Length: 1200-1500 words. Format: MLA (Double-Spaced; 12 Point Font; Default Margins; Works Cited Page) Instructions: With reference to the text of Othello AND any materials I have posted on Blackboard:
Length: 1200-1500 words. Format: MLA (Double-Spaced; 12 Point Font; Default Margins; Works Cited Page) Instructions: With reference to the text of Othello AND any materials I have posted on Blackboard: Othello is inherently a racist play. How and why should it be performed in America? The history of Othello’s performance teaches us that a Shakespearean play’s meaning is largely determined by historical context. Who’s right, Baraka or Wilson? In order to answer these questions, you will need to first review the arguments made by actors of color in regards to the play’s treatment of Othello’s race and its performance history. I am asking you in this essay to wade into a conversation about race and the play that has been taking place for several decades now. Watch the clips of black actors discussing the play; listen again to the podcasts in which scholars of color consider the play’s history in America. Review the conversation between Harry J. Lennix and Laurence Fishburne. Consider the cultural weight of Shakespeare in western society. Perhaps look at the additional materials on Blackboard (Ania Loomba’s essay, for example). Since this is a complex paper, you will need to develop a focused thesis and develop it clearly, drawing upon evidence from the play and from multiple secondary sources. You might want to consider the following: The Characterization of Othello The tradition of “Stage Moors” in the 1590s and 1600s Pejorative racial stereotypes concerning black men The examples of Ira Aldridge and Paul Robeson The perspectives of August Wilson and Amiri Baraka Cultural attitudes towards interracial relationships am I looking for? A well-organized piece of writing with a clear thesis. Evidence drawn from the text. Ideas supported using secondary sources (podcasts etc.). Appropriate use of literary terminology. Attention to individual words and phrases.
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