Categories for English Literature

The Story Of A Rose For Emily English Literature Essay

In his short story “A Rose For Emily,” readers are introduced to a central figure Miss Emily Grierson, a pivotal bizarre character that is withdrawn from society and trapped in a world of delusions. The setting in William Faulkner’s story is highly significant to the themes, characters, and events of the short story. In “A Rose for Emily” Faulkner uses setting to show the encroaching forces of modernism against Miss Emily’s refusal to change leading to decay of her social status that no longer exists. Faulkner in the short story has emphasized the greatness of the south. In his short story, Faulkner has used a plural narrator which gives a general perspective of the townspeople regarding Miss Emily. The details of Miss Emily were revealed with the death of her father Mr. Grierson. Now she was the only last remaining Grierson in the town of Jefferson and appeared clinging to the past or the traditions of the old days in the face of modernity. In Miss Emily life, her father seemed to play the domineering parent role. They lived in the town of Jefferson. When Mr. Grierson died, Miss Emily refused to acknowledge his death, after a period of four days she finally came out of her illusion and “broke down” (4); it is understandable that situations like this arise due to the realization of loneliness. This loneliness led to the ruin of her life. Initially the story moves from a huge funeral attended by everybody in town, to the story of taxes about Miss Emily. Faulkner writes, “When the next generation, with its more modern ideas, became mayors and aldermen, this arrangement created some little dissatisfaction” (788). Miss Emily believes that she owes no taxes to the city, due to the favors bestowed upon the town by her father; therefore, she had no taxes. She urged them to see Colonel Sortoris, but there was a problem that Colonel Sortoris died ten years ago. Colonel Sortoris had passed away and the new city board wanted to tax her as with the changing times of the south, but Miss Emily still clung to her old believes and refused them. There are many themes in “A Rose For Emily,” but the most prevalent is the theme of decay in the entire story. So taxes happen to be a meager issue compared to what comes next. Faulkner writes, “Just as if a man – any man – could keep a kitchen properly, the ladies said; so they were not surprised when the smell developed” (789). So when her father died she denied to believe his death for three days and also refused his burial. She gets a boyfriend named Homer Barron in the summer after her father died, but her unusual nature makes her believe that he might abandon her; hence, she buys some poison and suddenly Home Barron disappears, but there was a bad smell in her house. The townspeople still did not suspect her. When Homer Barron disappeared; they thought he abandoned her. They sprinkled lime to cure the bad smell, but never bothered to find out the real truth. Overall the townspeople considered Miss Emily an epitome of the south’s era of greatness and kept refusing the realities. William Faulkner’s criticism is clear in “A Rose for Emily” for post Civil-War Southern society. In the short story, the townspeople were blatant and stereotypical. They still believed in social classes and racism. Faulkner writes, “But there were still others, older people, who said that even grief could not cause a real lady to forget noblesse oblige-without calling it noblesse oblige.” Her father domineering nature never let Miss Emily had marriage and enjoy the life of a married couple. In Faulkner’s opinion, her father held his social status so high so that he never found, virtually, anyone to deem perfect for her daughter. The townspeople also criticized relationships with those whom they saw below their status quo. In conclusion, Miss Emily Grierson is a victim of her own pride. Her mania is a manifestation of her pride, her independence, and her iron will. She did not crumble under pressures exerted upon her; she did not give in. She insisted on choosing a lover in spite of the criticism of the town. She refused to be jilted. She was not to be scorned or pitied. She led an idle and useless life. She was driven to criminal acts in desperate attempts to stimulate something of love’s fulfillment. These acts were neither life giving nor redeeming; on the contrary, she was led into a life of frustration, perversion, isolation, and decay.

Exploring The Power In Shakespeares Othello English Literature Essay

Language plays a very important role in all of Shakespeare’s plays. When Shakespeare performed his plays, no scenery and very few props were used. This meant that the language had to set an atmosphere, whether it is high in tension or a light hearted conversation. Use of language was also very important, as the vast majority of the audience was made up of common people. This meant that he had to make the language compelling and accessible. He does this by including jokes and curses, even in his tragedies. This comic relief is also used to create contrast and highlight the tragic sections, for example the Clown in Othello directly after act 3 scene 3, a very serious emotional part of the play. Language is also used to distinguish between the important characters and the lesser roles. The main characters like Othello tend to speak mostly in verse; this gives them a sense of superiority and elegance, while the less important speak in short, un-poetic sentences highlighting the difference. In this essay, I will look at how power and control influences the play and how the different characters use it, in particularly Iago. I will also look at how power and control shifts between the characters.

Power plays a very important role in the plot and overall outcome of this play. Power is used to create control and vice versa. This is very important as it allows Iago, who is lower ranking than Othello, to generate power through controlling Cassio and ultimately Othello. The fact that the play is set within the higher ranks of the Venetian army allows clear divisions in power to be highlighted immediately, and Othello being the General automatically puts him at the top of the triangle of power. However, as the play unfolds, the power seems to shift to Iago, the villain of the play. Right at the very beginning, Iago’s manipulative nature is revealed when he convinces Roderigo to give Iago all of his money in return for helping Roderigo win Desdemona’s hand, which is obviously a false promise. This allows Shakespeare to show that although Iago lacks power socially and within the army, he is adept at controlling others.

Controlling others is something which Iago repeatedly does throughout the play. In act 2 scene 3, he displays his control over Cassio, when he tries to make him drink. Like the beginning, even though Cassio is a higher rank that Iago, he still lets Iago bully him into drinking. At first, Iago suggests that he should drink for Othello and Desdemona and when Cassio refuses he implies that he is therefore a bad friend ‘O, they are our friends’. When Cassio still refuses Iago becomes more aggressive in his speech ‘What, man! ‘Tis a night of revels; the gallants desire it.’ When Cassio leaves to fetch the men at the door Iago has his first soliloquy, in which he reveals his intentions. ‘If I fasten but one cup upon him, with that which he hath drunk tonight already, He’ll be as full of quarrel and offence’ (II, iii, 41-43). In this soliloquy, Iago moves into verse, this could be to show the real Iago to the audience, not just the manipulative acting which he puts on. Another reason for Iago going into verse is to make him appear more important in the play.

Othello also controls others of a higher rank, albeit not in the manipulative nature of Iago, in Act 1 Scene 3 when Brabantio accuses him of stealing Desdemona and corrupting her using ‘spells and medicines’. Othello stays calm, also demonstrating his self control and talks his way out of it using long speeches in blank verse. In this speech, Othello repeatedly refers to the fact that he has a common tongue, ‘Rude am I in my speech and little bless’d with the soft phrase of peace’, ‘little grace I shall cause by speaking for myself’. The reason for this self-criticism may be to emphasise that that what he is saying comes from the heart not the brain, demonstrating his love for Desdemona. This also reduces the sense of power and it makes Othello appear as just a man in love. Othello states that he is rude in speech, but he actually speaks very well, this could also be Othello showing his false modesty and trying to show off to Brabantio, questioning Othello’s honesty. In stark contrast, Othello ends his speech with a contrasting last line, ‘I won his daughter’. This powerful last line restores his authority in the eyes of the Duke and the Senators.

This scene shows the power that accompanies self control, Iago also utilises this by showing a great deal of restraint when trying to convince Othello that Desdemona is unfaithful in act 3 scene 3. ‘Did Michael Cassio, when you woo’d my lady, know of your Love?’ (III, iii 95-96) this question does not have any real meaning. However it gets Othello impatient and curious. ‘He did from first to last. Why dost thou ask?’ to which Iago replies ‘But for the satisfaction of m thought; No further harm.’ Iago’s could have easily told Othello about Desdemona, but instead he resisted, this meant that Othello wanted to know even more. By putting Othello in this situation Iago used Othello’s persistence to gain control and power over the situation. In unwillingly giving the information, Iago is laying down a false sense of trust. Throughout the scene Iago repeatedly reminds him of this, with constant remarks about how much he loves the moor. ‘To show the love and duty that I bear you’, ‘I humbly do beseech you of your pardon for too much loving you’.

During this scene, Othello’s language is always changing. Sometimes he speaks in short broken up sentences, but then he composes himself and speaks in verse again. This shows the way that Othello is fighting jealousy. However when he finally gets ‘proof’ that Desdemona is cheating in him, he loses all control and allows jealousy to take control of him, ‘O monstrous! Monstrous!,’ ‘I’ll tear her all to pieces’.

‘Look here, Iago,

all my fond love thus do I blow in heaven:

Tis gone.

Arise, black vengeance, from the hollow hell!

Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne

to tyrannous hate!’. (III, iii, 447-450)

In this speech, Shakespeare shows that Othello has lost his self control by using punctuation to break up his once flowing sentences. The punctuation however would have only been visible to the actors. This means that they are more like stage directions than literary devices. Shakespeare used other stage directions to create a sense of power and superiority in this scene, like when Othello kneels at the end of his speech, (443-451). This shows visually Othello breaking down, and the fact that Iago is still standing symbolizes that Iago is the most powerful in this scene. In kneeling down, Othello also loses his stature and authority, as he is now below Iago. ‘Do not rise yet.’ Here Iago shows his influence over Othello, Iago did not want Othello to rise by himself, it would make Othello feel more in control and powerful. Instead Iago joined him; this meant that Iago would conform to his position of sharing Othello’s pain.

One very prominent statement made by Iago, in which he compares jealousy to a ‘green eyed monster’ (III,iii, L. 166) can be seen as an attempt to further his control over Othello by warning him of Jealousy. He goes on to say that the monster ‘Mocks the meat it feeds on’, in this he is suggesting that if Othello gives in to jealousy it will ‘mock’ him. The word mock in this context may mean destroy and the meat could symbolize Othello’s love for Desdemona.

Friendship and trust is what holds the story together, and Iago knows this. By constantly reminding the characters of this and by showing his devotion to them, he gets into a position of having more influence over what they do and how they behave to a certain situation that they do. When Iago is trying to force Cassio to drink, he reminds him that ‘O, they are our friends’ (II, iii, 32). They fact that he refers to them as ‘our friends’ gives the impression that they share something in common, bringing them closer and also increasing the amount of trust that Cassio has for Iago. Trust is a major fact of that scene, as well as trying to gain trust with Cassio, he is also trying to break up the trust between him and Othello. At the beginning of the scene, you get a strong sense of friendship between Othello and Cassio. ‘Good Michael, look you to the guard tonight.’ (II, iii, 1) by using Cassio’s first name it shows that they are close friends.

In this play, Iago is a bit of an outsider, and has no relationships other than with his wife Emilia. When Iago is with Emilia, it shows his real persona attitude. Unlike with all the other characters, he shows no effort to show his devotion and love for her even though he is her wife. This is prominent in act 3 scene 3 when Emilia gives Iago Desdemona’s handkerchief. When asked ‘what will you do with’t’, Iago snatches it defensively and says ‘Why, what’s that to you?’ In this part of the scene, it shows Iago’s lack of control and patience, something which is not evident in the rest of the play. This is very important, as this section of the play is very high paced and full of big events and big powerful scenes. This part of the scene also shows the real nasty side of Iago which you only previously saw in his quite frequent soliloquies outlining his plans.

In this play, power and control is a very important and ever changing factor, ultimately influencing the outcome of the play. Iago stays quite constantly emotionless showing his self control and Othello is the complete opposite, staying emotionally attached to almost every aspect. This in due course led to his death. This plays shows the power of the rumour, love and jealousy, not only in the play but in Elizabethan and modern day society. This is why; much like a lot of Shakespeare’s plays it shall always stay relevant.

Comparison Of Jane Eyre And Mansfield Park English Literature Essay

To start out my comparison the two young ladies are both orphans. They were both sent to live with an Aunt or an Uncle, and they were both destined to become outsiders from the beginning. The character Jane is not accepted by her Aunt Reed. Her aunt was really cruel to her, along with her cousins. She didn’t want to live in an unloving environment. This is almost true of the character Fanny, Fanny came from a low class family, she moved to Mansfield Park, there her cousins thought she was a not so intelligent person. She too was an outsider, because everything her cousins did or went too, she was not allowed to go too.

Fanny’s character is different from Jane’s character because Jane is an independent individual from a young child/ Fanny is much more reserved and independent while Jane has a more outspoken personality. Jane fights to resist those around her from changing her. Her self-devotion causes her a lot of sufferings, but she survives those obstacles and becomes a stronger woman. Jane grew up in the Victorian period, where women in that era were not seen as equals with men. As I mentioned before she was born an orphan into a family that really had no more room to love another child. Jane faced so much resentment in that household, but being a strong minded person that she is, she confronts her Aunt Reed, she says “I am not deceitful: for if I were, I should say I loved you; but I declare that I do not love you: I dislike you worst of anybody in the world” Jane as a child grows up questioning people higher than her. She is an independent soul with an independent mind. She thinks for herself, she does not allow anyone to think for her. She would not accept anyone to walk over her. She shows a lot of her strength in aspects of her life, including falling in love with Mr. Rochester. Returning to the fact she was an orphan shows us that the absence of her mother contributes to her internal strength and independence.

In Mansfield Park, Fanny, can be seen as an orphan as well, she is sent to Mansfield Park to live with her Mother’s sister and brother- in law, the Ms. Lady Bertram and Sir Thomas Bertram, this is because her mother is not in a fit position to take care of her. She grows up at Mansfield Park as an outsider among her four cousins. She is very independent, but she is not as outspoken as Jane Eyre was. She only finds a friendship with Edmund, the youngest of Sit Thomas Bertram sons. She fights in the beginning to overcome her homesickness, and trying to contact her brother. Edmund is the only person that sees what she is going through.

Even though she is not as opinionated as Jane, she is a very strong- minded individual. She knows what she wants, and if she could stand up for herself, she can achieve it. Her determination helps her to gain strength. Self- Respect dominates the theme of Jane Eyre, but in Mansfield Park the story deals more on social class and family. In Jane Eyre, the idea of gender and class structure is very obvious between the characters Jane and Mr. Rochester. Jane’s relationship with Rochester is shows a constant struggle for her to maintain her own individual identity. She plays the role as a servant, but makes it perfectly clear to him that she does not consider herself below him in terms of spiritual qualities. She lets him know that she is more than her social status saying “Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! I have as much soul as you–and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you” (Bronte) (Pg. 255). When Rochester refers to her as equal and likeness, it appears that Jane has made headway in asserting her equality with the master.

In Mansfield Park, Fanny’s interest in Edmund also tests society, for any kind of interest in each other during that time. The novel itself tests society in different ways of the characters going against the duty of their lives. For example, Edmund is jumping out of the lineage of following his father’s footsteps in wanting to become a clergyman. Also he being attracted to his cousin Fanny, and she being attracted to him was considered back then to be immoral, because they were related. Going back to the character Jane, we can see how society felt about her relationship with Mr. Rochester and the relationship being wrong. But we can see that even Jane is independent enough to leave him when he threatens her beliefs. Mr. Rochester’s betrayal throws her into the depths of despair, this was when she found out Rochester was still legally tied to Bertha, and by marrying him she felt that she would be sacrificing her integrity for the sake of emotional gratification. This shows that she remains true to herself, no matter what, even when that means spending three days wandering around and almost dying for her choices. One theme that both novels have in common is that both of the books defy the norms of society.

In Mansfield Park, the characters go against all duties and the idea of the structure of the family. The theatrical in the book even furthers their attempt to do everything against what is right. In Jane Eyre, there are some problematic issues with gender and class structures. Through both of the novels, Jane Eyre and Fanny Price remain true to themselves. They both struggle with a lot of difficult issues, although both novels detect the strength and independence of the characters. Jane Eyre to me as turned out to be the stronger woman; she is bold and outspoken from the beginning of the novel. Fanny Price on the other hand, did not show any sign of independence, she was much more quiet, she kept her thoughts to herself.

Drydens All For Love Moral Play English Literature Essay

When the Restoration occurred in England, there were virtually no new stage plays. The writers went back to old works, such as Anthony and Cleopatra. The paper shows how Dryden’s All for Love returns to analyzing the romantic hero. It is Dryden’s best-known and most performed play. It is a tragedy written in blank verse and is an attempt on Dryden’s part to reinvigorate serious drama. Dryden deals in this play with the same subject as that of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. In this play the abstract elements push the play forward rather than concrete ones. Dryden also shift abstract elements into the concrete by the characters surrounding Antony symbolize different emotions and roles.all the characters here are influenced by political and personal motivation. It is one of the central themes of the play. Antony has an internal conflict between choosing his love or his position.

Dryden claims in his preface to All for Love that his play is for “the excellence of the moral; for the chief person presented, were famous patterns of unlawful love; and their end accordingly was unfortunate”. The play does not want to show criminal love punished for transgression. It shows a transcendent love for which the world is well lost. At the end of the play the hero and the heroin receive our sympathy because of their passion. We do not judge them as well. There was a difference between what Dryden wrote and what his real purpose was. The difference is explicable and after that a clearer picture of what he intended to say would emerge, if we consider that Dryden’s idea of writing drama was going through transition at this time and the preface to All for Love shows more effect. Dryden in his epistle to Aureng-Zebe states his dissatisfaction with the stage;” I am weary with drawing the deformities of life, and lazars of the people, where every figure of imperfection resembles me that it can do others.. If I’m condemned to rhyme, I should find some ease in my change of punishment. I decided to be no longer the Sisyphus of the stage, to role up a stone with endless labor, to role up a stone with endless labor, and which is perpetually falling down again”. Dryden wanted to move away from the heroic play with its epic theory, French idealism and Caroline wit.. He attacked his opponent because of their judgment of his play by means of French rules of decorum. He said about the ideal hero of French drama:;”their Hippolitus is so scrupulous in point of decency, that he will rather expose himself to death, that accuse his step mother t his father; and my critics I am sure will comment him for it.; but we of grosser apprehension are apt to think, that this excess of generosity is not practicable, but we fools and madmen. “Behind his attack on decorum, there are important critical assumptions .one of them is that the emotions raised in the audience are more important than the formal structure of drama. He believed that the major effect of the tragedy is o create pity for the hero.

If All for Love owes its power to techniques which gain our sympathy for Antony and Cleopatra, it is in some ways less satisfactory than Dryden’s other plays for the very reason. Emotion is a powerful weapon for literature which must go hand in hand with intelligence. Without intelligence art is only soft and vague, plot become arbitrary and characters not sufficiently motivated in their actions and passions. Intelligence here means the whole personality of the author, his feelings, opinions, beliefs and insight into man.

When we grasp the idea that Antony’s love wins over his duty, there would be no real conflict left to engage our mind. Caesar’s role has been reduced to a reminder of the least attractive of Roman values.

O,’tis the coldest youth upon a charge,

The most deliberate fighter! If he ventures

’tis when he can not chuse,

When all the world have fixed their eyes upon him;

And then he lives on that for seven years after,

But, at a close revenge he never fails.( All for Love2,I , 19.)

Octavia offered a true conflict to Antony between passion and duty; but Dryden feared that she lessens the favors of the audience toward Antony and Cleopatra so he made her a prude to whom pleasure is a sin.

Far be their knowledge from a roman lady,

Far from a modest wife. Shame or our sex,

Dost thou not blush, to own those black endearments

That makes sin pleasing? (All for Love 3,I , 43)

We can not make sure which issue is really at stake, Antony’s love r Cleopatra’s honesty. In spite of the emotional language many scenes are not motivated enough. After Ventidius persuaded Antony to go to war, Cleopatra tried to gain him again;

How shall I plead my cause, when you, my judge

Already have condemn’d me ?shall I bring

The love you bore me for my Advocate? That now is turned against me, that destroys me,

For love once past, is , at the best , forgotten ;

But after sours to hate:’twill pleas my Lord

To ruin me, and therefore I’ll be guilty (All for Love 2, I, 25)

It is necessary for her to show an offer from Caesar that she has refused, and then his reason would be overcome again by love. We can think about it that why Antony needed Dollabella to give Cleopatra his farewell except the very reason that Dryden felt it was a pathetic touch. These were used to draw sentiments from the audience. And they lack Dryden’s customary intelligence to gain emotion. There is also stuff for parody, the sentiments of which would be rapidly demolished in thee heroic plays by ironic imagery and even the suicide scene is a series of awkward sentimentalities.

See; see how the lovers sit in state together,

As they were giving laws to half mankind,

Th’ impression of a smile left I her face,

Shows she dy’d pleas’d with him for whom she lived,

And went to charm him in another world( All for Love 5, I , 45 )

Generally the play succeeded In the dominance of passion over reason. It raises our emotions, and the sympathy for the errors of the main characters. If we see the raise or our emotion as Dryden’s intention , then many of our confusions disappear, like the suicide of Ventidius , the cold virtue of Octavia and also the lack of moral judgment add to the sympathy Dryden hope to achieve. All for Love misses greatness because its purpose is just to raise the emotion of the audience rather than showing the imperfection of life. All for Love lacks the pressure of intelligence upon its subject matters, and we eventually are left with a sense of being cheated. And at the end this question remains that why Dryden said that he wrote this play for the excellence of its moral. We can find that this period for him was a period of transition when he had unsettled principles and he searched to find less constricting rules. After he has broken up with formulas of the heroic play he was both influenced by those elements in Rapin’s epic theory which was a sort of justification for the romantic side of drama and also the moralizing influence of Le Bossu.

Dryden wrote about Rapin’s observation that the purpose of tragedy is to agitate the viewers pity for the misfortunes of the distressed;” when the souls become agitated by fear for one character, or hope for another then it is that we are pleased in tragedy ” his statement can be applied to All for Love. Dryden also wrote about Le Bossu: ” the first rule that Bossu prescribes to the writer of a heroic poem, and which hold too by the same reason in all dramatic poetry, is to make the moral of the work ;that is , to lay down to yourself what that percept f morality shall be, which you would insinuate into the people; as namely , Homer’s was, that union preserves a commonwealth, and discord destroys it . Sophocles in his Oedipus, that no an is to be accounted happy before his death.”

Despite that Dryden had Le Bossu’s concept of drama in mind but applied it to a play which was upon a different critical theory .the very reason is clear in the paragraph quoted above. Because “that union preserves a commonwealth and discord destroys it, and All for Love shows the unfortunate ends of unlawful lovers. This was the start of Bossu’s influence upon him and we can clearly see it in his other plays after it.

A Doll’s House | Analysis | Female Gender

Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House presents to us Nora, the ‘doll’, who is caught up in a constricting marriage to Torvald, who represents the society of 19th century Europe through his narrow – mindedness and hard and fast rules. In this society, women are a suppressed bunch and do not have many opportunities to express or be themselves When they are ‘little girls in pigtails’, they live by their father’s rules and abide by the ‘law’ in the house. They get married and go to their nuptial homes .Here they have to live under the thumb of their husbands and meekly take on whatever is thrown at them.

On the other hand, we have Mariama Bâ’s So long a letter, which is set in Post-colonialist Senegal. Here we have Ramatoulaye, a model housewife living under her husband’s roof and putting her family before self. She writes a long letter to her best friend Aissatou which details the events after her husband’s death and also provides a flashback of her and her friend’s lives over the time they have matured from girls to women to mothers. An unmistakable hint of feminism is perhaps what makes the novel a strong megaphone for the oppressed woman in Africa. The African woman is oppressed by her culture and by virtue of her position. Aissatou is however a rebel and goes against the societal norms and Ramatoulaye gradually realizes she cannot look to her culture for much.

Throughout both of the works that I have studied, both the characters of Nora and Ramatoulaye are similar in the fact that both their characters develop throughout the novels. This represents the emergence of the feminine in both the works. In this essay, I will be analyzing how the writers present women and the problems that they face in two different societies in two different parts of the world.

Ibsen was very concerned a about the position of women in the society that he lived in .he looked at his mother and the other women he was associated with as ‘models’ to study. He thought that women had a right to amplify their own distinctiveness, but in reality, their function was habitually self-sacrificial. The concept of gender- equality did not exist and women were regarded inferior, either in relation to their husbands or the social order, as is apparent from Torvald’s dismay of his employees thinking he has been influenced in a decision about Krogstad’s job by his wife.

It was not tolerable for women to conduct business or control their own capital. It was considered necessary that they had the authorization of the man who ‘owned’ them – husband, brother or father before they engaged in any activity involving money. Furthermore, they were not cultured for responsibility. Nora falls victim to both the injustices, by taking out a loan without the endorsement of her husband or father and by believing, out of unawareness of the world around her, that she could get away with forging a signature.

In a way, single or widowed women like Mrs. Linde had more room to breathe than married ones, in that they earned their own money and did not have to hand it over to the ‘alpha male’ of the family .They also did not have to depend on their husbands for anything. But even so, the careers open to women were constrained and hardly paid enough. They could either become clerks, teach or house-keep. What’s more, women’s work was grindingly dreary, and likely to leave an intelligent woman like Mrs. Linde disgruntled.

Women often got into another trap: Marriage. Yes, marriage was a snare in itself. They could divorce, but it carried a communal stigma not only for the woman, but also for her spouse and family. Hence, few women even weighed it as an option. Torvald preferred to a certain extent to have a make believe marriage, for the sake of appearances, rather than an annulment or an amicable separation. When he discovers the truth about the money, he tells Nora. “It must be hushed up. Whatever it costs. As for you and me, we must go on as if nothing had changed between us. In public”. This is clearly demonstrative of the fact that Torvald’s regard for his public image is much greater then his regard for Nora’s happiness, who is clearly in an unhappy alliance. He should let Nora get a divorce from him rather than being in a ‘playhouse’ marriage.

The characters of Nora, Mrs. Linde and the Nurse all have to sacrifice something or the other to be accepted, or even to survive. Nora not only sacrifices herself in borrowing money to save Torvald, but she loses the children she undoubtedly loves when she decides to pursue her own identity. Mrs. Linde loses the true love of her life, Krogstad, and is forced to say “I do” to a chap she does not love in order to prop up her needy relatives. The Nurse gives up her own child to look after other people’s in order to survive financially. Besides, she sees herself blessed to get her lowly job, given that she has committed the sin of having a child out of wedlock. In the society where Ibsen as raised women who had illegitimate babies were stigmatized, while the men responsible often escaped scorn.

Hence, A Doll’s house presents a pitiable picture in terms of the treatment and position of women in the European society of the 19th century.

On the other end of the line we have So long a letter, which is a novel written in Western Africa, most probably Senegal. This book details the lives of two women, Ramatoulaye and Aissatou, who are moving through life with nothing but each other’s support. They are both caught in the same situation as they are both victims of their husbands marrying other women and hence engaged in bigamy.

This novella shows us two sides of the same society The post/colonialism Senegal is a hugely patriarchal society, where the men are placed at the crux of family life. They are the sole breadwinners in each households. They put the food on the table and are the only source of income in any family.

The women however, cut a sorry figure. The only function they seem to perform or the only utility they seem to have is to have babies for their husbands. The only role they play is that of ‘prostituting’ for their husbands. Pardon my strong language, but it would seem that women were placed in that society only to satisfy the men and have sex with them. The only course that their lives could take was to get married and have children as soon as they finished their school. That is, if they were lucky enough to go to school. Senegal is a chiefly Islamic country and sharia law was followed.Sharia law prohibits girls who have reached maturity to go to school to avoid any contact with the outside world .Basically; they could not go school, as it would mean getting to meet people from the outside and also socialize with men other than their own fathers or brothers. However, Ramatoulaye does have the opportunity to go to school fortunately. This is one of the factors that influenced the way she looked at life compared to the older women of her time..

Also the society was in a way hypocritical, because the men could do anything they wanted and go scot- free but the women would be criticized for doing the same. In fact, both the husbands of Aissatou and Ramatoulaye commit bigamy with women half their ages. However, the women were looked down upon if they married a second time unless they were widows. Also, Islam prevents divorce, unless the husband chooses to divorce his wife. The woman has no right to divorce her husband because, according to sharia law, they had the sole role of upbringing the children. The man was only supposed to bring in the money. Hence, the religion of Senegal also played a restricting role and was in a way responsible for the treatment of women as represented in So long a letter.

In the above discussion I have analyzed both A Doll’s House and So long a letter by looking at instances which look at the way in which women were treated in the respective societies in which the books are set in. It is to be noted that A Doll’s House and So long a letter were not only written in different countries, but also during different time spans. However, these two books both paint a gloomy picture of the way in which women were placed in society and treated by the people around them despite being written almost a century apart. Another noticeable attribute of both the works is the fact that the women protagonists rise up through the rubble of their lives somewhat like the mythical Phoenix. This is also relevant in the modern context because nowadays women have risen up to be equals to men in all spheres of life.

Aditya Arun

Discuss The Ways Which Awareness In Ideology Affects Literature English Literature Essay

Literature in Marxism is perceived as something which is deeply influenced by the culture and society in which the author is living in. Therefore literature is seen as a product from culture which means that the author is affected by the environment and the external elements surrounding him. In the same way one reader differs from the other because he or she is also affected by the social surroundings. Moreover, Marxists, and later on Structuralists, believe that because literature is experienced according to ones attitude and principles of society, literature is ‘ideologically impregnated by its social positioning’. [1] Lois Althusser has played an important role in the defining of ideology in literature with important essays such as his 1970 essay entitled Reading “Capital” and another more important essay in the field of ideology entitled Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (1970). Others like Roland Barthes also helped defining the role of ideology when reading literature especially with the prominent essay entitled The Death of the Author, published in 1967.

Ideology has become a key concept in Marxists’ theorists’ works and criticism about art and literature. Marxists see ideology more than just the study of ideas but they see it as an outlook of life. The Bourgeois ideology is regarded by Marxists as constructing and infusing institutions in society and in cultures which also include literature and different forms of art. Ideology, particularly to Structuralists, becomes an imperative issue, especially to the way in how one can talk about ideology in a non-ideological way. At first Marxists see the word ideology in a negative light due to the fact that they associate the word with ‘false consciousness’. [4] Marxists see ideology as a method employed by the dominant classes to prevent subordinates from realising the true nature of things and change them to their own benefits. Thus as a means of hiding the truth and keeping the ruling power over the inferior classes from obtaining their rightful civil liberties. But then in the 1960’s, Althusser changed the concept of ideology being a kind of false consciousness with his essay Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (1970). In this essay Althusser argues that society must first be divided into different “ideological state apparatuses” rather than be viewed as a whole. He argues that rather than false consciousness, the ideologies vary according to each state apparatus. Althusser sees literature as being one of these state apparatuses since literature does not express just one kind of ideology but it varies according to the text. He states that interpellation takes place rather than social consciousness and this means that the human being is made up of the established structures in society such as the mass media and literature in which the representations seen in it consist of the expressions of everyday realities. Therefore, ideology, according to Althusser, is made up of both the real and the imaginary since it is real because it shows how people really live their everyday life in accordance with society and its domains but imaginary because it does not offer a full understanding of the ways of how people are constituted in these social realities. [5] At the same time when people read a realist text they can relate to it and when characters are portrayed as being free, the text will interpellate the readers to think that they are free as well. Thus, realist novels work in the same way as ideology does; by addressing the readers and as a result making them believe the ideological vision that they are portraying.

Althusser discusses the interpellation of the subject in relation to ideology. According to Althusser, both the writer and the reader are subjects and thus they both become ideological subjects because both of them live ‘spontaneously’. [6] The language then has its own role in the interpellation as to present the human being as unified, independent, subjectivity. [7] Althusser uses the example of the classic realism since it is a highly popular genre in different areas of arts, in particular, in literature. Althusser uses this genre because in itself it is a subject which shows not only the ideology of the true representation of reality in addition the understanding of the situation of subject. [8] In the 19th century, the notion of the author furthering away from the text he has written was becoming even more dominant, especially in realistic fiction. In the classic realist novels the truth is shown, but not told since the reader has the task of finding it out for him or her self. This can be seen in diverse novels in the genre such as those written by Defoe and Hardy. In these novels the reader is interpellated as the subject since he has the task of deciding and finding out the truth, which in itself, is an ideological practice. Thus meanings change accordingly to a person’s ideology. Belsey argues that classical realism follows the same cyclical pattern in most novels. This includes a kind of disorder which is encapsulated in a story of for example love or murder. But at the end the story always reaches an ending which the reader in some way or the other expects and therefore order is restored. This can be found in novels such as Jane Eyre, where order is restored as Jane and Mr Rochester’s expression of love makes its full circle. This, according to Belsey, is not found in history since it is narrated in an impersonal manner and there is no defined speaker, whilst in narration the speaker is defined as a subject and the reader relates to this voice. The story in fact unfolds through this interpellation between the reader and the author and through this communication; the subjects share the meanings of the work through ideology. Belsey also argues that in classical realism, the reader is in a way pleasing his own ego by identifying and positioning himself in the role of the protagonist. Belsey states that this interpellation between the reader and the author is not only done in the third omniscient narrative but also in the first narrator since the reader also gets the chance to relate to the protagonist in question. But the third narrative allows the reader to formulate the ending of the story before it is written. Therefore the reader as a subject himself is in a position of subjectivity and thus in an ideological position. But at the same time, to refuse this position, is in itself an ideological choice. [9] 

Althusser talks about how a person cannot have a complete unbiased read since it is very difficult to avoid making presumptions and thoughts which may prejudice the reading in many ways. For that reason the interpretation is different from one person to another and it is never neutral because it is affected by the social surroundings. Althusser also argues that behind the text that one can see in a book or in any literary form which he calls ‘explicit discourse’ there is always the underlying, unseen, ‘silent discourse’, which the author is not aware of and so it is the task of the reader to find it out. [10] This ‘silent discourse’ is therefore the elements which affected the author unconsciously in time of writing the text. Hence Althusser proposes that when reading, one must abandon what the author had intended for him or her to read and understand and instead recognize the underlying ‘silence’ which it conceals in itself. This system is called the ‘symptomatic reading’, in which by ruling out the structure of the argument, one uncovers the ideological structures of the text. Althusser argues that the author’s opinion is not the only one which can be given to the text because each reader has a different background with different forms of ideologies and each one of these may affect the way the novel is read. For example people may come from different cultures with different traditions from those of the author and as a consequence the interpretations of the novel change. Accordingly, Althusser is against the idea of empiricism, which is to understand the novel or text by direct examination. Empiricists also believe that meaning comes from experience rather than inborn traditions and ideas which affect the way the novel is read. Althusser argues that the ideology within every human being affects his way of perceiving a novel or a work of art. Catherine Belsey, agrees with Althusser and states that ideology is something indispensable which cannot be discarded with a single thought since it is firmly positioned inside every single person. She also argues that ideology is what makes ‘concrete individuals as subjects’ [11] and therefore it affects us continuously.

Althusser argues that meaning is created by the reader rather than discovered and this is done through the understanding of the unconscious of the author at the time of writing the novel and by the practice which takes place when reading the text [12] which ‘sets to work, in a specific structure’ [13] . Althusser mentions four types of practice which are the economic, political, ideological and theoretical. The ideological practice takes up a novel or a text and gives it a whole new meaning and this is done through the social means which give it a new standpoint and perspective. In Althusser, the ideological practice refers to the diverse and composite ways in which a piece of art and literature’s meaning is modified according to the daily actions of a particular person. Therefore when one states that something is ‘ideological’, it involves in the passive imitation of the mistaken beliefs about the nature of social reality. Sometimes someone takes a position which may seem as incoherent and conflicting, but one must understand that it might have not been seen in this way when the position was taken because ideology is rich in contradictions but which at the same time, they underpin it and give it meaning. [14] 

In the same way Roland Barthes argues that Bourgeoisie writing cannot be innocent since one cannot write without zero bias in mind. Barthes argues that all the written texts are in some way or another ideologically charged. He states that in writing, the author is in some way or another, ideologically tinged since when one is writing, he or she already has an ideology which is silent and which naturalises the attitudes of the dominant class. Barthes agrees with Althusser by saying that the silent ideology is a silent manner of communicating to the reader. He developed the idea that literature is not innocent since it contains ideology and hegemony because in the author there is always an ideological slant which affects what he writes or what he shouldn’t write. Barthes also argues that the ideology is linked with politics and religion and the writer makes use of literature as a means of producing another idea. Literature after the Second World War had to be committed and one could not write literature in a vacuum anymore. This is seen in George Orwell’s Animal Farm (1945) which is not just a fable but a way of bringing to the public an awareness of the class war between the middle classes and the dominant classes. In responding to a text by reading it, the reader is naturalising something which may not be natural and the power of the ruling class is exerted in a way such as it naturalises itself. Literature is therefore a series of codes which have to be understood since literature is part if a code and the reader encodes literature in order to make it a social event. This theory goes hand in hand and has been developed from Saussure’s theory of the signified and the signifier which Barthes also takes on to explain how literature is made up.

Roland Barthes’s most influential essay in the field of literature is entitled Death of the Author (1968) whom he explained as the figure shaped by critical discourse in order to limit the interpretations in the way of reading a literary text. [15] This essay is perceived as revolutionary in the spirit of revolution of the time and it becomes a central text which marks the change from Structuralism to Post-Structuralism. Barthes talks about and disagrees with the idea of the author as a god since he creates the work out of nothing, just like god. He says that one cannot allow the author to assume the role of god in literature but also in art in general. Barthes is therefore removing the role of the author who imposes ideas and beliefs on the reader and hence a limit to how the text is read. He believes in destabilising the notion of the author as the origin of the text since the text exists independently off the author and therefore Barthes allows space for the reader. He argues that once the author is removed from the text the reader becomes the critic and therefore the death of the author resuscitates the reader and his ideas. By doing this Barthes is breaking down the hegemony of the bourgeoisie writer and therefore the constant ideology which is going on must be realised. In the same way as Althusser, he argues that ideology is always present and one must not get away from it but let it help him or her create his own interpretations. By deleting the author the reader or the interpreter now, just like the author, has all the traditional attributes of initiative removed and is transformed in the impersonal practice of reading. What he or she is reading cannot no longer be called ‘work’ but it becomes a ‘text’ since the word ‘work’ may indicate the participation of another person in creating it whilst the word ‘text’ does not give a sense of individuality. [16] Althusser agrees with the idea of the death of the author by believing that the meaning of a text is to be produced through a symptomatic analysis. The author becomes a function of ideology by interpellating the individuals as subjects. [17] Therefore one has to totally dehumanise the text and turn it into something which involves no human effort in creating it, thus ‘unseen problematics’. [18] 

Therefore theorists like Althusser and Barthes show how ideology affects the way of how a text is read by the reader. Both theorists agree that ideology cannot be eliminated when reading a text since it is inevitably found in each individual and for that reason it affects the way literature is read differently by diverse persons with different ideologies.

The Story Of A Rose For Emily English Literature Essay

In his short story “A Rose For Emily,” readers are introduced to a central figure Miss Emily Grierson, a pivotal bizarre character that is withdrawn from society and trapped in a world of delusions. The setting in William Faulkner’s story is highly significant to the themes, characters, and events of the short story. In “A Rose for Emily” Faulkner uses setting to show the encroaching forces of modernism against Miss Emily’s refusal to change leading to decay of her social status that no longer exists. Faulkner in the short story has emphasized the greatness of the south. In his short story, Faulkner has used a plural narrator which gives a general perspective of the townspeople regarding Miss Emily. The details of Miss Emily were revealed with the death of her father Mr. Grierson. Now she was the only last remaining Grierson in the town of Jefferson and appeared clinging to the past or the traditions of the old days in the face of modernity. In Miss Emily life, her father seemed to play the domineering parent role. They lived in the town of Jefferson. When Mr. Grierson died, Miss Emily refused to acknowledge his death, after a period of four days she finally came out of her illusion and “broke down” (4); it is understandable that situations like this arise due to the realization of loneliness. This loneliness led to the ruin of her life. Initially the story moves from a huge funeral attended by everybody in town, to the story of taxes about Miss Emily. Faulkner writes, “When the next generation, with its more modern ideas, became mayors and aldermen, this arrangement created some little dissatisfaction” (788). Miss Emily believes that she owes no taxes to the city, due to the favors bestowed upon the town by her father; therefore, she had no taxes. She urged them to see Colonel Sortoris, but there was a problem that Colonel Sortoris died ten years ago. Colonel Sortoris had passed away and the new city board wanted to tax her as with the changing times of the south, but Miss Emily still clung to her old believes and refused them. There are many themes in “A Rose For Emily,” but the most prevalent is the theme of decay in the entire story. So taxes happen to be a meager issue compared to what comes next. Faulkner writes, “Just as if a man – any man – could keep a kitchen properly, the ladies said; so they were not surprised when the smell developed” (789). So when her father died she denied to believe his death for three days and also refused his burial. She gets a boyfriend named Homer Barron in the summer after her father died, but her unusual nature makes her believe that he might abandon her; hence, she buys some poison and suddenly Home Barron disappears, but there was a bad smell in her house. The townspeople still did not suspect her. When Homer Barron disappeared; they thought he abandoned her. They sprinkled lime to cure the bad smell, but never bothered to find out the real truth. Overall the townspeople considered Miss Emily an epitome of the south’s era of greatness and kept refusing the realities. William Faulkner’s criticism is clear in “A Rose for Emily” for post Civil-War Southern society. In the short story, the townspeople were blatant and stereotypical. They still believed in social classes and racism. Faulkner writes, “But there were still others, older people, who said that even grief could not cause a real lady to forget noblesse oblige-without calling it noblesse oblige.” Her father domineering nature never let Miss Emily had marriage and enjoy the life of a married couple. In Faulkner’s opinion, her father held his social status so high so that he never found, virtually, anyone to deem perfect for her daughter. The townspeople also criticized relationships with those whom they saw below their status quo. In conclusion, Miss Emily Grierson is a victim of her own pride. Her mania is a manifestation of her pride, her independence, and her iron will. She did not crumble under pressures exerted upon her; she did not give in. She insisted on choosing a lover in spite of the criticism of the town. She refused to be jilted. She was not to be scorned or pitied. She led an idle and useless life. She was driven to criminal acts in desperate attempts to stimulate something of love’s fulfillment. These acts were neither life giving nor redeeming; on the contrary, she was led into a life of frustration, perversion, isolation, and decay.

Drydens All For Love Moral Play English Literature Essay

When the Restoration occurred in England, there were virtually no new stage plays. The writers went back to old works, such as Anthony and Cleopatra. The paper shows how Dryden’s All for Love returns to analyzing the romantic hero. It is Dryden’s best-known and most performed play. It is a tragedy written in blank verse and is an attempt on Dryden’s part to reinvigorate serious drama. Dryden deals in this play with the same subject as that of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. In this play the abstract elements push the play forward rather than concrete ones. Dryden also shift abstract elements into the concrete by the characters surrounding Antony symbolize different emotions and roles.all the characters here are influenced by political and personal motivation. It is one of the central themes of the play. Antony has an internal conflict between choosing his love or his position.

Dryden claims in his preface to All for Love that his play is for “the excellence of the moral; for the chief person presented, were famous patterns of unlawful love; and their end accordingly was unfortunate”. The play does not want to show criminal love punished for transgression. It shows a transcendent love for which the world is well lost. At the end of the play the hero and the heroin receive our sympathy because of their passion. We do not judge them as well. There was a difference between what Dryden wrote and what his real purpose was. The difference is explicable and after that a clearer picture of what he intended to say would emerge, if we consider that Dryden’s idea of writing drama was going through transition at this time and the preface to All for Love shows more effect. Dryden in his epistle to Aureng-Zebe states his dissatisfaction with the stage;” I am weary with drawing the deformities of life, and lazars of the people, where every figure of imperfection resembles me that it can do others.. If I’m condemned to rhyme, I should find some ease in my change of punishment. I decided to be no longer the Sisyphus of the stage, to role up a stone with endless labor, to role up a stone with endless labor, and which is perpetually falling down again”. Dryden wanted to move away from the heroic play with its epic theory, French idealism and Caroline wit.. He attacked his opponent because of their judgment of his play by means of French rules of decorum. He said about the ideal hero of French drama:;”their Hippolitus is so scrupulous in point of decency, that he will rather expose himself to death, that accuse his step mother t his father; and my critics I am sure will comment him for it.; but we of grosser apprehension are apt to think, that this excess of generosity is not practicable, but we fools and madmen. “Behind his attack on decorum, there are important critical assumptions .one of them is that the emotions raised in the audience are more important than the formal structure of drama. He believed that the major effect of the tragedy is o create pity for the hero.

If All for Love owes its power to techniques which gain our sympathy for Antony and Cleopatra, it is in some ways less satisfactory than Dryden’s other plays for the very reason. Emotion is a powerful weapon for literature which must go hand in hand with intelligence. Without intelligence art is only soft and vague, plot become arbitrary and characters not sufficiently motivated in their actions and passions. Intelligence here means the whole personality of the author, his feelings, opinions, beliefs and insight into man.

When we grasp the idea that Antony’s love wins over his duty, there would be no real conflict left to engage our mind. Caesar’s role has been reduced to a reminder of the least attractive of Roman values.

O,’tis the coldest youth upon a charge,

The most deliberate fighter! If he ventures

’tis when he can not chuse,

When all the world have fixed their eyes upon him;

And then he lives on that for seven years after,

But, at a close revenge he never fails.( All for Love2,I , 19.)

Octavia offered a true conflict to Antony between passion and duty; but Dryden feared that she lessens the favors of the audience toward Antony and Cleopatra so he made her a prude to whom pleasure is a sin.

Far be their knowledge from a roman lady,

Far from a modest wife. Shame or our sex,

Dost thou not blush, to own those black endearments

That makes sin pleasing? (All for Love 3,I , 43)

We can not make sure which issue is really at stake, Antony’s love r Cleopatra’s honesty. In spite of the emotional language many scenes are not motivated enough. After Ventidius persuaded Antony to go to war, Cleopatra tried to gain him again;

How shall I plead my cause, when you, my judge

Already have condemn’d me ?shall I bring

The love you bore me for my Advocate? That now is turned against me, that destroys me,

For love once past, is , at the best , forgotten ;

But after sours to hate:’twill pleas my Lord

To ruin me, and therefore I’ll be guilty (All for Love 2, I, 25)

It is necessary for her to show an offer from Caesar that she has refused, and then his reason would be overcome again by love. We can think about it that why Antony needed Dollabella to give Cleopatra his farewell except the very reason that Dryden felt it was a pathetic touch. These were used to draw sentiments from the audience. And they lack Dryden’s customary intelligence to gain emotion. There is also stuff for parody, the sentiments of which would be rapidly demolished in thee heroic plays by ironic imagery and even the suicide scene is a series of awkward sentimentalities.

See; see how the lovers sit in state together,

As they were giving laws to half mankind,

Th’ impression of a smile left I her face,

Shows she dy’d pleas’d with him for whom she lived,

And went to charm him in another world( All for Love 5, I , 45 )

Generally the play succeeded In the dominance of passion over reason. It raises our emotions, and the sympathy for the errors of the main characters. If we see the raise or our emotion as Dryden’s intention , then many of our confusions disappear, like the suicide of Ventidius , the cold virtue of Octavia and also the lack of moral judgment add to the sympathy Dryden hope to achieve. All for Love misses greatness because its purpose is just to raise the emotion of the audience rather than showing the imperfection of life. All for Love lacks the pressure of intelligence upon its subject matters, and we eventually are left with a sense of being cheated. And at the end this question remains that why Dryden said that he wrote this play for the excellence of its moral. We can find that this period for him was a period of transition when he had unsettled principles and he searched to find less constricting rules. After he has broken up with formulas of the heroic play he was both influenced by those elements in Rapin’s epic theory which was a sort of justification for the romantic side of drama and also the moralizing influence of Le Bossu.

Dryden wrote about Rapin’s observation that the purpose of tragedy is to agitate the viewers pity for the misfortunes of the distressed;” when the souls become agitated by fear for one character, or hope for another then it is that we are pleased in tragedy ” his statement can be applied to All for Love. Dryden also wrote about Le Bossu: ” the first rule that Bossu prescribes to the writer of a heroic poem, and which hold too by the same reason in all dramatic poetry, is to make the moral of the work ;that is , to lay down to yourself what that percept f morality shall be, which you would insinuate into the people; as namely , Homer’s was, that union preserves a commonwealth, and discord destroys it . Sophocles in his Oedipus, that no an is to be accounted happy before his death.”

Despite that Dryden had Le Bossu’s concept of drama in mind but applied it to a play which was upon a different critical theory .the very reason is clear in the paragraph quoted above. Because “that union preserves a commonwealth and discord destroys it, and All for Love shows the unfortunate ends of unlawful lovers. This was the start of Bossu’s influence upon him and we can clearly see it in his other plays after it.

Exploring The Power In Shakespeares Othello English Literature Essay

Language plays a very important role in all of Shakespeare’s plays. When Shakespeare performed his plays, no scenery and very few props were used. This meant that the language had to set an atmosphere, whether it is high in tension or a light hearted conversation. Use of language was also very important, as the vast majority of the audience was made up of common people. This meant that he had to make the language compelling and accessible. He does this by including jokes and curses, even in his tragedies. This comic relief is also used to create contrast and highlight the tragic sections, for example the Clown in Othello directly after act 3 scene 3, a very serious emotional part of the play. Language is also used to distinguish between the important characters and the lesser roles. The main characters like Othello tend to speak mostly in verse; this gives them a sense of superiority and elegance, while the less important speak in short, un-poetic sentences highlighting the difference. In this essay, I will look at how power and control influences the play and how the different characters use it, in particularly Iago. I will also look at how power and control shifts between the characters.

Power plays a very important role in the plot and overall outcome of this play. Power is used to create control and vice versa. This is very important as it allows Iago, who is lower ranking than Othello, to generate power through controlling Cassio and ultimately Othello. The fact that the play is set within the higher ranks of the Venetian army allows clear divisions in power to be highlighted immediately, and Othello being the General automatically puts him at the top of the triangle of power. However, as the play unfolds, the power seems to shift to Iago, the villain of the play. Right at the very beginning, Iago’s manipulative nature is revealed when he convinces Roderigo to give Iago all of his money in return for helping Roderigo win Desdemona’s hand, which is obviously a false promise. This allows Shakespeare to show that although Iago lacks power socially and within the army, he is adept at controlling others.

Controlling others is something which Iago repeatedly does throughout the play. In act 2 scene 3, he displays his control over Cassio, when he tries to make him drink. Like the beginning, even though Cassio is a higher rank that Iago, he still lets Iago bully him into drinking. At first, Iago suggests that he should drink for Othello and Desdemona and when Cassio refuses he implies that he is therefore a bad friend ‘O, they are our friends’. When Cassio still refuses Iago becomes more aggressive in his speech ‘What, man! ‘Tis a night of revels; the gallants desire it.’ When Cassio leaves to fetch the men at the door Iago has his first soliloquy, in which he reveals his intentions. ‘If I fasten but one cup upon him, with that which he hath drunk tonight already, He’ll be as full of quarrel and offence’ (II, iii, 41-43). In this soliloquy, Iago moves into verse, this could be to show the real Iago to the audience, not just the manipulative acting which he puts on. Another reason for Iago going into verse is to make him appear more important in the play.

Othello also controls others of a higher rank, albeit not in the manipulative nature of Iago, in Act 1 Scene 3 when Brabantio accuses him of stealing Desdemona and corrupting her using ‘spells and medicines’. Othello stays calm, also demonstrating his self control and talks his way out of it using long speeches in blank verse. In this speech, Othello repeatedly refers to the fact that he has a common tongue, ‘Rude am I in my speech and little bless’d with the soft phrase of peace’, ‘little grace I shall cause by speaking for myself’. The reason for this self-criticism may be to emphasise that that what he is saying comes from the heart not the brain, demonstrating his love for Desdemona. This also reduces the sense of power and it makes Othello appear as just a man in love. Othello states that he is rude in speech, but he actually speaks very well, this could also be Othello showing his false modesty and trying to show off to Brabantio, questioning Othello’s honesty. In stark contrast, Othello ends his speech with a contrasting last line, ‘I won his daughter’. This powerful last line restores his authority in the eyes of the Duke and the Senators.

This scene shows the power that accompanies self control, Iago also utilises this by showing a great deal of restraint when trying to convince Othello that Desdemona is unfaithful in act 3 scene 3. ‘Did Michael Cassio, when you woo’d my lady, know of your Love?’ (III, iii 95-96) this question does not have any real meaning. However it gets Othello impatient and curious. ‘He did from first to last. Why dost thou ask?’ to which Iago replies ‘But for the satisfaction of m thought; No further harm.’ Iago’s could have easily told Othello about Desdemona, but instead he resisted, this meant that Othello wanted to know even more. By putting Othello in this situation Iago used Othello’s persistence to gain control and power over the situation. In unwillingly giving the information, Iago is laying down a false sense of trust. Throughout the scene Iago repeatedly reminds him of this, with constant remarks about how much he loves the moor. ‘To show the love and duty that I bear you’, ‘I humbly do beseech you of your pardon for too much loving you’.

During this scene, Othello’s language is always changing. Sometimes he speaks in short broken up sentences, but then he composes himself and speaks in verse again. This shows the way that Othello is fighting jealousy. However when he finally gets ‘proof’ that Desdemona is cheating in him, he loses all control and allows jealousy to take control of him, ‘O monstrous! Monstrous!,’ ‘I’ll tear her all to pieces’.

‘Look here, Iago,

all my fond love thus do I blow in heaven:

Tis gone.

Arise, black vengeance, from the hollow hell!

Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne

to tyrannous hate!’. (III, iii, 447-450)

In this speech, Shakespeare shows that Othello has lost his self control by using punctuation to break up his once flowing sentences. The punctuation however would have only been visible to the actors. This means that they are more like stage directions than literary devices. Shakespeare used other stage directions to create a sense of power and superiority in this scene, like when Othello kneels at the end of his speech, (443-451). This shows visually Othello breaking down, and the fact that Iago is still standing symbolizes that Iago is the most powerful in this scene. In kneeling down, Othello also loses his stature and authority, as he is now below Iago. ‘Do not rise yet.’ Here Iago shows his influence over Othello, Iago did not want Othello to rise by himself, it would make Othello feel more in control and powerful. Instead Iago joined him; this meant that Iago would conform to his position of sharing Othello’s pain.

One very prominent statement made by Iago, in which he compares jealousy to a ‘green eyed monster’ (III,iii, L. 166) can be seen as an attempt to further his control over Othello by warning him of Jealousy. He goes on to say that the monster ‘Mocks the meat it feeds on’, in this he is suggesting that if Othello gives in to jealousy it will ‘mock’ him. The word mock in this context may mean destroy and the meat could symbolize Othello’s love for Desdemona.

Friendship and trust is what holds the story together, and Iago knows this. By constantly reminding the characters of this and by showing his devotion to them, he gets into a position of having more influence over what they do and how they behave to a certain situation that they do. When Iago is trying to force Cassio to drink, he reminds him that ‘O, they are our friends’ (II, iii, 32). They fact that he refers to them as ‘our friends’ gives the impression that they share something in common, bringing them closer and also increasing the amount of trust that Cassio has for Iago. Trust is a major fact of that scene, as well as trying to gain trust with Cassio, he is also trying to break up the trust between him and Othello. At the beginning of the scene, you get a strong sense of friendship between Othello and Cassio. ‘Good Michael, look you to the guard tonight.’ (II, iii, 1) by using Cassio’s first name it shows that they are close friends.

In this play, Iago is a bit of an outsider, and has no relationships other than with his wife Emilia. When Iago is with Emilia, it shows his real persona attitude. Unlike with all the other characters, he shows no effort to show his devotion and love for her even though he is her wife. This is prominent in act 3 scene 3 when Emilia gives Iago Desdemona’s handkerchief. When asked ‘what will you do with’t’, Iago snatches it defensively and says ‘Why, what’s that to you?’ In this part of the scene, it shows Iago’s lack of control and patience, something which is not evident in the rest of the play. This is very important, as this section of the play is very high paced and full of big events and big powerful scenes. This part of the scene also shows the real nasty side of Iago which you only previously saw in his quite frequent soliloquies outlining his plans.

In this play, power and control is a very important and ever changing factor, ultimately influencing the outcome of the play. Iago stays quite constantly emotionless showing his self control and Othello is the complete opposite, staying emotionally attached to almost every aspect. This in due course led to his death. This plays shows the power of the rumour, love and jealousy, not only in the play but in Elizabethan and modern day society. This is why; much like a lot of Shakespeare’s plays it shall always stay relevant.

Comparison Of Jane Eyre And Mansfield Park English Literature Essay

To start out my comparison the two young ladies are both orphans. They were both sent to live with an Aunt or an Uncle, and they were both destined to become outsiders from the beginning. The character Jane is not accepted by her Aunt Reed. Her aunt was really cruel to her, along with her cousins. She didn’t want to live in an unloving environment. This is almost true of the character Fanny, Fanny came from a low class family, she moved to Mansfield Park, there her cousins thought she was a not so intelligent person. She too was an outsider, because everything her cousins did or went too, she was not allowed to go too.

Fanny’s character is different from Jane’s character because Jane is an independent individual from a young child/ Fanny is much more reserved and independent while Jane has a more outspoken personality. Jane fights to resist those around her from changing her. Her self-devotion causes her a lot of sufferings, but she survives those obstacles and becomes a stronger woman. Jane grew up in the Victorian period, where women in that era were not seen as equals with men. As I mentioned before she was born an orphan into a family that really had no more room to love another child. Jane faced so much resentment in that household, but being a strong minded person that she is, she confronts her Aunt Reed, she says “I am not deceitful: for if I were, I should say I loved you; but I declare that I do not love you: I dislike you worst of anybody in the world” Jane as a child grows up questioning people higher than her. She is an independent soul with an independent mind. She thinks for herself, she does not allow anyone to think for her. She would not accept anyone to walk over her. She shows a lot of her strength in aspects of her life, including falling in love with Mr. Rochester. Returning to the fact she was an orphan shows us that the absence of her mother contributes to her internal strength and independence.

In Mansfield Park, Fanny, can be seen as an orphan as well, she is sent to Mansfield Park to live with her Mother’s sister and brother- in law, the Ms. Lady Bertram and Sir Thomas Bertram, this is because her mother is not in a fit position to take care of her. She grows up at Mansfield Park as an outsider among her four cousins. She is very independent, but she is not as outspoken as Jane Eyre was. She only finds a friendship with Edmund, the youngest of Sit Thomas Bertram sons. She fights in the beginning to overcome her homesickness, and trying to contact her brother. Edmund is the only person that sees what she is going through.

Even though she is not as opinionated as Jane, she is a very strong- minded individual. She knows what she wants, and if she could stand up for herself, she can achieve it. Her determination helps her to gain strength. Self- Respect dominates the theme of Jane Eyre, but in Mansfield Park the story deals more on social class and family. In Jane Eyre, the idea of gender and class structure is very obvious between the characters Jane and Mr. Rochester. Jane’s relationship with Rochester is shows a constant struggle for her to maintain her own individual identity. She plays the role as a servant, but makes it perfectly clear to him that she does not consider herself below him in terms of spiritual qualities. She lets him know that she is more than her social status saying “Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! I have as much soul as you–and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you” (Bronte) (Pg. 255). When Rochester refers to her as equal and likeness, it appears that Jane has made headway in asserting her equality with the master.

In Mansfield Park, Fanny’s interest in Edmund also tests society, for any kind of interest in each other during that time. The novel itself tests society in different ways of the characters going against the duty of their lives. For example, Edmund is jumping out of the lineage of following his father’s footsteps in wanting to become a clergyman. Also he being attracted to his cousin Fanny, and she being attracted to him was considered back then to be immoral, because they were related. Going back to the character Jane, we can see how society felt about her relationship with Mr. Rochester and the relationship being wrong. But we can see that even Jane is independent enough to leave him when he threatens her beliefs. Mr. Rochester’s betrayal throws her into the depths of despair, this was when she found out Rochester was still legally tied to Bertha, and by marrying him she felt that she would be sacrificing her integrity for the sake of emotional gratification. This shows that she remains true to herself, no matter what, even when that means spending three days wandering around and almost dying for her choices. One theme that both novels have in common is that both of the books defy the norms of society.

In Mansfield Park, the characters go against all duties and the idea of the structure of the family. The theatrical in the book even furthers their attempt to do everything against what is right. In Jane Eyre, there are some problematic issues with gender and class structures. Through both of the novels, Jane Eyre and Fanny Price remain true to themselves. They both struggle with a lot of difficult issues, although both novels detect the strength and independence of the characters. Jane Eyre to me as turned out to be the stronger woman; she is bold and outspoken from the beginning of the novel. Fanny Price on the other hand, did not show any sign of independence, she was much more quiet, she kept her thoughts to herself.