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5 Major Themes in Othello

5 Major Themes in Othello

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  1. Othello by Shakespeare is interwoven with various themes that make the text more interesting and. Shakespeare has skilfully employed these themes that provide a strong structure and base to the story.


    Adultery is an underlying theme throughout the story. The female protagonist of the play is wrongly accused of committing adultery. She receives cruel treatment from Othello, her husband and her character is put under suspicion from the very beginning of the story.


    Othello is one of the most initial black heroes. He rises to power in a white people dominated society and ultimately gets caught in a web created by their trickeries. Othello is treated in a condescending manner by his wife’s father who believes that such a racially different marriage can only be a result of witchcraft and trickery.


    Antagonistic treatment of women highlights the gender biased society of that time. A woman like Desdemona is entirely helpless irrespective of her numerous efforts to prove her innocence. Women are treated with cruelty and hostility throughout the story.


    This is the most major theme of the story as the play revolves around the manipulation of almost all character of the story. Othello is manipulated to the extent of killing his own wife. Rodrigo, too, falls victim to manipulation. Secondary characters like Emilia are also influenced to contribute to the tragic ending of the story.


    Theme of Jealousy also plays an important role in the play. Rodrigo, who wanted to marry Desdemona, gets jealous of Othello and desires to kill Othello. Iago is also angry with Othello because he has promoted Cassio above him and he is jealous of it. Othello becomes jealous of Cassio when he mistakes him to be in affair with his wife.

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