During various historical time periods theatre played a major role in developing and influencing European societies. As a people, the romans are noted for adopting the idea and practices of other cultures. The Romans were not as concerned about theatrical questions as much as the Greeks were. Roman theatre was understood to be similar to an American television program, the Roman public was easily bored and frequently left one event for another. During the Medieval Ages also known as the Dark or Middle Ages the society was greatly affected by the political turmoil. The church was this time period’s only form of stable government. Although Vernacular Drama was common, there still wasn’t much theatre during this time. In the Greek Society during 700 and 500 B.C. Polis was the major political unit, but Athens was credited with being the first city to implement Democracy. Their beliefs were based of the Polytheistic Religious System, were they viewed gods as human beings. In the Elizabethan Ages by law Elizabethans were required to attend church every Sunday and also partake in communion three times a year, if they failed to meet these requirements they were required to pay a fine and many Elizabethans believed in Christianity and Humanism. The Modern Age started in the late 19th century or the late 1800s. During this time period, the revolution was taking place in the areas of politics, philosophy, science and religion. The period birthed a new type of theatre called realism. Realism was a theatre of experimentation, a reaction against romanticism and it sought to present art that was like life. This form of art sought to objectify society in an effort to study it scientifically. This art’s major focus was to present the audience with evidence and let each spectator to draw their own conclusions.
2. In the Medieval Days the church was this time period’s only form of stable government. The Greek’s beliefs were based of the Polytheistic Religious System, were they viewed gods as human beings. In the Elizabethan Ages by law Elizabethans were required to attend church every Sunday and also partake in communion three times a year, if they failed to meet these requirements they were required to pay a fine and many Elizabethans believed in Christianity and Humanism. Nations and people that were conquered by Alexander the Great were said to become “Hellenized” because this ruler took Greek culture and learning into every new city he built. The Early Renaissance coexisted with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I during 1558- 1603. Queen Elizabeth funded the troupes and protected an acting company that Shakespeare helped form. Realism was a theatre of experimentation, a reaction against romanticism and it sought to present art that was like life. This form of art sought to objectify society in an effort to study it scientifically. This art’s major focus was to present the audience with evidence and let each spectator to draw their own conclusions.
3. During the course of watching Othello I noticed that there were different forms or humanism displayed with different character. Desdemona was the wife of protagonist Othello. Although Othello was identified as the protagonist, I feel that the title is more fitting for Desdemona because of her pure and honest character. Desdemona’s character was attacked constantly throughout the course of the play and her honesty was questioned. Despite the constant attacks, Desdemona remained loyal, not only to her husband but also to who she was as a person. Her gracefulness as a woman never changed and her respect for her husband never wavered. She continued to display countless acts of magnanimity by constantly forgiving her husband Othello for his absurd actions and accusations. She was generous with her heart despite its breaking and Othello being undeserving of such love and understanding seeing what he was putting Desdemona through. She remained kind and respectful, even though her n to her husband’s foolishness would have been understandable and expected. She was the purest and most honest character and her displays of humanism were unmatched. Iago was the antagonist and Military Officer who plotted and schemed against Othello because he wasn’t promoted as second in command. Iago is an evil man and takes great pleasure in bringing Othello down and making the lives of the other characters miserable. His successful tactics to cause confusion and turmoil were raw, unethical and manipulative. His plan that seemed to be executed well, was only an example of the humanism trait service to self. He was a master of manipulation, deception, and instigation. Every tactic and plan was used for his own personal gain, at least that’s what he thought. Iago was a man with a very vengeful spirit, and his way of using humanism to get Othello back was not only interesting but it was also disturbing. The great lengths that Iago went through to damage the relationship of Desdemona and Othello, to get Cassio demoted and to defeat Othello were for his own selfish and personal gain. Othello was considered the protagonist because of his major role in the play and the army. He was an army general in Venice. During his career in Venice he married Desdemona. She was instantly attracted to his intelligence, courage, and nobility. The marriage of Othello and Desdemona was frowned upon because of Othello’s race. Despite the controversy, the couple remained married and traveled to Cyprus, where her loyalty is questioned. Othello was a man of power, but his love for his wife pure and powerful. Iago wasn’t happy with a decision made by Othello regarding his career, and decided to prey on Othello’s love for Desdemona. When the accusations of Desdemona’s unfaithfulness came to pass and things were constantly being brought to the light Othello thought it was time to seek justice. In the terms of humanism “justice” is getting what is do, or what is deserved and Othello felt that killing Desdemona for her alleged infidelity was justice being served, but the tables turned when the accusations in question turned out to be false.
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