Introduction Present essay provides a comparative analysis of Shakespeare’s Othello and Abu-Jaber’s Crescent in footings of turn uping similar and opposite subjects. The subject that was chosen is representation of Arabness as societal. single and cultural class. There is no denying the importance of the fact that both plants depict the destiny of Arab people in Western civilisation. including Western attitudes to them. their ain perceptual experience of Western manner of life and traditions and their dealingss with other people.
Furthermore. both works serve as the instruments for uncovering negative contours of Western societies. including racist biass. which is particularly apparent in Othello. Based on the latter reserves. present essay defends the thesis. which may be formulated as follows: Shakespeare’s Othello and Abu-Jaber’s Crescent have much in common due to the fact that beneath recurrent symbols and subjects. such as love. betrayal etc. lies the cardinal subject of Arabness. reflected through the prism of civilizations’ interchange. struggle and contradiction.
The comparative analysis of Othello and Crescent Both Othello and Crescent have Arab people. found themselves in certain functions within Western civilisation. as their chief supporters. The struggle between them and Western civilisation takes topographic point on different thematic degrees. explained by the difference in secret plans and historical surrounding. Sirine. the chief supporter of Cresent. is a chef at Lebanese eating house in Los Angeles with Middle-Eastern culinary art. Her environing consists of the Arab people. many of whom were exiled or emigrated from Iraq due to political repressions.
Sirine’s Arabness is constituted by her sen...
timental familiarity to Iraqi uncle and a great involvement in Iraqi history. civilization and Muslim traditions in general. Notwithstanding the fact. that Sirine is successful in America. she is instead lonely and still experience herself an immigrant. life in foreign and unfriendly civilization. The latter feeling of solitariness is good described by the friend of Sirine. called Um-Nadia: “The solitariness of the Arab is a awful thing ; it is all-consuming… .
it threatens to get down him whole when he leaves his ain state. even though he marries and travels and negotiations to friends 24 hours a twenty-four hours. ” ( Abu Jaber. 78 ) Hence. it is of import to observe that Sirine’s Arabness and conflicting position within Western civilisation are non constituted in direct footings and impressions. bearing on direct political intensions. As Nouri Gana justly suggests about Abu Jaber’s novel. ‘perhaps one of the most glowing virtuousnesss of the novel is that it awakens the political in the reader by cunningly presenting how it bears on the person and communal on a daily basis’ ( Gana. 237 ) .
The same may be said about Shakespeare’s Othello. where Arabness is besides non addressed straight. but basically mediated through thematic. symbolical and cultural discourses. Unlike Crescent’s where the contradiction between civilizations and civilisation is depicted as the trouble of version. assimilation and yearning for native state. Arabness in Othello is constituted chiefly in racialist footings. However. the latter racism should besides be understood as the instruments by agencies of which Shakespeare debunks aggressive. barbarous. coward character of such members of Western civilisation as Iago.
The Arabness of Othello
is ab initio constituted through the mechanism of exoticization. when he is named non by name. but as ‘Moor’ and ‘extravagant stranger’ . which instantly creates mental boundary line between civilisations. ( Othello 1. 1. 58 and 1. 1. 37 ) . Here. the direct differentiation in stand foring Arabness may be traced at the narrative degree of Crescent. Unlike Othello. Hanif Al Eyad. who is an exiled Iraki professor. does non see direct racial biass. but jobs of accommodating to American society.
What is more of import. he has important job of incorporating in Arab American community. which is already assimilated into the broad American civilization. In fact. Hanif finds himself in a hard place of happening new contours of his Arabness. as he meets with new conditions of its being in the American society. In the same vena. Sirine reconfigures her individuality. when she starts working at Arab eating house. Her lost Arab roots come to existence. when she delves into her parents. ’old formulas and to get down cooking “the favorite—but about forgotten—dishes of her childhood” ( Abu Jaber. 22 ) .
Finally. when Hanif and Sirine meet. they are engaged in cultural interchange – Sirine educates him about American and Hanif opens the civilization of Iraq and the Arab universe to Sirine. In this manner. the Arabness is constituted in the contradictory multicultural manner. when it becomes a mixture of American manner of life. its contradictions. immigrants’ civilization and post-9/11 ‘anti-Muslim syndrome’ . negatively experienced by Arab people. life in the US.
Therefore. the Arabness in Crescent and Othello are constituted in distinctively different ways. Othello’s racial and cultural difference is the chief beginning of legitimization for barbarous behaviour of Roderigo. Iago and others. who oppose the relationships between Othello and Desdemona. In fact. Desdemona is the lone supporter. which opposes particularisation of cultural differences and represents catholicity of human relationships. She sees in Othello neither Arab. nor alien adult male. but a adult male. whom she loves.
The narrative in Othello is abundant with racial biass. which map as the markers of Arabness. At the beginning of the drama. Iago aftermaths Brabantio up and tells him that “an old black random-access memory / Is tupping your white ewe” ( 1. 1. 89-90 ) . mentioning to Othello. The dealingss between Othello and Desdemona are besides presented by Iago through racialist discourse. “your girl covered with a Barbary horse” ( 1. 1. 112 ) . and reminds Brabantio of familial effects for his household. “you’ll have your nephews neigh to you. ” ( 1. 1. 112-18 ) .
Other characteristics of Othello’s Arabness are reproduced chiefly through the word picture of his disposition and here we find Shakespeare’s critical border. which uses so dominant racial biass of English nobility to picture their defected nature. Othello is depicted by Shakespeare as missing Western ( Iago-type ) ‘virtues’ as cunningness. beastliness. egoism. reason. computation. but endows him with trustful. sort. energetic disposition. The latter positive fundamental law of Arabness serves as the review of Western society lacks and jobs.
Finally. such characteristics of Arabness consequence in tragic stoping of Shakespeare’s drama ( Bartels. 458
) . Othello as Abu-Jader’s supporters besides seems lonely in the Western universe. where all are against him. Pain of loss. expatriate and solitariness. nevertheless. is presented in Crescent in more sentimental everyday manner. For case. it is apparent when Sirine’s Iraqi uncle asks the Italian server in a eating house: “Wouldn’t you say that immigrants are sadder than other people? ” To which the latter responds. “When we leave our place we fall in love with our unhappiness. ” ( Abu-Jaber. 78 ) .
Another of import subject. which runs through Abu-Jaber’s novel is trouble of being Arab. This thought is chiefly propagated by Sirine’s uncle and defended through stating fabulous narratives from Arab history. picturing the agony of Arab people. The trouble of being Arab is besides presented at the degree of racialized and politicized metaphors. which represent Arabness in Western universe and in fact distort existent civilization of Arab people. In this manner. Arabness is constituted as the ideological class. which has nil to make with existent life of Arab people ( Gana. 241 ) .
The latter contradiction may be traced in Othello. when in fact our vision of the chief supporter is constituted by Oriental discourse. One of the major differences pertinent to the analyzed plant is general narrative tone in which the latter discussed contradictions are presented. The contradictions of being Arab in the Western universe in Cresent are presented through the word picture of Arab community daily life. The experience of Sirine and Hanif is characterized by sentimental feelings. solitariness. psychological injury etc.
The struggle between civilizations and civilisations is presented as the everyday troubles of communicating. version and active life. The romantic ties which united Sirine and Hanif may be described as the portion of sentimental representation of Arabness in Abu-Jabar’s novel. However. as it was noted above. even such attack to narrative reveals much of the tensenesss and contradictions. experienced by immigrant Arabs. Unlike Crescent. Othello represents the grounds of contradictions between Western and Eastern civilisation. which consequences in tragic deductions for the fate of single people.
Racial biass against Othello map as the legitimization of Iago’s secret plan against him. The differences between disposition and civilization of Othello and his latent challengers. hence. should be understood as the chief drive force of Shakespeare’s calamity. Decision To sum it up. Arabness may be described as the cardinal subject in both Shakespeare’s and Abu-Jaber’s plants. It is represented on the degree of human dealingss and is non straight interpreted in political mode. nevertheless. certain ideological and political readings may be found.
Racial biass in Othello serve as a tool for exposing negative characteristics of Western civilisation and human/universal characteristics. reflected in Othello’s disposition. In Crescent. the Arabness is presented through the prism of immigrants’ trouble of version. lasting feeling of hurting. solitariness and deficiency of individuality. In this manner. the discussed subject has both similarities and difference in the discussed novels. explained by their distinguishable genres. historical and cultural surrounding.
Abu-Jaber. Diana. Crescent. New York: Norton. 2003. Bartels. E. C. ‘Making More of the Moor: Aaron. Othello. and Renaissance Refashioning of Race’ . Shakespeare Quarterly vol. 41:
454. 1990. Gana. Nouri. ‘In Search of Andalusia: reconfiguring Arabness in Diana Abu-Jaber’s Crescent’ . Comparative Literature Studies. Vol. 45. no. 2. 2008. The Pennsylvania State University. University Park. PA. Shakespeare. W. Othello. The Complete Works of Shakespeare. erectile dysfunction. David Bevington. 3d edition. Glenview. Illinois: Scott. Foresman. 1980.
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