The Role Of Love In Shakespeare's Othello

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Shakespeare has a tendency to analyze that “The course of true love never did run smooth”(A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Act 1, Scene 2). In Othello, William Shakespeare explores a tragic love that is caught in rumors and judgment. His play has been adapted into films, plays, and stories such as Djanet Sears’ 1990s adaptation, Harlem Duet. Sears explores Othello’s desire to protect himself in his romantic relationship through the voice of his first wife Billie. Shakespeare’s and Sears’ Othello are motivated to love for different reasons. The character’s actions and dialect emphasize the frustrating moments in his relationship to give an image of what is most important in his life: love or fitting in with social norms. Within the rich field …show more content…
Telling the story of Othello’s first wife, Billie, he confesses his love for a new woman, Mona. Opening the play, Othello is asked by “her” (Billie) if he loves Mona. He finally admits after being asked, “Does she make your thoughts and dreams/and sighs, wishes and tears, ache sweet as you/can bear? He: Yes… ”(Sears 290). By focusing more on how others perceive his relationship, he does not have any time to be romantic. Othello’s role is described in Paul Friswold’s Harlem Duet: What We Talk about When We Talk about Interracial Love as one who “is no one-dimensional villain abandoning his wife. Intelligent and self-aware, he's also conflicted about what he's doing to Billie”(Friswold 5). Although Othello is not a cold-hearted character, he is focused too much on how everyone perceives him, instead of caring about how he feels in his relationships. This change of focus, subsequently, alters the way people read the original by Shakespeare. With subtle references to race, it makes it difficult to react to more racially abrupt scenes. Othello has overwhelmed himself with making it clear that he has someone to love. After telling Billie of his recent proposal to Mona he is arguing with Billie about why he ended the relationship. “I didn't mean - what I said. You know that. I just… Things change, Billie. I am not my skin. My skin is not me”(Sears 305). In the adaptation, Othello is much more engulfed in his identity more than his relationship. Sears has race played a prominent role in how Othello sees himself in

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