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The Shakesperean Essay type questions on othello is impressed, as a whole, with an unmistakable joy in healthy living. This tells habitually as a pervading spirit, a contagious temper, not as a creed put forward, or an example set up.
It is as Essay type questions on othello in the presentment of Falstaff or lago, as of Horatio or Imogen. And nowhere is it clearer than in his handling of the relations between men and women.
For here Shakespeare's preferences and repugnances are unusually transparent; what pleased him in the ways of lovers and wedded folks he drew again and again, and what repelled him he rarely and only for special reasons drew at all.
Criminal love, of any kind, holds a quite subordinate place in his art; and, on the other hand, if ideal figures are to be found there, it is among his devoted, passionate, but arch and joyous women.
It is thus possible to lay down a Shakesperean norm or ideal type of love-relations. It is most distinct in the mature Comedies, where he is shaping his image of life with serene freedom; but also in the Tragedies, where a Portia or a Desdemona innocently perishes in the web of death.
Even in the Histories it occasionally asserts itself as in Richard II's devoted queen, historically a mere child against the stress of recorded fact. In the earlier Comedies it is approached through various stages of erratic or imperfect forms. And both in Comedy and Tragedy he makes use, though not largely, of other than the 'normal' love for definitely comic or tragic ends.
The present study will follow the plan thus indicated. The first section defines the 'norm. The third traces the gradual approach to the norm in the early Comedies. The fourth and fifth sections, finally, discuss the treatment, in Comedy and Tragedy, of Love-types other than the norm.
The Shakesperean norm of love, 1 thus understood, may be described somewhat as follows. Love is a passion, kindling heart, brain, and senses alike in natural and happy proportions; ardent but not sensual, tender but not sentimental, pure but not ascetic, moral but not puritanic, joyous but not frivolous, mirthful and witty but not cynical.
His lovers look forward to marriage as a matter of course, and they neither anticipate its rights nor turn their affections elsewhere. They commonly love at first sight and once for all.
Love-relations which do not contemplate marriage occur rarely and in subordination to other dramatic purposes. Tragedy like that of Gretchen does not attract him. Romeo's amour with Rosalind is a mere foil to his greater passion, Cassio's with Bianca merely a mesh in the network of lago's intrigue; Claudio's with Juliet is the indispensable condition of the plot.
The course of love rarely runs smooth; but rival suitors proposed by parents are quietly resisted or merrily abused, never, even by the gentlest, accepted.
Crude young girls like Hermia, delicate-minded women like Desdemona and Imogen, the rapturous Juliet and the homely Anne Page, the discreet Silvia and the naive Miranda, are all at one on this point. And they all carry the day. The dramatically powerful situations which arise from forced marriage -- as when Ford's Penthea The Broken Heart or Corneille's Chimene Le Cid is torn by the conflict between love and honour -- lie, like this conflict in general, outside Shakespeare's chosen field.
And with this security of possession his loving women combine a capacity for mirth and jest not usual in the dramatic representation of passion. Rosalind is more intimately Shakesperean than Juliet. Married life, as Shakespeare habitually represents it, is the counterpart, mutatis mutandis, of his representation of unmarried lovers.
His husbands and wives have less of youthful abandon; they rarely speak of love, and still more rarely with lyric ardour, or coruscations of poetic wit.
But they are no less true. The immense field of dramatic motives based upon infringements of marriage, so fertile in the hands of his successors, and in most other schools of drama, did not attract Shakespeare, and he touched it only occasionally and for particular purposes.
Heroines like Fletcher's Evadne A Maid's Tragedywho marries a nominal husband to screen her guilty relations with the King, or Webster's Vittoria Corombona The White Devilwho conspires with her lover to murder her husband, or Chapman's Tamyra Bussy d'Amboiswhose husband kills her lover in her chamber; even Hey wood's erring wife, whom her husband elects to 'kill with kindness,' are definitely un-Shakesperean.
II The norm of love lent itself both to comic and to tragic situation, but only within somewhat narrow limits. The richness, depth and constancy of the passion precluded a whole world of comic effects. It precluded the comedy of the coquette and the prude, of the affected gallant and the cynical roue, of the calf-lover and the doting husband; the comedy of the fantastic tricks played by love under the obsession of pride, self-interest, meticulous scruple, or superstition.
Into this field Shakespeare made brilliant incursions, but it hardly engaged his rarest powers, and to large parts of it his 'universal' genius remained strange. We have only to recall, among a crowd of other examples, Moreto's Diana El Desden con el DesdenMoliere's Alceste and Celimene, Congreve's Millamant, in Shakespeare's century; or, in the modern novel, a long line of figures from Jane Austen to The Egoist and Ibsen's Love's Comedy to recognize that Shakespeare, with all the beauty, wit and charm of his work, touched only the fringes of the Comedy of love.
The normal love, not being itself ridiculous, could thus yield material for the comic spirit only through some fact or situation external to it. It may be brought before us only in ludicrous parody. We laugh at the 'true love' of Pyramus and Thisbe in the 'tedious brief' play of the Athenian artisans, or at that of Phoebe and Silvius, because Shakespeare is chaffing the literary pastoral of his day.
Hamlet's love, itself moving, even tragic, becomes a source of comedy in the solemn analysis of Polonius. Or again, the source of fun lies in the wit and humour of the lovers themselves. Some of them, like Rosalind and Beatrice, virtually create and sustain the wit-fraught atmosphere of the play single-handed.“Othello’s foolishness, rather than Iago’s cleverness, leads to the tragedy of Shakespeare’s Othello” () “ It is Othello’s egotism and lack of self-knowledge, and not Iago’s evil schemes, which ultimately bring about the tragedy at the end of the play “.
Othello: Essay Topics 1) Some have said that the focus of Othello is not the title character, as is the case with Shakespeare's other great tragedies, Macbeth, King Lear, and Hamlet.
Is Othello simply too one-dimensional to be considered a great tragic hero?
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Sample essay questions on Othello. 1. In another play by Shakespeare a tragic hero described himself as ‘more sinned against than sinning.’ In your opinion, could this also be true of Othello?
In the course of your answer: Explain clearly in what ways Othello might seem to be a victim;. In what way is Othello's race relevant to the events of the play?; Compare and contrast Desdemona and Emilia's views on love, sex, marriage, and men.
Do either Desdemona or Emilia change their viewpoints as a result of their conversations with each other?