Comparing Power in The Tempest and Othello
Comparing Power in ‘The Tempest’ and ‘Othello’ Both plays are about the ultimate struggle for power. Power can be shown in many ways such as race, gender, ‘others’, social class, and most importantly through use of language. Power can be shown in both plays through the use of ‘otherness’. This can be associated with power as characters such as Othello or Clinical are ‘others’ because they are from ‘elsewhere’. One such character who could be described as an ‘other’ is Othello. Bill Bryon suggested that ‘before he reworked it ‘Othello’ was insipid melodrama’ and perhaps it was the addition of ‘others’ by Shakespeare that deed to the drama.
Characters such as Othello and Clinical were considered dangerous and unnatural because they were foreign. In the Elizabethan times, these were the characters that the audience would have wanted to have a bleak ending. Especially people of a higher class, such as James l, would have enjoyed and found amusing how the people of a lower class or the ‘others’, people in context and relation with them, who in their lives may symbolism a threat, die in the play. Clinical can be compared to Othello in the way that they are both the “noble savages” in each of the plays.
Othello extreme thoughts provoked by Ago and consequential imaginings cause him to doubt Desman. The contemporary audience would have found this fascinating, as they would have seen how a person of a different ethnicity, such as Othello, felt towards a different social hierarchy. With both characters there are comparisons, Clinical is savaged and deformed; Othello is black, which in the 16th Century was seen as essentially deformed and different to the ‘normal’ white person, in addition they are easily fooled by deception, as expected by the contemporary audience.
Triathlon, Stephan and Ago have their evil intentions and conspiracies to gain power by deceiving others to believe in them fully. Clinical, a half human and half beast, is easily fooled by the two men, the derivatives off higher civilization. Similar to how Othello is deceived by Ago. Ago use of power through language can have a significant impact on the audience, for example in Act 2, Scene 3, he shouts, “Divinity of Hell! “. However, it is Ago who is the divinity of hell, the devil incarnate; it is his facades of honesty, subtle powers of manipulation and personal control over Othello life that encapsulate his evil ways.
This is similar to how Haziest argues “Prosper has a devilish ability to craft”. This demonstrates that Prosper and Ago have similar devilish qualities, this associates with power since the devil is controlling, potent and manipulative. Ironically, Prospered Judgment of Clinical is “A devil, a born devil, on whose nature Nurture can never stick”, Shakespeare is showing Prosper to be sly and hypocritical, because in actual fact Prosper is the devilish character in the play, as Sebastian says “The devil speaks in him”.
Comparing Power in The Tempest and Othello By greenwood Likewise in ‘The Tempest’, Triathlon and Stephan nave plans to turn every situation into their own advantage, like how Ago tries to listen into every private conversation as possible, by doing this, they gain information, therefore gaining power. Clinical appears to the contemporary audience to be weak, foolish and narrow minded; however he is the one who speaks in blank verse and iambic pentameter. This illustrates Scallion’s use of complex and sophisticated language which can be seen in his lines.
Another character in ‘Othello’ who possesses intellectual use of language is Ago. Here he’s saying that Ago is the person who causes all the trouble, the antagonist, and that without him, as an audience one could put the blame on Othello, the protagonist. Throughout the play Ago possesses the majority of the power. By using convincing, rhetoric and eloquent speech, Shakespeare reveals what a powerful-and dangerous tool language can be. However, the contemporary audience would believe that Othello would easily fall prey to Ago, as a Blackmore he would be gullible.
The character of Othello has risen through the ranks as a military hero despite his race, but still has self-doubt. Adhesion’s father, Abortion, cannot believe that his daughter had fallen in love “with what she feared to look on”. In the 17th Century, marrying a person of another color was seen as dangerous; Desman shows her disobedience to her father by not only marrying Othello, but leaving her father. Othello has insecurities stemming from racial prejudice, questioning Adhesion’s love for him as he states, “Haply I am black and have not these soft parts of conversation”.
Lack of power is shown through Othello insecurity, and can also be seen in Clinical. The audience is first introduced to Clinical through Prospered ascription of which as “a freckled whelp, hag-born, not honored with a human shape”. Shakespeare is already demonstrating to the audience that Clinical will be the character that is the outcast from the rest of the characters in the play. Similar to how Othello is described with various racial terms, such as “thick lips” which a 21st Century audience would find very offensive and insulting.
So Prosper has power over his daughter, unlike Abortion over Desman, this would be respected by the contemporary audience. However, Prospered power is more complex than this, These two opinions show that Prosper can be seen in different ways by audiences and critics alike. Clinical is discriminated in the play, treated like a slave. Prosper appears to hold the majority of the power. The contrast in tasks given to Ariel and Clinical by Prosper also shows us the contrast between Riel’s and Scallion’s roles and the higher status and power Prosper possesses.
Clinical is only allowed near Miranda as he performs the unskilled Jobs ‘he does make our fire, fetch our wood and serves in offices’ reminding the audience that Clinical is a slave. Ariel on the there hand is given much more important Jobs, but this is not because Ariel means any more to Prosper than Clinical does, but simply because of his magic. It is evident that Miranda is aware of how powerful Prosper is, as she says “Had I been any god of power, I would [Have sunk the sea within the earth”.
This indicates that she understands the extent of Prospered power, and that if she had possessed the same amount of power, she would use it differently to her father. Shakespeare deterrence in power between Othello, Desman and Ago . The use to gender differences and the changing perception of them suggest a powerful gender eased conflict. Othello and Desman love each other for the ‘differences they perceive in one another’. Desman perceives Othello as a valiant warrior, and Othello perceives Desman as a woman with genuine feminine grace. Gags relationship with Othello becomes a power struggle where Ago attempts to degrade Desman in order to position himself so he can ‘poison’ Othello. Here Shakespeare is showing how powerful and manipulative Ago can be with his use of words, and how powerful they can be. This power struggles is exemplified through Lagos words at the end of Act 3 Scene 3, ‘I am your own forever’. Ago has intrigued audiences for generations through his combination of realistic malice and seemingly unjustified lust for revenge, his motiveless malignity.
Shakespeare purposely made Ago the devilish character he is to intrigue the audience at how someone like him can have so much hate for people, even when things in his own life are perfectly fine. She’s implying that because she was a female, and females in the 17th Century weren’t equal to men, her disobedience contributed to her death and it was inevitable. Lagos professional and sexual Jealousies cause him to ‘hate the Moor’ and with this hearted, Shakespeare plays with master/servant relations to demonstrate power.
Furthermore, in ‘The Tempest’, Prosper is master to both Ariel and Clinical (air and earth) – although Prosper conducts each of these relations differently, both Ariel and Clinical are aware of their position. This leads to Clinical challenging Prospects control by taking on Stefan as his new master. However, in trying to escape one power relationship, Clinical quickly creates another when he persuades Stefan to murder Prosper by promising that he can marry Miranda and rule the island. This s also similar to how Ago challenges Othello control, by manipulating his thoughts and feelings through lies, use of language and deception.
Many of the characters compete for colonial control of the island – a reflection of England’s colonial expansion in Shakespearean time. Shakespeare created the plays for King James 1, and Scoria, the original colonizer, came from Algiers with her son Clinical and reportedly performed evil deeds. When Prosper arrived on the island he enslaved its inhabitants and the power struggle for colonial control began. This is similar as o how Ago is almost a servant to Othello, Ago challenges Othello control by betraying him without Othello even knowing.
Ago is hungry for power, and he will do anything to get it. He realizes that by using character’s emotions such as anger and Jealousy, he can control them. The people he controls are like pawns in a chess game. This led to his rise in power but caused the deaths of Othello, Desman, and Ordering, eventually leading to his downfall. In conclusion, Ago wanted power, and he used manipulation to get it. Ago, like Stephan and Triathlon are really the lowest life beings of society who attempt to gain aspect and power by deception.
Each character has a plan for the island if they were in charge: Clinical wants to ‘people the isle with Scallion’s”, this compares to Othello, Stetson plans to murder his way into power and Gonzalez imagines an idyllic mutually controlled society, which this can be compared to aspects of Ago. Ironically, Gonzalez is one of the few characters in the play who is honest, loyal and kind throughout – in other words: a potential King. This could be compared with Ordering; however Ordering is also the fool in Othello. This can be associated as to how Ago in Othello wants to be promoted in his Job.
Thomas He says that the play is ‘a condemnation of woman who run away with black moors’ so Desman got what she deserved. People in the sass’s would have thought this comment was true. However in today’s society, it is completely different. Power has changed people’s lives through many generations, through the use of language, the act of Women’s rights in the early sass, and this is what makes Shakespearean plays so interesting still to this day. Bibliography http://files. Libertarian. Org/Pl/quotes/lo. HTML Shakespeare, William, Othello, New Longing Edition, 2003 Shakespeare, William, The Tempest, Cambridge University Press, 2005.