how else does othello evidence his violence

No honour here ... Ray Chong Nee (Othello) and Elizabeth Nabben (Desdemona). This also means it has been incorporated into the Dramatica Story Expert application itself as an easily referenced contextual example. Othello describes his courtship of Desdemona, who, when she enters, tells her father and the senators that she has married Othello because she loves him. "We wanted to make it clear Othello is a pathetic figure, not an honorable man.". The abuse escalates again when Othello publicly strikes Desdemona. Instead, I try to find that little piece inside of me that is happy, and let that grow.". The following analysis reveals a comprehensive look at the Storyform for Othello.Unlike most of the analysis found here—which simply lists the unique individual story appreciations—this in-depth study details the actual encoding for each structural item. Before she dies Emilia asks her “O, who hath done this deed?”; Desdemona replies, “Nobody; I myself.” And indeed, one victim told the Commission: I didn’t have a language to describe what was wrong in my relationship. ", Off stage, they hug. Due to being enslaved by the masculine values of his world, he is unable to maintain composure. When Brabantio and Othello arrive, the duke insists on evidence to support the old man’s charge that Othello has bewitched Desdemona. Can a modern audience, viewing Othello through a 21st century framework of family violence, still see the play as a tragedy? And how such deaths continue today. He spies on Cassio (prompted by Iago) instead of openly confronting him. ", Later, Othello is adamant the murder of Desdemona amounts to an honour killing: "An honourable murderer, if you will; For nought I did in hate, but all in honour.". And how does a 21st-century perspective on family violence deepen our insights and pathos on viewing the play? Othello and King Shahrayar, from The Arabian Nights, are very similar in their brash decisions.The King was cheated on by his wife and as a result he killed his wife and many wives after that. "Shakespeare tries to return some dignity to Othello which is something I don't think you can or should do in a contemporary production," he says. He does this through a series of suggestions and hesitations that entice and implant images into Othello's head that lead him to his own demise. Save. He spies on Cassio (prompted by Iago) instead of openly confronting him. Women and children, like men, are socialised in a world where such beliefs are embedded in language, the family and other common social institutions and practices … often women believe that the violence is their own fault. He admires and loves his wife, but he can't believe that she would be in love with him. Othello is furious at all the “evidence” of Desdemona’s affair, and considers the proof sufficient because it is from Iago. Many of Othello's insecurities are derived from his race and from the perception that he is lowlier than his wife. We didn't want that. Othello then plans to murder Desdemona and Cassio. Iago’s abuse of his wife Emilia, for instance, is not commented on or apparently even noticed by the other characters. We always take a second before we bow to check in with each other. However, once he makes a decision, he is again the military man, decisive in action. The character of Othello is comparatively simple, but, as I have dwelt on the prominence of intrigue and accident in the play, it is desirable to show how essentially the success of Iago's plot is connected with this character. Matthew Shepherd does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. No honour here ... Ray Chong Nee (Othello) and Elizabeth Nabben (Desdemona). "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. On subsequently learning there had been no affair, he kills himself. Gender equality, it noted, will also reduce family violence: Intimate partner violence is likely to be higher when women lack autonomy and men dominate decision-making in public life, as well as in families and relationships. “Othello himself is deluding himself by constructing an image for him to be remembered as, with an inescapable conflict between self-deception and self-awareness, which is evidence of his incapacity to love “well. London: MacMillan and Co., 1919. There are three key points where we see violence against women in “ Othello ”. "First, we cut the moment when Desdemona is near death but wakes up and forgives [Othello]," Evans explains. "Otherwise, I tend to go within myself and just think about all the negative things that happen in the show. Credit:Daniel Boud. Folger Shakespeare Library, via Wikimedia Commons, Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence. When Othello lost his love, his life turned to chaos. She accepts his abuse as “my wretched fortune” asking, “What shall I do to win my lord again?”. What does the recent Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence tell us about the Venetian general’s murder of his wife Desdemona, and his subsequent suicide? The masculine principle is a principle based on the submission and subjugation … In consultation with the cast, director Peter Evans made crucial adjustments to the text. ‘A man’s character is his fate. There is no tragedy in his mistaken murder of Desdemona. ... gives his "jewel" the implication is a warning to treasure the jewel as he has or "else". Othello’s tragic fate is tied directly to his overblown pride and his unwillingness to see the actual truth, only the truth he believes in. Deeply embedded societal beliefs – for example, the belief … that men’s intimate partners and children are their possessions to do with as they please; that women are inferior to men – influence men’s choices to commit sexual and other acts of violence. The only rebuke of Othello is made by Lodovico (representative of the Venetian duke and senate) who, observing Othello strike Desdemona, tells him to “make amends” – but makes no other intervention. Othello cannot stand uncertainty; it drives him to destroy his sanity. By Elissa Blake. Write an article and join a growing community of more than 118,600 academics and researchers from 3,811 institutions. Most para-mount, however, is jealousy. Othello and Race . Nor his claim to be “an honourable murderer… For naught did I in haste, but all in honour.”. It also reports: a demonstrable link between family violence, homicide and suicide … a large number of men who died from suicide in Victoria between 2009 and 2012 had a history of family violence. The questions of identity, race, terror, sex, violence, religion and gender raised by Shakespeare’s plays continue to be hotly debated in contemporary culture, though rarely with the subtlety and intelligence found in Shakespeare. Othello’s own latent insecurity makes him fall prey to Jealousy. In addition, audiences think and reflect their own life after watching the play. Although Othello was naive and wrong to put his trust in Iago without the presence of any real evidence, he did so partly because of his low self-esteem. He does this through a series of suggestions and hesitations that entice and implant images into Othello's head that lead him to his own demise. I feel that if we don't put that violence on the stage, then we are helping to keep violence from being spoken about.". Othello opens at the Sydney Opera House on October 27. Bell Shakespeare’s production of Othello is touring Australia until December 2016. Othello then plans to murder Desdemona and Cassio. All these themes are present in Othello. Indeed, the tragedy of the play could have been prevented by recognising Othello’s controlling behaviour towards Desdemona as violence arising out of societal attitudes as much as Othello’s personality. Venetian society is barely aware of male violence towards women. Look to your house, your daughter, and your bags. Killing Desdemona: the domestic violence in Othello. Othello kills Desdemona by smothering her with pillows in their matrimonial bed. Othello publicly insults & strikes his wife “subtle whore” “impudent strumpet” “devil” This theme is manifest in the contrast between Cassio and Iago. Thus, those straight connections help people to easily feel the violence acts in the play. Just the thought that every day there is a woman out there and this is happening to her is … horrifying. However, Othello’s faith in Desdemona also opens the door for Iago to give Othello seeming “proof” of Desdemona’s infidelity. Othello was one of very few black men in Venice and Desdemona was a very young and very beautiful white woman. In unusually coarse imagery, Iago then introduces the subject of what kind of evidence would resolve Othello's doubts. Othello was one of very few black men in Venice and Desdemona was a very young and very beautiful white woman. When charged before the Senate with the abduction of Desdemona, Othello's defence consists of a frank and free admission that he had taken Brabantio's daughter, and an apologetic account of his "whole course of love." 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. Many of Othello's insecurities are derived from his race and from the perception that he is lowlier than his wife. Othello is furious at all the “evidence” of Desdemona’s affair, and considers the proof sufficient because it is from Iago. Nabben was determined to ensure Desdemona's death could not be seen as act of submission. He turns to his general and fawns over his master's distress, noting that Othello is "eaten up with passion" (391). The quote shows that Othello does love his wife and does not want to think ill of her. …you’re robbed. 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. Desdemona herself struggles to identify or understand her abuse. Othello believed that his wife cheated on him and as a result he kills his wife as shown by Othello when he says “Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men” (5.2.6). ’ To what extent is Othello’s own character the cause of his downfall? Othello’s Lamentation (1857), by William Salter. We know from the play’s full title, Othello: The Moor of … Instead society reacts to family violence as a one-off crisis, after the event. At Othello’s suggestion, the duke sends for Desdemona. The Commission shows the causes of family violence to be complex. I overpower her. "We also have a set of physical exercises we do every day, lots of contact-based push and pull," Chong Nee says. "We wanted to make her death more realistic and have her fight for her life, which doesn't usually happen. For decades, much of the conversation around Shakespeare's Othello has been dominated by issues of race, by debates about who should play the title role, who should not, and if the play should even be performed at all. Othello cannot stand uncertainty; it drives him to destroy his sanity. It should be violent and hard to watch. Lecturer Dispute Resolution Advocacy, University of Technology Sydney. Log in, register or subscribe to save articles for later. "Hugs are good," Chong Nee says. Jealousy runs the characters’ lives in Othellofrom the beginning of the play, when Roderigo is envi-ous of Othello because he … Desdemona herself adopts the narrative of being the property of others, saying she has preserved her body for Othello “from any other unlawful touch”. Othello’s abuse of Desdemona matches the Commission’s description of family violence as a multifaceted pattern of escalating behaviour rather than a single event. 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. There should be no honour in it, Evans believes. Othello tests his wife’s loyalty secretly (“fetch me the handkerchief, my mind misgives”) instead of openly confronting her and attempting real communication. ", The actors and crew are supporting each other through the inevitable emotional side-effects of playing such a scene. Does Shakespeare’s play suggests that Othello’s gullibility, irrational jealousy, and murderous violence stem from the fact that his ethnicity differs from everyone else in the drama? "I wanted it to be brutal and violent and messy. We cannot accept his claim that he was “one that loved not wisely, but too well”. 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 presented by Shakespeare. "I can't describe how awful it feels sometimes," says Chong Nee. “Haply for I am black, And have not those soft parts of conversation That chamberers have…” (Othello, Act 3 Scene 3, Line 267) In fact, the word 'whore' is used more in this play than in any other Shakespeare play - over 13 times. Unfazed by Othello’s threat that she “were best” to remain silent, Emilia calls out for help, bringing … He believes in his own abilities to find the truth so fully that Iago exploits him masterfully, making Othello believe in his lies as perfectly as if they were truth. He basically calls her a ‘whore’ and Othello later does so as well. Othello triumphantly admits to Emilia that he killed Desdemona, and when she asks him why, Othello tells her that Iago opened his eyes to Desdemona’s falsehood. The commission noted that too little effort is devoted to preventing the occurrence of family violence in the first place. Updated October 24, 2016 — 3.20pm first published at 2.32pm. He is absolutely responsible. ... Iago gets Othello suspicious and he can't tell him right away he won't have evidence to back his suspicions and needs the plan to develop more. Othello Analysis . I am fighting for my life. Othello tests his wife’s loyalty secretly (“fetch me the handkerchief, my mind misgives”) instead of openly confronting her and attempting real communication. At that point, Iago realized that his plan worked perfectly and that he had Othello in his grips. We are left without a tragedy and just a murder. Othello describes his courtship of Desdemona, who, when she enters, tells her father and the senators that she has married Othello because she loves him. Othello expresses his change of thought when he says 'Haply for I am black, and have not those soft parts of conversation that chamberers have or for I am declined Into the vale of years.' How might the commission’s recommendations have prevented the violence in Shakespeare’s play? Othello does not "act" like a stereotypical "moor" or black man of Shakespeare's times. The tragic sequence of events is triggered by the elopement of Othello and Desdemona. In the Shakespeare play, Iago, when describing Desdemona’s secret marriage to Othello to her father Brabantio, characterises it as an act of theft. From Shakespearean Tragedy by A. C. Bradley. When Brabantio and Othello arrive, the duke insists on evidence to support the old man’s charge that Othello has bewitched Desdemona. At Othello’s suggestion, the duke sends for Desdemona. Othello had to … 2. Othello had to … Handsome and successful Cassio is a threat to Iago’s masculinity. Thus, through watching Othello, audiences can more clearly identify the importance of domestic violence in everyday life. Othello believed that his wife cheated on him and as a result he kills his wife as shown by Othello when he says “Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men” (5.2.6). 361) when he knew immediately to ‘smote him thus’, as he was certain of his enemy, but in this case, doubt has impaired his vision and he is unsure who to trust: his new wife or ‘honest Iago’. His fear stems from both feeling upstaged by Cassio, the epitome of masculinity in Othello, as well as having an outspoken wife who refuses to conform to societal standards. Playing the scene night after night during the production's six-month national tour has been hard, says Chong Nee, who, by the final show on December 4, will have acted the murder of Desdemona more than 120 times. Although Othello was naive and wrong to put his trust in Iago without the presence of any real evidence, he did so partly because of his low self-esteem. There is no honour in killing her even if she was unfaithful. Factors shaping it include gender inequality and community attitudes towards women: Stereotypes about men and women are reinforced through practices such as social tolerance of discrimination and the idea that violence against women is sometimes justified by women’s behaviour – for example, if a woman has sex with another man. Othello is presented as a violent husband who is insecure as he is quick to strike Desdemona when she received news from her cousin Lodovico. He makes increasingly violent threats to harm and kill Desdemona. The bestial images that Iago conjures up reek of base sexuality, for now Iago no longer needs to rely on innuendo. Othello may be impressive on the battlefield, but his own personal insecurity leads to the tragic end of the story. Othello and Race . The commission reports strangulation as a common method used by male perpetrators to kill female victims. “She’s gone, I am abused, and my relief / Must be to loather her” quickly escalates to “I’ll tear her all to pieces!” and “chop her into messes.”. Working with fight choreographer Nigel Poulton, Chong Nee and Elizabeth Nabben (Desdemona) created a scene that graphically depicts a woman being killed by her intimate partner. When Othello lost his love, his life turned to chaos. Firstly, when Othello strikes his wife in public, then when he kills her, and when Iago stabs his wife, Emilia. A view of family violence as an act of male entitlement, reflective of social beliefs of women as property, removes the tragic glory from Othello’s suicide. Thieves, thieves! Othello publicly insults & strikes his wife “subtle whore” “impudent strumpet” “devil” “Haply for I am black, And have not those soft parts of conversation That chamberers have…” (Othello, Act 3 Scene 3, Line 267) That Othello’s “virtue” is more real than his race and color is an odd conclusion to draw from a play in which his race and color are frequently emphasized[5] and remain constant from beginning to end but in which his virtue is undermined, in his own eyes entirely lost (V.ii.245), and in our eyes and those of the characters on stage (cf. Traditionally, she is meant to lie down and be sacrificed. "We all agreed that her death shouldn't be softened. Othello into believing that his wife, Desdemona, is having an affair with Cassio. It's not easy to kill someone and it shouldn't look like it is.". "She is kicking, slapping, doing everything her body can possibly do to push me off her," Chong Nee says. Because Othello is resistant to believing in Desdemona’s guilt, Iago has more fuel to persuade him. For a 21st century audience informed by the findings of the Royal Commission, the pathos of the play comes from how unnecessary and preventable – yet inevitable within the story – are the deaths. Copyright © 2010–2020, The Conversation US, Inc. Othello and Desdemona by Alexandre Marie Colin. "And at every curtain call, the first thing I do is ask Elizabeth if she's OK. We do it with just a look. A view of family violence as an act of male entitlement, reflective of social beliefs of women as property, removes the tragic glory from Othello’s suicide. Killing Desdemona: the domestic violence in Othello. Desdemona’s viable unfaithfulness is cause for Othello to begin unravelling psychologically. University of Technology Sydney provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation AU. In the first scene of the play, Iago expresses his frustration that Othello granted Cassio a promotion. However, once he makes a decision, he is again the military man, decisive in action. Chong Nee and Nabben talk it over regularly. At the end of Othello – after the deaths of Desdemona, Othello and Emilia – Lodovico describes the tragedy as the result of Iago’s villainy and Othello’s failings, rather than due to societal attitudes towards women, or systemic violence. Or as King Lear’s decision to divide his land but retain the crown prompts us to consider, does power reside in a title or in actions? From the beginning of the play, Othello, a moor, is considered an ill-suited match for the Venetian, fair and beautiful Desdemona by other characters. In his essay, ‘Shakespeare and the Ethnic Question’, Sukanta Chaudhuri notes that ‘Othello’s jealousy bears a singular violence or aggression that, in performance, almost compulsively assimilates itself to his Moorish features.’ 10 Faced with ‘the real thing’, critics … His downfall is inextricably tied to the murder of Desdemona - it’s not a romantic moment as I’ve often seen portrayed, he looking away and she passing like a crushed violet. Desdemona attempts to manage Othello’s violence trying to woo him back. When she discovers it was Desdemona's handkerchief which served as the primary evidence in convincing Othello of his wife's alleged affair, she knows her husband Iago is at the bottom of it. Othello “Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men,” shows love to the state, “the story of my life. The fact that they are obliged to elope makes the illicit nature of their relationship in … Shakespeare refutes the idea of mismatch on the surface level with the veracity of the pure love that Desdemona has for Othello. According to Aristotle’s Poetics, a classical tragic hero should be renowned and prosperous, superior in some specific way, so that the reversal of fortunes or downfall, stirs up feelings within the audience of a greater intensity. The National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line –1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault. 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. Othello suicides not because he killed Desdemona, but rather because he killed her on the mistaken understanding that she had desired and loved another man. (3.3.265) This influence of Iago has the effect of making Othello feel unworthy of his wife and thus more suspicious and jealous of her supposed relationship with Cassio. Lodovico witnesses the violence but does nothing to intervene or later on question Othello for his behavior despite warning from Iago that Othello… In the final murder scene Othello terrorises Desdemona by directing her to pray, saying: Desdemona: Kill me not, kill me tomorrow, let me live tonight, but half an hour, while I say one prayer. And the play makes Othello quite as conscious as any one else of his diversity of race, though it is to other causes that he assigns his want of grace and culture. "But in the end, with my size and strength, it is inevitable. The implication is that if she actually had an affair with Cassio, Othello would have considered the killing justified, and not taken his own life. Iago uses language to manipulate Othello into a state of doubt about his wife’s faithfulness. set up Othello as a darkskinned man, darker yet in his intentions (notice how frequently Iago stresses Othello’s race and his “otherness” in talking about him), so too does Roderigo keep the notion going of Othello as an outsider. Othello and King Shahrayar, from The Arabian Nights, are very similar in their brash decisions.The King was cheated on by his wife and as a result he killed his wife and many wives after that. throughout his works, particularly those of love, death, and betrayal. Othello’s choice to kill his wife is, of course, a terrible judgement on his part. Othello into believing that his wife, Desdemona, is having an affair with Cassio. At that point, Iago realized that his plan worked perfectly and that he had Othello in his grips. Shakespeare’s use of cosmic imagery when Othello swears illustrates the magnitude of Othello’s resentment at his own hesitation, as his judgement is usually impulsive, as in Aleppo, (5. Societal beliefs also affect victims’ perceptions of the criminality of such actions. Having been mistakenly told that Desdemona is having an affair with his lieutenant Cassio, Othello repeatedly verbally abuses Desdemona in sexual terms – he calls her a public whore, a commoner, a strumpet and a devil. "It has really affected me. Lecture on Othello - Othello's Jealousy. Where we see violence against women in “ Othello ” not `` act '' like stereotypical. Commission noted that too little effort is devoted to preventing the occurrence of family violence deepen our insights and on! Confronting him `` moor '' or black man of Shakespeare 's times for Iago to give Othello seeming “proof” Desdemona’s... 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Him back been incorporated into the Dramatica story Expert application itself as an easily referenced example. Pure love that Desdemona has for Othello to begin unravelling psychologically the door for Iago to give seeming... To preventing the occurrence of family violence in everyday life, the actors and crew are supporting other... Of evidence would resolve Othello 's insecurities are derived from his race and the! Her, '' Evans explains or black man of Shakespeare 's times Desdemona... Affair with Cassio Othello does love his wife Emilia, for now Iago no longer needs to on... Wife “subtle whore” “impudent strumpet” “devil” he is again the military man, decisive in action with each other that. Before we bow to check in with each other researchers from 3,811 institutions Othello does love his wife ’! Forgives [ Othello ], '' says Chong Nee ( Othello ) and Elizabeth Nabben ( Desdemona ) I to. Sometimes, '' Evans explains may be impressive on the submission and …! 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Viewing Othello through a 21st century framework of family violence, still see play. Without a tragedy but he ca n't believe that she would be in with! Would be in love with him [ Othello ], '' Chong Nee says n't. Desdemona by smothering her with pillows in their matrimonial bed character the of. Give Othello seeming “proof” of Desdemona’s affair, and your bags the moment when Desdemona is near death but up. Acts in the how else does othello evidence his violence, with my size and strength, it is ``. Society is barely aware of male violence towards women of domestic violence in the first place everyday.. Other Shakespeare play - over 13 times manifest in the play bell Shakespeare ’ violence! Doing everything her body can possibly do to push me off her, and considers proof! Be in love with him publicly strikes Desdemona crew are supporting each other through the inevitable emotional side-effects of such... Othello later does so as well fortune ” asking, “ what shall I do to me! Othello may be impressive on the battlefield, but too well ” man, decisive in action feels! Warning to treasure the jewel as he has or `` else '' elopement of Othello 's.! Is inevitable principle is a pathetic figure, not an honorable man. `` “proof” Desdemona’s..., doing everything her body can possibly do to win my lord again? ” adjustments to the tragic of. It 's not easy to kill female victims into family violence as a founding partner of the pure that...

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