Tragedy of Othello Essay

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On the other hand, Cyprus is considered more of a place where lawlessness is prominent and chaos and violence is found.

In Othello's revenge, the major focus is placed on Cyprus and there is no sign of Venice in the play. Due to this reason, the theme of death, violence and chaos is highlighted from the start until the end of the play. The play even opens with four dead bodies in white cloth. This in turn shows that this version of the play is formatted in such a way that the characters are impacted psychologically. In other words, the violence and chaos makes a negative psychological impact on the characters. With the red lighting and characters appearing in bathing suits, Cyprus is shown to be a very exotic and a libidal place. Similarly, the characters in the heat of their environment are inclined towards extreme acts that cause havoc and unrest in the area.

Overall, it is seen that the differences in Venice and Cyprus come out very prominently in both the versions of the play. Othello's character shows his boldness in the way he challenges his treatment and his position in Venice. Othello goes on to undermine the conception of Venice as the epitome of freedom, justice and civilization.

"You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus. Goats and monkeys!" (Shakespeare, Othello Act 4 Scene 1 Line no 263)

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. These dialogues quite clearly sum up the conflict that is present between Cyprus and Venice. The absence of this line Othellos therefore eradicates all the complications and tensions that were present between the two areas originally. It could be seen that this was done so to go along with the celebratory context of the production. This line does insult Cyprus and people who are living there. Contrastingly, Othellos went onto show Cyprus as more of a love-filled site. It constantly referred to it as the "island of the eros."

Function of Race

Essay on Tragedy of Othello Assignment

Another thing that was different in both of these productions was the function of race. In Othello's, racism and Othello's blackness is highlighted. However, in Thoc's production, the referring to Othello is more culture specific as oppose to being race specific. Many a times, this use of race specific words have provided a very negative and a disgraceful meaning to the actor. It has been stated that there is increased emphasis on the main character's blackness because the producer wanted to affirm the color of the actor's skin. The Cypriot actor who actually did impersonate Othello was not blackened up sufficiently. Therefore, many think that the increased emphasis was to bring out the blackness of the actor. In addition, it appears that this production rejected the early modern stage practice of having a white actor in a role that demands for a dark skinned person.

In Thoc's production, the dialogue itself also offers another crucial racial dimension to the audience. In the original play, Lago's speech goes on to make the audience privy to the images he thinks of when referring to interracial couple having sex. In this production, the images appear even more farfetched and demeaning. The audience is therefore repelled even more to Lago mainly because of the way he is referring to the other characters.

On the other hand, Othello's revenge is much milder when it comes to race and its cover in the play. Even though the role of Othello is played by a dark skinned person, the word "black" is not really used. Due to this reason, we see that the pornographic and the racial epithets used by Lago in the original text is no present in this version. Lago's character is fueled more by the hurt and the injustice that he felt when he was not chosen by Othello. His vengeance is prompted more when Cassio is chosen and Lago then feels furious to act against Othello. Therefore it is seen that he is not portrayed as a very negative person in this play. He is shown as a more honest man who really worships Othello. Because of how honest and loyal Lago is, the producer truly brings out the essence of how hurt he must have been when Cassio was chosen instead of him.


Overall, it is seen that these different versions of the play Othello are accompanied by a varied set of assumptions. They engage the actors in dialogues and establish ideas that are relevant to the concerned theatrical performance of the play. The notion of race is complicated by both versions of the play in which one is omitted linguistically and the other by not having a blackface right from the start. Thoc's productions challenges the gender stabilization of the play by giving the role of Lago to a female There is a very complicated intertextuality present between both versions of the play. The Cyprus version of the play presents the country in not a very demeaning way. However it does give rise to discomfort by showing that injustice or unfair treatment prevailed in the play. The fact that the performance staged In Germany removes Venice and the play staged in Cyprus kept both Cyprus and Venice also brings out relevant cultural emphasis. Both the revisionings provide very bold statements that have been brought out for the local and cultural… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Tragedy of Othello" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Tragedy of Othello.  (2014, May 15).  Retrieved October 1, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Tragedy of Othello."  15 May 2014.  Web.  1 October 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Tragedy of Othello."  May 15, 2014.  Accessed October 1, 2020.