Othello Notes. Moors. The Moors were people with a different skin color. They may be Arab, African, etc., but the main thing to remember is that they are DIFFERENT. Moors.
The Moors were people with a different skin color.
They may be Arab, African, etc., but the main thing to remember is that they are DIFFERENT.
In the 1603 edition of his Epitome of the Theater of the World, a series of maps with commentaries, Abraham Ortelius describes 'Barabarie' and some of the characteristics of its inhabitants:
The people are generalye all tawney, moores, veryesturdye and stronge of bodye... They are very jealous of theyrwyves... and very hardlye can they forget any iniurye offered them... The countryeswaynes are better, more lovinge, and patiente, but so simple that they will beleeve any incredible fiction.
Shakespeare, and his audience, may have been well aware of such stereotypes.
It wasn’t racism as we know it today, it was exoticism. They viewed these people as different.
Black is a color that represents sin and darkness
Blackface was typically a evil character (not racism)
Having a title character who is a Moor was very unusual for the time period, especially since it’s a sympathetic character.
Sex capital of Europe
Women considered loose
Classically ordered city
Chaos has no place
The men in Othello have varying attitudes to women, from Othello, who idealizes Desdemona, to Iago, who sees love as "merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the will" (1.3.337).
Attitudes in Shakespeare's audience are likely to have been at least as varied.
There was a long and well-established tradition in the Church of what we now see as misogyny -- the distrust of women simply because they are women.
Not surprisingly, the literature of the period illustrates these attitudes, sometimes approvingly, sometimes critically.
* What was expected of a daughter?* What was expected of a bride?* What relationships between men and women were considered above reproach?
* What rules for getting married existed at the time of the play?It is generally considered foolish to marry for love, although love may occur in marriage.
Poor had more choice
Most people just marry friends and neighbors
Landowners choose people who have adjoining land
Wealthy may not meet until wedding day
Wives are the property of their husbands. See previous admonition.
Some women are more independent than others, and some fear marriage. However, every woman expects to be married, and to depend on her male relatives throughout her life.
Of course, not everyone is in a hurry to get married, but marriage means being in charge of your own home.
Women who would have been drawn to convent life in the old days no longer have that option, and must either marry or be a burden to their families.
Widows can own property and run their own businesses.
A widow is entitled to 1/3 of her husband's estates (after the bills are paid), if he has heirs. All of it if he does not. This "widow's third" is separate from and in addition to her jointure. It is still considered a good idea to re-marry to protect one's interests, however, and the interests of minor children.
In general, every man wants to marry too, or at least acknowledges that he must.
If he is not noble, he must be married to become the legal head of a household and eligible to hold public or ecclesiastical office and other positions of civic responsibility.
When he is widowed, a man also looks to remarry, especially if he has children. The traditional waiting period is called a month's mind. To marry again after a month is not considered hasty.
Divorce is actually more difficult to obtain you have to get an Act of Parliament! That's a lot more people to buy.