How “Othello” Is Relevant to Modern Days
Othello is considered to be one of the most popular works of Shakespeare, and it has sufficient grounds to be such. Names of Othello, Iago and Desdemona have become common names long ago. The reason why people still read Othello is the eternal themes that are hidden in this tragedy. Shakespeare wrote about issues that are still relevant today. Even though people’s lives have changed in many aspects, people are able to relate to the problems in this play. The universal themes of betrayal, racism and jealousy show that the tragedy Othello explored the issues that are still seen in modern society.
Betrayal, which is a leading theme in the play, is relevant to today’s audiences. Othello is often considered as a tragedy of betrayed trust. Desdemona is an embodiment of honor, truth and nobility for Othello. However, later he finds out that she can lie to him with no shame and betray him. The theme of betrayal is always relevant. Since the ancient times, humanity has not found the answer how to prevent it and how to deal with it adequately. While people are still looking for the answers, Othello remains relevant to present times.
The theme of betrayal is closely related to the theme of jealousy that is still alive in society today. The Shakespeare’s play depicts the classic displays of love that can appeal to the timeless audience. As the plot uncovers, readers can recognize the attitudes and methods of the modern society. One can easily track the consequences of jealousy and revenge in Othello. The characters themselves become the classic heroes of the modern movies. In particular, Iago as a typical villain is one of the most popular characters in today’s movies. He strives for revenge and gaining self-profit that is one of the key morals of today. No wonder that he can be easily recognized as a relevant hero.
Another theme found in Othello is the theme of racism. Othello faces the prejudiced attitude because of his race during the whole story. Though he is the famous savior of Venice and honorable general, he is despised in his own republic. Being a man of a color, Othello experiences many difficulties. To name one, nobody believes that Desdemona can truly love him. Instead, everybody wonders what kind of magic he uses to make her love him. Unfortunately, racism still pervades contemporary society. This issue is very often seen in the media and politics. Though black people have many rights today, they are still treated as unequal by some men.
One more theme is the conflict between an individual and his surrounding. This theme is uncovered through the contrasting of worldviews of the two protagonists, Othello and Iago. Iago embodies egoistic society that looks only for personal gain. Despite the humanistic ideals of Renaissance, Iago distorts them for his own benefit. He loves only himself and persecutes only his interests and goals. Comparing to that, Othello is gullible and unsophisticated. He is a hero and is always ready to defend Venice. However, his character does not correspond to the aristocratic world and is treated as an outsider there. Conflict with the surrounding leads Othello to kill himself, and it cannot leave the audience imperturbable. Shakespeare’s tragedy evokes hatred toward the society of Iagos, leaving the conflict between an individual and his surrounding unresolved. While humanistic ideals still prevail in the modern society, people identify themselves as Othellos or Iagos. After all, dealing with prejudice, betrayal and jealousy in a hostile surrounding echoes with the modern ideals of a successful person. That is why Othello remains relevant to modern days