Uploaded by Alayzia Wade

Essay 2016

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Alayzia Wade
Mr. Reyes
English 12
10 March 2016
William Shakespeare is known for being one of the best playwrights of all time. He used
his creativity and knowledge to form words that we use in modern language today. Most admired
literature, art, or music are usually inspired, sampled and made into something different.
Shakespeare rewrote Cinthio’s Tale using the same characters but added a twist on the plot and
background. Both of these stories had very similar issues with gender roles, Class issues, and
Shakespeare’s Othello and Cinthio’s Tale both emphasize that the male characters
in the story are superior. However in Cinthio’s Tale the Moor seemed more masculine than
Othello because he didn’t lose his temper to the accusations that the Ensign made about the
affair. Gender roles for men dictate that real men always maintain complete self-control no
matter the situation. Once the Ensign began manipulating the Moor, he started to treat
Disdemona coldly. She attempted to desperately ask the Moor why he seemed so discouraged.
He kept his composure until the very end where he and the Ensign murdered Disedemona. She
questioned the Moor,” What is the matter? What troubles? How comes it that you, who were the
most light hearted man in the world, are now so melancholy?” (pg3). Cinthio’s Tale goes on to
explain that “The Moor feigned various reasons in reply to his wife’s questioning” (pg3). In
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Shakespeare’s version Othello was portrayed as less masculine because of how childish he acted
towards Desdemona. Iago made Othello anxious about a possible affair between Cassio and
Desdemona. Othello began to overthink the whole situation which quickly led to issue
escalating. Which real men aren’t suppose do according to gender roles.
Disdemona and Desdemona have different obvious feelings towards the protagonist.
Since the protagonist is black living in predominately white society, he might feel insecure about
himself. Though the Moor is well respected in the Venetian society he will never be fully
accepted because of his race. In Cinthio’s Tale the Moor angrily confronted Disdemona about
being so persistent on the Corporal receiving his job back. Even though Disdemona answered
without feeling intimidated, she did harshly stereotype his sudden behavior. Disdemona replies
This Corporal has been to you;
Nor has he done so grave a fault
That you should bear him so much enmity.
Nay, but you Moors are of so hot a nature
that every little trifle moves you to anger and revenge (Shakespeare pg3).
Disdemona is in love with the Moor, but she is ignorant. She has this negative stereotype about
him lingering in the back of her head. The Moors sudden change in behavior confirms her
doubts about her interracial relationship. Desdemona appears to be passionate about her marriage
with Othello. She truly admires his bravery and hardships he overcame in his life. In Act 1
Othello is confronted by Barbantio, Desdemona’s father about their secret marriage. Barbantio
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accuses Othello of using witch craft upon his daughter because she could never get involved with
a moor. Desdemona enters the scene and explains that she is married to Othello. She explains her
fondness towards him to her bitter father, after hearing the truth. Desdemona says passionately,
“That I love the Moor to with him my downright violence and storm of fortunes may trumpet to
the world” (Shakespeare 1.3.283-285). Desdemona clearly does not care about the color of
Othello’s skin. She values his character more than anything. Desdemona even kept their
marriage a secret from her own father. Being that Othello isn’t a part of the dominant group; she
understands that he is not accustomed to Venetian culture.