Monday, September 2, 2019

Othello, the Image Machine Essay -- Othello essays

Othello, the Image Machine  Ã‚        Ã‚  Ã‚   Shakespeare’s drama Othello presents a full panoply of diverse imagery that cannot be described briefly. Let’s spend some attention on this subject which has so many examples in the play.    Alvin Kernan’s â€Å"Othello: an Introduction† explains how the â€Å"symbolic geography† imagery of the play create a particular image of space and time:    We can begin to see this pattern in the â€Å"symbolic geography† of the play. Every play, or work of art, creates its own particular image of space and time, its own symbolic world. The outer limits of the world of Othello are defined by the Turks – the infidels,   the unbelievers, the â€Å"general enemy† as the play calls them – who, just over the horizon, sail back and forth trying to confuse and trick the Christians in order to invade their dominions and destroy them. Out beyond the horizon, reported but unseen, are also those â€Å"anters vast and deserts idle† of which Othello speaks. Out there is a land of â€Å"rough quarries, rocks and hills whose heads touch heaven† inhabited by â€Å"cannibals that each other eat† and monstrous forms of men â€Å"whose heads grow beneath their shoulders.† (76-77)    There is no shortage of imagery in the play; this is for certain. Critic Caroline Spurgeon in â€Å"Shakespeare’s Imagery and What it Tells Us† sorts through the plethora of imagery in the play:    The main image in Othello is that of animals in action, preying upon one another, mischievous, lascivious, cruel or suffering, and through these, the general sense of pain and unpleasantness is much increased and kept constantly before us. More than half the animal images in the play are Iago’s, and all these are contemptuous or repellent: a plague of flies, a qua... ...ore Evans. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1974.    Kernan, Alvin. â€Å"Othello: and Introduction.† Shakespeare: The Tragedies. Ed. Alfred Harbage. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1964.    Mack, Maynard. Everybody’s Shakespeare: Reflections Chiefly on the Tragedies. Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press, 1993.    Muir, Kenneth. Introduction. William Shakespeare: Othello. New York: Penguin Books, 1968.    Shakespeare, William. Othello. In The Electric Shakespeare. Princeton University. 1996. No line nos.    Spurgeon, Caroline. â€Å"Shakespeare’s Imagery and What it Tells Us.† Shakespearean Tragedy. Ed. D. F. Bratchell. New York: Routledge, 1990.    Wilson, H. S. On the Design of Shakespearean Tragedy. Canada: University of Toronto Press, 1957.      

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