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Othello Essay

August 20th, 2009 No comments

Tragic dramas have been written and performed for many centuries and throughout this time, they have undergone an evolutionary process, with each successive era of tragic drama deriving directly or indirectly from its predecessors. Scholars believe that the play Othello by William Shakespeare was first published in 1603; approximately at the same time as Shakespeare’s other great tragedies Macbeth, Hamlet and King Lear. After careful analysis of each of these four great tragedies, we can conclude that Shakespeare has maintained a ‘template’ for tragedy throughout these works, more specifically a backbone plot to which he can add different characters and themes to create tragic dramas dealing with entirely different issues. By examining Shakespeare’s template for tragedy, we begin to notice similarities with past templates for tragedy, examples of which include the Aristotle, Seneca and Christian Morality templates. Each of which will be looked at in detail shortly to analyse how they have influenced the production of the play Othello. To relate Othello to the template for Shakespearean tragedy and other older forms of tragedy, firstly we must deconstruct Shakespeare’s template for tragedy and compare the characters and plot lines presented in Othello to those fitting the template. Subsequently we must decide to what extent its components are similar to those seen in other forms of tragedy and hence to what extent previous templates have influenced the creation of Shakespeare’s masterpieces. Read more…