of Othello to highlight the abuse Desdemona endures. It starts subtly, with hints that she needs to repent for something, “This hand of yours requires/ A sequester from liberty, fasting, and prayer,/ Much castigation, exercise devout;/ For here’s a young and sweating devil here,/ That commonly rebels.” (A3.S4) Then, he moves on to harsher words, calling her a whore and all it’s synonyms. Othello is … This moment in the play represents a turning point in the abuse. Site Development: University Web Communications, The Suppliants by Jaylen, Shreya, and Kenzie, Vanderbilt Baseball by Richard Ficek, Jordan Lee, Cam Nix, and Courtney Smith, Vanderbilt Baseball Game by William Caldwell and Jake Eder, Anastasia by Abbey Roberts, Jeri Katz, and Reghan Hovell-Wilkins, Vanderbilt Men’s Basketball Game by Virginia Green, Patrick Raby, and John Augenstein, Site Development: University Web Communications. If Othello’s colour becomes slightly problematic in the second half of the play it is because Iago’s racism is insidious; he destroys the black–white harmony that existed and makes the hero behave in a way that we feel is unnatural for him (Othello finds it almost impossible to reject and destroy Desdemona; for Iago violence comes easily). VUTheatre’s production of Othello highlights the domestic violence presented in the play written by William Shakespeare, with Desdemona playing the main role of victim. What do you think? It makes sense because of our current societal discourse and because Othello provides a great look into what abuse looks like and how it can escalate. However, the abuse has to start somewhere and that is typically with emotional abuse and/or threats. Othello, by contrast, is a noble figure of great authority, respected and admired by the duke and senate of Venice as well as by those who serve him, such as Cassio, Montano, and Lodovico. Beyond that though, we see the accurate representation of an abuse victim in Desdemona. Violence In Othello. Prezi Video + Unsplash: Access over two million images to tell your story through video It isn’t long before the abuse follows a too familiar pattern by escalating “from threats and verbal assault to violence.” (HelpGuide.org) He strikes Desdemona across her face in front of a crowd of people. He is a well-respected African general in the Venice army and is happily married to Desdemona, a white woman. 310-311). Blog. Othello (The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1603.It is based on the story Un Capitano Moro ("A Moorish Captain") by Cinthio (a disciple of Boccaccio's), first published in 1565. This moment can be one of realization for the audience, as seen in the 2016 production at Vanderbilt University. This tragic play shows how jealousy and envy can overpower a person's mind and lead them to wreak havoc on others. It makes sense because of our current societal discourse and because Othello provides a great look into what abuse looks like … Domestic Violence in Othello on YP.com. For me, many of the violent scenes were finally brought into reality at the performance.” (Vandy Performs). Let’s begin with a closer look at the abuser, Othello. Iago’s treachery and actors of betrayal become the core reason behind a series of domestic violence as depicted by Othello against the wife and also as depicted by Brabantio against Othello (Andrew 34). This is the last time we see Desdemona stand up to Othello before the final scene. Iago is Othello's ensign. HelpGuide.org. While patrons liked a good comedy, they consistently packed the theatres to see the newest foray into treachery, debauchery, and murder. In the end, Othello does not believe Desdemona. Othello, by contrast, is a noble figure of great authority, respected and admired by the duke and senate of Venice as well as by those who serve him, such as Cassio, Montano, and Lodovico. Shakespeare’s Othello to a large extent comes close to what is known as a Domestic Tragedy. As a matter of fact, the story mainly revolves round the theme … Violence in Shakespeare: Suicide, Murder, and Combat in Shakespeare's Plays Introduction Elizabethan and Jacobean audiences reveled in shocking drama. Blake, Elissa. However, he does not tell her what she did wrong. She hopes for the relationship they had before. Female Selfhood and Male Violence in English Renaissance Drama: A View from Mary Wroth's Urania / Akiko Kusunoki Invasive Procedures in Webster's The Duchess of Malfi / Ellen Caldwell The "Erring Barbarian" and the "Maiden Never Bold": Racist and Sexist Representations in Othello / Sara Deats Instead of hitting the floor, though, most of the bodies in Othello end up on a bed, and all are the result of the actions of one man: Iago. In fact, violence is a major theme in both Othello and O, without violence, neither text would be a tragedy but instead tales of conversation and discussion. Violence in Othello In William Shakespeare’s Othello violence can be found in several different ways. Violence in Othello. It should be violent and hard to watch.” (Blake) Pushing the boundaries and making audiences uncomfortable can make it more impactful. “Abuse Defined.” 2020. https://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/. “Killing Desdemona: the domestic violence in Othello.” The Sydney Morning Herald. Roderigo derides Othello too as ‘the thick-lips’ (1.1.66), while Brabantio, in his public confrontation with Othello, finds it inconceivable that his daughter should desire to ‘Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom / Of such a thing as thou’ (1.2.70–1) without being drugged or bewitched. Not simply a marker of barbarism, blood and the violence it connotes is a flexible form of self-fashioning that Othello uses to repair his understanding of the world shattered by Desdemona's purported infidelity and to negotiate this tension between stability and fluidity. There are three key points where we see violence against women in “Othello”. Iago does not believe Emilia. They love each other completely, have no disagreements, and refuse to be separated. In saying this to line Emilia, Iago clearly means that Desdemona’s alleged adultery has led to violence. However, once he makes a decision, he is again the military man, decisive in action. Iago states, “And practising upon his peace and quiet/ Even to madness” (II.1. Shakespeare can and does spark conversation about modern issues, and that is what makes his writing so special. As a result, Othello and Desdemona find unleashed upon them, in the shape of Iago, the venomous rage of a society whose foundations are rocked by the mere fact of their marriage. Firstly, when Othello strikes his wife in public, then when he kills her, and when Iago stabs his wife, Emilia. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. 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