Comment on 10 of the following issues using short paragraph forms . Give textual evidence:
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- ‘Othello’ is a play of identities and conflicting ‘selves’.
- Audiences usually react with frustration and anger against Othello.
- Would Edward Said take Othello as an example for his talk about ‘orientalising the orient’? WHY?
- Do you agree with Coleridge’s claim that there is no ‘because’ about why Iago does what he does?
- How important is the issue of ‘otherness’ to the construction of the play?
- Othello comes from a story-shaped culture; he thinks and feels in stories.
- Othello’s culture can’t cope with both the European culture and Iago’s strategies.
- Othello is lost between a culture and a scientific culture.
- The speech that precedes his suicide is a tale that could woo almost anyone. It is the tension between Othello’s victimization at the hands of a foreign culture and his own willingness to torment himself that makes him a tragic figure rather than simply Iago’s ridiculous puppet.
- Critics and audiences alike find comfort and nobility in Othello’s final speech and the anecdote of the “malignant and . . . turbaned Turk” (V.ii.362), even though in that speech, as in his speech in Act III, scene iii, Othello depends on his identity as a soldier to glorify himself in the public’s memory,
- Why is ‘Othello’ Shakespeare’s most painful tragedy to watch?
- In ‘Othello’ we are pained by our inability to act. We know all the while that we who know enough to stop it, can’t.
- “If we laugh at Othello, are we endorsing the unaccountable evil of Iago?”
- “It is easy to feel sorry for Othello but almost impossible to admire him.” What do you make of this view?
- Describe the experience of the audience watching ‘Othello’. What theatrical resources/tools does Shakespeare employ to lead the audience to feel the way it does.
- Othello is not the kind of character who reflects on his experience. If he was, he’d have seen through the lies of Iago.
- The final speech is perhaps the most exotic speech of the play. What is it for? Is it a pathetic attempt to do the kind of thing that impressed Desdemona? Is it Othello being himself again, returning in imagination to the world he understands?
- In the final story, Othello is both the defender of Venice killing an enemy and, because he stabs himself, the enemy.
- Iago has more soliloquies than Othello
- Does Iago manage to take us into his confidence making us his passive accomplices?
- Why do some people share Iago’s viewpoints?
- why do some students admire Iago?
- Othello is so eloquent that it looks as if he is enjoying it.
- Is it easy to judge whether Othello is a hero or a fool, a noble or self-centred?