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. 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. As a public leader, Othello experiences delight and success … Finally, we reach the conclusion of the play and the abuse. Theater, as a visual art, has the unique ability to make audiences face realities they may never face. Audiences walk away with an idea of what domestic violence really looks like. Theater, as a visual art, has the unique ability to make audiences face realities they may never face. It is the reason Desdemona takes the blame and hopes to fix their problems. It’s not until he realizes he was wrong that he shows any sort of remorse. 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). “Othello and Domestic Violence.” Vanderbilt University. The story revolves around its two central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army, and his treacherous ensign, Iago. 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. However, the audience also understands Iago’s words in another light. In this reading, Othello returns to a barbarous state under pressure: lacking other means of persuasion he resorts to wanton violence and savage cruelty. Domestic Violence in Othello on YP.com. Othello, a distinguished warrior in Venice, was always geared up to defend his people from any external threat. Shakespeare can and does spark conversation about modern issues, and that is what makes his writing so special. 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. This tragic play shows how jealousy and envy can overpower a person's mind and lead them to wreak havoc on others. This tragic play shows how jealousy and envy can overpower a person’s … They walk away with a deeper understanding. “Abuse Defined.” 2020. https://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/. Shakespeare can and does spark conversation about modern issues, and that is what makes his writing so special. “Killing Desdemona: the domestic violence in Othello.” The Sydney Morning Herald. 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. Only Iago voices an explicitly stereotypical view of Othello, depicting him from the … Beyond that though, we see the accurate representation of an abuse victim in Desdemona. As a matter of fact, the story mainly revolves round the theme … This tragic play shows how jealousy and envy can overpower a person's mind and lead them to wreak havoc on others. Vandy Performs. Even then, he feels that, had she been guilty, he would have been justified. Not only does this story give many different examples of violence, it displays how mental violence can promote physical … Violence can be expressed physically, mentally, and verbally. Has a production of Othello impacted you? Having accurate portrayals of abuse forces the audience to confront the reality of domestic violence, furthering the conversation and, hopefully, advocacy. 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. 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 being African already makes him an outsider and highlights racism in Venice. Iago does not believe Emilia. 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. Theatre allows us to do that. 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. See reviews, photos, directions, phone numbers and more for the best Domestic Violence Attorneys in Othello, WA. TW: emotional abuse, physical abuse, and murder. Dec. 2, 2020. 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 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. Violence can be expressed physically, mentally, and verbally. In Act 4 Scene 1 Othello publicly hit Desdemona (Shepherd, 2016; Nadelhaft, 1984). Why your go-to-market strategy should be industry focused; Dec. 1, 2020. Firstly, when Othello strikes his wife in public, then when he kills her, and when Iago stabs his wife, Emilia. Prezi Video + Unsplash: Access over two million images to tell your story through video 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. They love each other completely, have no disagreements, and refuse to be separated. There are three key points where we see violence against women in “Othello”. However, the abuse has to start somewhere and that is typically with emotional abuse and/or threats. National Domestic Violence Hotline. 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. The play holds many elements of what justifies it to be revolving around characters who are middle class, engaged in their private life affairs. Blake, Elissa. 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. There are three key points where we see violence against women in “ Othello ”. “Domestic Violence and Abuse.” 2019. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/domestic-violence-and-abuse.htm, National Domestic Violence Hotline. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! 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. “Solely reading about domestic violence may not enrage readers to the point of actually mobilizing for change,” but. October 24, 2016. https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/theatre/killing-desdemona-the-domestic-violence-in-othello-20161024-gs98kg.html. “Domestic Violence and Abuse.” 2019. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/domestic-violence-and-abuse.htm. Desdemona attempts to defend herself, escape, and beg for her life. Iago is the character who shows least signs of loyalty in the play. Firstly, when Othello strikes his wife in public, then when he kills her, and when Iago stabs his wife, Emilia. Violence can be expressed physically, mentally, and verbally. 17, How to Think Like Shakespeare | Book Review. Desdemona’s death can be played in an ultra-realistic way, so as to provide the audience with a glimpse of true violence. Sound off in the comments! Iago is Othello's ensign. “Killing Desdemona: the domestic violence in Othello.” The Sydney Morning Herald. 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. It makes sense because of our current societal discourse and because Othello provides a great look into what abuse looks like … And the final scenes of the play are conspicuously shocking: Othello … But Iago’s plan works and he makes Othello love, thank, and … 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. For me, many of the violent scenes were finally brought into reality at the performance.” (Vandy Performs). “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. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. What do you think? However, he does not tell her what she did wrong. 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. “Amid a Reckoning with Toxic Masculinity, Seeing ‘Othello’ In A New Light.” WBUR. This moment in the play represents a turning point in the abuse. 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. 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. 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 Othello is the main character in the play Othello by William Shakespeare. While patrons liked a good comedy, they consistently packed the theatres to see the newest foray into treachery, debauchery, and murder. 310-311). Othello was married to Desdemona, the … “Amid a Reckoning with Toxic Masculinity, Seeing ‘Othello’ In A New Light.” WBUR. HelpGuide.org. Othello goes from threats to physical violence, and he does it in front of others, including the audience. Abusive relationships typically start out blissfully and that is why abuse victims often feel a sense of commitment to the relationship. She blames herself, believes she can fix the situation, and is always on eggshells. 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. 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. Violence in Othello. “Othello and Domestic Violence.” Vanderbilt University. But Iago’s plan works and he makes Othello love, thank, and … At first, the marriage seems picture perfect (National Domestic Violence Hotline). Scenes of bloodshed were staged with maximum realism. Violence in Shakespeare: Suicide, Murder, and Combat in Shakespeare's Plays Introduction Elizabethan and Jacobean audiences reveled in shocking drama. 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 … Sound off in the comments! 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). 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. 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. 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. He is a well-respected African general in the Venice army and is happily married to Desdemona, a white woman. This keeps her constantly on eggshells, another sign of abuse. Let’s begin with a closer look at the abuser, Othello. She hopes for the relationship they had before. Violence can be expressed physically, mentally, and verbally. Many characters in "Othello" are either trustworthy or trusting but few possess both of these desirable qualities. Domestic Violence in Othello. The best quotes from Othello by William Shakespeare - organized by theme, including book location and character - with an explanation to help you understand! In saying this to line Emilia, Iago clearly means that Desdemona’s alleged adultery has led to violence. Theatre allows us to do that. 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). Othello cannot stand uncertainty; it drives him to destroy his sanity. 310-311). Blake, Elissa. February 8, 2019. https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2019/02/08/art-othello-in-the-me-too-era-leigh-gilmore, HelpGuide.org. This tragic play shows how jealousy and envy can overpower a person’s mind and lead them to wreak havoc on others. Shakespeare’s Othello to a large extent comes close to what is known as a Domestic Tragedy. 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. 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. If so, how? This tragic play shows how jealousy and envy can overpower a person's mind and lead them to wreak havoc on others. Violence in Othello In William Shakespeare's Othello violence can be found in several different ways. Shakespeare shows us that Iago is dishonest and disloyal in the most blatant of ways. 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. This moment can be one of realization for the audience, as seen in the 2016 production at Vanderbilt University. 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. 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. Domestic abuse often intensified from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence (Smith & Segal, 2017). 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. Violence in Othello In William Shakespeare's Othello violence can be found in several different ways. Othello pretty quickly becomes convinced that Desdemona has been unfaithful and starts demeaning her publicly. Violence can be expressed physically, mentally, and verbally. Domestic abuse often intensified from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence (Smith & Segal, 2017). 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. One blogger said “the sound of the actual slap pierced my ears and forced my mind to remember the scene long after the play. This was the direction chosen for the 2016 Bell Shakespeare production. February 8, 2019. https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2019/02/08/art-othello-in-the-me-too-era-leigh-gilmore. 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. The actor playing Othello, Ray Chong Nee, was quoted as saying “We all agreed that her death shouldn’t be softened. 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. Gilmore, Leigh. 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.). Othello is … Violence can be expressed physically, mentally, and verbally. 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. Iago states, “And practising upon his peace and quiet/ Even to madness” (II.1. This is not unusual in abusive situations. Introduction In the play “Othello, The Moor of Venice, by Shakespeare, there is a character known as Othello (Shakespeare 16). Revel in the Joy & Absurdity of Shakespeare, TW: emotional abuse, physical abuse, and murder. “Abuse Defined.” 2020. https://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/, Vandy Performs. (HelpGuide.org) Because she doesn’t know why he’s mad, she can’t possibly figure out what will set him off next. 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. Violence in Othello In William Shakespeare’s Othello violence can be found in several different ways. This is the last time we see Desdemona stand up to Othello before the final scene. 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. If so, how? 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