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Word Count: 1,437
Shakespeares tragedy Othello has been brought to the stage hundreds thousands of times with many different interpretations and readings due to its vast history of literary debate and analysis Its thematic concerns are expansive and open to interpretation they range from tragedy love power jealousy trust class and race and the actions of its characters often provoke controversy and harsh criticism from Othellos fatal flaw of envy to Desdemonas trivial persistence and Iagos sinister and deadly plotting Modern audiences too have certain expectations and ideas about the play and it is vital when producing a play like Othello to take these expectations into consideration For these reasons I am proposing two potential readings or interpretations of the play a feminist reading and a reading based on the themes of class and power FEMINIST READING A feminist reading would give voice to the plays three female characters Desdemona Emilia and Bianca the plays only female survivor provoking sympathy within the audience for them and portraying them as the true victims of the avoidable tragedy A feminist reading stems from the fact that in Shakespeares times women whether married or not fell roughly into two categories that of a fair innocent and virgin or a cuckolding whore A feminist reading also recognises that it is the mens deplorable attitudes in regard to women and gender that in part caused the tragedy for instance Othellos response to Emilia insistence that Desdemona is honest She says enough yet shes a simple bawdThat cannot say as much Act 4 Sc 2 The three focus scenes here are Act 1 Scene 3 Act 4 Scene 3 and Act 5 Scene 2 Attention must also be paid to Bianca who plays an unknowing role in Othellos jealousy She receives Desdemonas handkerchief from Cassio and gives it back to him when she discovers it is another womans Her outburst at Cassio gives the on looking Othello what he thinks is proof of
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