Analysis Of George Orwell 's ' Othello ' Essay

1120 Words Nov 26th, 2016 5 Pages
All-Seeing System

Gambling, political dissidence, and economy may not seem to have much in common at first, but all of them have a key goal of “beating the system”. Michel Foucault presents a method of discipline that attempts to destroy an individual’s likelihood of going against government rulings: panopticism. Panopticism depends on the idea that a prisoner or subject is potentially under constant scrutiny and will not act while being observed. In William Shakespeare’s Othello, the main character, Othello, accuses his wife of disloyalty while under scrutiny by his friends and his enemies. Similarly, 1984, by George Orwell, explores a dystopia where the Oceanic government has the capability to see almost every action from its constituents and the life of Winston, one of the government’s citizens. Occurring in two immensely different settings, both novels use the notion of surveillance to manipulate behaviour. In Winston’s case, he believes that he can evade surveillance, and in Othello’s case, he believes that the power of surveillance is enough to keep a check on the surveyed. Regardless of their initial position, both of these characters begin with an assumption of their surveillance that later condemns them.

In Othello, Othello uses surveillance to justify his judgement on reputation while Iago, his ancient, uses the same system of permeating overwatch to sabotage his commander. The power of supervision that Othello relies on initially maintains his…

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