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Shakespeare’s Othello – Othello and Desdemona

Othello and Desdemona

In the play, The Tragedy of Othello, Shakespeare really tests our conception as to what love is, and where it can or can’t exist. Judging from the relationship between Desdemona and Othello, the play seems to say that marriage based on an innocent romantic love or profane love is bound to fail. Shakespeare is pessimistic about the existence and survival of a true type of love. There is a common thread of betrayal and deceit among his female characters, especially. Othello and Desdemona, as portrayed in the play, are the two greatest innocents there ever were. The two appear to love one another romantically at first, but this romantic love becomes more of a profane love, or more likely was truly a profane love all along. This comes to pass because there is no foundation for a relationship here. There is no trust, no communication, and no understanding. Othello has spent most of his life in battle, which makes him good at some things– namely, battle. Othello says “Rude am I in my speech,/ and little bless’d with the soft phrase of peace;/ for since these arms of mine had seven years’ pith,/ Till now some nine moons wasted, they have us’d/ Their dearest action in the tented field;/ And little of this great world can I speak/ More than pertains to feats of broils and battle” (1113). Desdemona is little more that a girl, inexperienced in the ways of the world. She is taken in by Othello’s war stories. Desdemona takes one look at the hunk of burning love that is Othello, his virility and manliness, and she is swept off her feet. But is this a true love? She speaks so fondly of him, yet hardly knows him. As she defends her newly born love for Othello, Desdemona says (among other things), “My downright violence, and storm of fortunes,/ May trumpet to the world. My heart’s subdu’d/ Even to the very quality of my lord./ I saw Othello’s visage in his mind,/ And to his honors and his valiant parts/ Did I my soul and fortune consecrate.” (1118). I can say from experience that in the “Magic Time”, the first part of the relationship, some things are said that maybe affected by Love’s blindness. Put these two together, and you have the equivalent of a couple of kids playing doctor. The two big clumsy babies “fumbling towards ecstasy” might have actually made it if they were free from outside forces.

Essay on Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell

Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell

The real beauty of Mamoru Oshii’s adaptation of Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell lies in its attention to detail and the sheer cohesiveness of these details which collectively form complex ideas and plot. In nearly every detail and every plot element lies some tie to the key themes of the anime. Some of the main themes deal with the commodification of the flesh and body; the separation between one’s spirit and body; and the idea that a static environment or organism a weak stronghold. Here I will choose to focus on how through details the film explicates these themes, rather than spending time extrapolating or explaining the themes in detail myself.

The first key scene to examine is the interlude midway through the movie in which Motoko wanders through the city as music is played, inducing an almost transcendental mood. Nearly every one of those shots either shows the impersonality of the city, or some object which seems to make a statement about the separation between an individual and that individual’s body, how the one does not equate to or determine the other.

For instance, Motoko sees several women- eating and walking- with the same face as her own, and the viewer immediately begins to wonder what else is similar. The concept that the body does not in any way determine the personality seems ridiculous to us, as our bodies are valued, and never to be bought sold, or worst of all, replaced. In the crowded, impersonal city (This impersonality was another important point, as that very lack knowledge of those around leads to a sort of commodification of strangers, which is similar to that same commodification of the body), among the thousands or millions of people she co…

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…when Motoko gears up in the van as she and Togusa chase the garbage truck. They speak of why he was hired, and her explanation is, “Overspecialize and you breed in weakness. It’s slow death.” Indeed, plot-wise, the only reason that Project 2501 chooses to meld with Motoko is that he does not wish to be weaker by being static.

All of these details are simply brief examples of variety and enormity of thought put into this animated film. Its visuals do as much for the themes as does its plot and dialogue, and neither may be completely separated. The endless foreshadowing brings about a certain interwoven quality of plot which makes this an amazingly complex- yet unified- story and concept. In all, Ghost in the Shell did a wonderful job of portraying its themes as each minute of the movie had something new to show, and all were related to the total narrative.

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