Conflict between the Muslims and western Christendom has existed since Islam came into being. This rivalry has never ceased since then. There have been both political and economic clashes between these two religions. Islam came into being in 622 AD and it is credited to be among the last of great civilizations.
The Islam religion managed to change the Arabs into a new form of community, which was more united and this enabled them spread beyond the Arabia, Persians, and even into Africa and European parts. The first clash between the Muslim and Western Christendom dates back the year 711 A.D when the Muslims tried to besiege Constantinople.
Among the most well known and well documented conflicts between the Islam and Christianity which also was a sign of the fall of the Ottoman Empire was the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878.
The Ottoman Empire was and remains one of the greatest and fondly recognized civilizations of the modern times. The empire was the largest and one of the most influential Muslim empires of all times and it lasted until the 20th century.
The empire was founded in the late 13th century by several Turkish tribes, which were ruled by the descendants of Osman 1 until the dissolution of the empire in 1918. Within 100 years since their establishment, the Ottomans had changed from the small kingdom it had started as to the heirs of one of the strongest and most respected empire.
The success of the Ottoman Empire has for a long period been attributed to the disunity and the weaknesses of their adversaries as well as excellent and superior military techniques that the empire held.
Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More The Russo-Turkish war origins can be traced back to the Crimean war in which Russia underestimated the power of the Ottoman Empire and when they entered to war Russia was defeated and lost some of its territories to the empire.
Thus, though Russia was helping the Balkan states in regaining their independence, their main aim was to recover the territories it had lost earlier. Another aim of entering into war was aimed at protecting the Armenians who were the minority group of orthodox Christians and they were suffering much from the Muslim empire rule.
In the year 1876, the Balkan states of Serbia and Montenegro declared war on Ottoman Empire where the two states were defeated but Russia with the approval of Austria attacked and defeated the Ottomans (Spielvogel 762). The Russian army passed through Danube and met with the ottoman soldiers. The war took a period of about 5 months and when the Ottoman army could resist no more, they retreated and the Russian soldiers marched on and on annexing some of the empire land.
The ottomans could not take that anymore and they requested for a peace treaty. The Russians agreed and with it the peace treaty was signed which went by the San Stefano. By the treaty of San Stefano, a large Bulgarian state was also created and the treaty also resulted in some of the countries under the Ottoman rule which were fighting for independence being granted the same and these included Serbia and Romania.
The Russian success was not a positive indication to other European powers and in the year 1878, European countries with Germany under Bismarck being the leader, called for a congress in Berlin to discuss a revision of the San Stefano treaty. When the congress met it reduced the agreements, which had been signed under the treaty to the humiliation of Russia.
The Bulgarian state was reduced in size and the rest of the territory returned to the Ottoman Empire and it was after this Congress of Berlin that European powers formed alliances in order to safeguard their security.
After what Russia had experienced in the Berlin congress, it terminated the alliance and thus Germany had to make an alliance with Austria with Italy joining later.
We will write a custom Essay on Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Reasons for the Russo-Turkish conflict Nationalism
In the middle of 19th century there was a rising wave of nationalism across the Ottoman Empire. It was at this period that the Balkan States which had been under the rule of Ottoman successfully revolted against the empire and gained their independence with the help of other European countries.
Related to the Balkan states the following activities led to the conflict; The founding of the independent Bulgaria, the revival of their language, the intellectual awakening and the rise of the orthodox Christian church were some of the factors that reinforced nationalism and realization of Bulgaria’s independence and unity among other Balkan states.
It was after gaining the independence that Bulgaria felt that it needed to establish territorial and ethnographic boundaries to separate it from the other Slavic nations. It was during this period that anything related to Ottoman was considered negatively and Islam as a religion was regarded as a reminder of the ottoman occupation, and with the help of Russia this was made possible (IHRC 7).
Ottoman Abuses of Christians Living in the Empire
At the end of the Crimean war, which pitied Russia against the Ottoman Empire, there was an agreement that Christians and Muslims were to share equal rights. While some of these reforms were initiated afterwards, some key aspects of discrimination still remained, for example, there was no place where Christians were allowed to confess against the Muslims.
This created a Muslim like immunity towards offenses committed against the Christians. In some instances it allowed the Muslims to take advantage of the situation and exploited Christians badly. These practices were mostly felt where the Christians were the majority and this was used as a tool to keep them off, as a result revolts grew within and the Russians saw it as an opportunity to help them by attacking the Ottoman Empire.
Weakness of the Ottoman Government
The empire army and economic status began weakening; this caused its instability and made them vulnerable to external attacks from their rivals. The military instability caused the empire to experience internal problems and weakened the very foundation of the empire. The empire insistence and devotion to its traditions also caused their relations with the rest of European countries which were Christian dominated and as observed by Lioutas,
In the year 1800s the Empire experienced a decline as a result of a lack of advancement, corruption in the government, a decline in military power, which facilitated external attacks, along with negative feelings towards them and poor relations with other countries; this resulted in isolation from the West (Lioutas 1).
Another factor that led to the weakening of the Ottoman Empire was its internal army conflict, for example, before their war with Russia, the Ottoman Empire had engaged in war with Muhammad Ali from Egypt which resulted in the loss of Egypt for the empire. Internal wars were fought resulting in liberation and essentially loss of land therefore decrease in empire size; slowly and steadily, parts of the empire particularly in the borders were lost (Haberman
Othello as the Outsider Essay
Nursing Assignment Help Table of Contents Introduction
Othello as an Outcast of the Venetian Society
Othello as an Outsider in Human Relations
Othello’s Language and Behavior within the Context of the Play
Introduction The play Othello by Shakespeare is a tragedy of human relationships where the protagonist is unable to adjust to the rules and principles of Venetian society. His alienation from actions and concerns affects his much because his physical appearance along with his character traits is in dissonance with the context of the play.
Hence, due to his otherness, Othello is unable to enter the rational society. His consciousness is overwhelmed with jealousy and fury. The hero is also an outsider in expressing his thoughts and manners; he is unable to accommodate the moral and ethical norms of human behavior and, therefore, such an opposition dooms Othello to be a permanent outsider, which also makes him a tragic figure. In addition, Othello’s alienation is also revealed through linguistic and contextual techniques.
Othello as an Outcast of the Venetian Society The first feature that differs and alienates Othello from the Venetian society is his race (Vaughan 33). Being a Moore who came from Egypt, people are reluctant to accept him. Despite his enormous attempts to gain respect, his military and respectful position in the army still keeps him far away from being recognized and accepted.
His race and origin pursues his throughout the play which makes more hostile and outrageous which is reflected in all his actions and deeds. Even after marriage with Desdemona, the senator’s daughter, Othello is still perceived as something unusual and even mysterious due to the color of his skin; his affection for Desdemona is also realized in unusual way: “That with some mixtures pow’ful o’er the blood / Or with some dram, conjured to this effect/ He wrought upon her” (Shakespeare 382).
Even those who consider him as a peer, particularly Desdemona and Brabanzio, are still attracted and bewildered by his exotic features. There are cases when Othello himself realizes that he is an outcast of society and recognizes his exotic appearance distinguishing him from other Venetians.
Othello is conscious of his blackness and distinctions from other members of society. He takes advantages of his racial distinctions to justify his actions and explain the reasons of his moral and social inferiority.
Bloom states, “[h]is blackness is the cause of Brabantio’s opposition to his marriage, it affects the consciousness of everyone around him, and it has just been pressed upon him by Iago’s insinuations of Desdemona’s unnaturalness” (55). In the play, Othello strives to emphasize that his blackness is insignificant impediment and highlight the advantages of his origin revealing the positive features of his character and behavior.
Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More However, by justifying his origin, Othello subconsciously acknowledges that his an outcast of this society and there is a considerable gap between his wild and irrational world and between superior and aristocratic Venetian society: “Haply, for I am black,/ And have not those soft parts of conversation,/ that chamberers have, or for I am declin’d into the vale of years (yet that’s not much), She’s gone” (Shakespeare 438)
At the same time, by trivializing his racial affiliation, the hero accentuates the irrationalism of his judgments and rejects to acknowledge the actual reason for his alienation. Such position leaves Othello with two options only: he can either recognize his blackness in the face of his counters or internalize this feature which makes him resort to self-loathing.
Othello as an Outsider in Human Relations Othello becomes an outsider and a foreigner due to lack of experience in human relations and communication. The hero looks different in the society where moral and ethical standards deviate considerably from his personal ideas about life and relationships. Inability to control his feelings and emotions cinches him, specifically in relations with Desdemona, Iago, and other characters of the play.
Paradoxically, despite of Othello’s apparent eloquence, he still protests “Rude am I in my speech, / And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace” (Shakespeare 381). Othello’s marrying Desdemona can also be estimated as a feeble attempt to assimilate to the society focusing less attention to his exotic appearance. However, the failure to be recognized and to be equally considered by others deprives him of the last chance to regain his identity.
The false reputations gained in the army still blind his ambitions any display of disdain and negligence toward him is perceived furiously. Therefore, Desdemona’s betrayal seems horrifying to Othello because he regards as another stab in his back and in his attempt to be considered equally in relations.
Othello also considers Desdemona’s adultery to be a confirmation of his otherness. Betrayal, thus, means the loss of reputation and, at a deeper level, his anguish and rage is caused by the identification of himself via his affection for Desdemona.
Therefore, he cannot accept because it would alternatively mean the perversion of his love: “But there, where I have garnered up my heart, / where either I must live or bear no life; / The fountain from the which my current runs, / or else dries up: to be discarded thence!” (Shakespeare 473). Othello erroneously believes that his identity and being can be expressed through his feelings, but his impulsive behavior betrays him and outcasts him once again from the rational and balanced society.
We will write a custom Essay on Othello as the Outsider specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Othello’s fear of his own rage coming outside makes him even more wild and outrageous, which dooms him to be the outsider until his death (Bloom 58). Therefore, the murder was the act of liberation from the bounds of love and passion, which prevented him from struggling with his repulsive nature.
Othello’s Language and Behavior within the Context of the Play The way Othello communicates with other members of society and expresses his feelings and emotions is another indicator of his alienation. Evaluating Othello as the outsider from the linguistic and contextual point of view is also possible. With the regard to the possibilities of the text and the context, Othello is endowed with a so called counter text and counter language with the help of which he is forced to explore himself and surrounding world (Rao 55).
In other words, Othello as the outsider “…has a grammar of his own but its syntax cannot relate to syntactical realities of the white narrative” (Rao 55). This two-polar opposition could be explicitly viewed when opposing the protagonist with other characters. Hence, Othello – Iago and Othello – Desdemona can be regarded as dichotomies that should be interpreted outside the marginal meaning and apart from prevalence of a signifier and signified.
Taking into consideration the structure of the play and its narration, it is possible to assume that Othello is antagonistically presented through his language and communication. His reactions to his own manner of communicating outcasts him from the ideal world, the world totally contrast Othello’s world. What is more important is that language serves to distinguish various social classes and roles, educational background, and means for disguising the true intensions and thoughts of Shakespeare’s characters.
Finally, the language also manages to render Othello’s willingness to appropriate his speech to the Venetian society and his role in it. Hence, the hero is forced to suppress his nature and being to be recognized by those who openly reject him.
The image of Othello’s world, hence, is reflected through his feeble attempts to imitate the language that he does not know. Othello’s characteristics language also provides reasons from being alienating from the society (Clingman 85). It identifies the failure of being assimilated in society and contradicts his racial affiliation.
Conclusion The play Othello by William Shakespeare discloses very complicated topics and one of them relates to the representation of Othello as the outsider as a foreigner who fails to be recognized by the Venetian society. Due to his racial affiliation and alienation, Othello cannot be accepted by refined and rational society. Being overwhelmed with burning desire to prove his right to equally exist in the Venetian society, the hero is gradually becoming frustrated with the severe reality because he is perceived as nothing but a Moore with exotic appearance.
Therefore, such acceptance forces Othello to become an outsider and to realize his impossibility to inherit all manners and behavior that are necessary for peer existence. Therefore, his alienation and estrangement from the white world is expressed through societal attitude, Othello lack of communication and failure to establish norm human relationships, and the contextual and linguistic peculiarities of the play.
Not sure if you can write a paper on Othello as the Outsider by yourself? We can help you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Works Cited Bloom, Harold . William Shakespeare’s Othello. US: Infobase Publishing. 2010. Print.
Clingman, Stephen. The Grammar of Identity: Transnational Fiction and the Nature of the Boundary. UK: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.
Rao, P. Mallikarjuna. Postcolonial Theory and Literature. US: Atlantic Publishers
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