The Rule Breakers of Yore
William Shakespeare and Mary Shelley are two prolific writers during their own time. Shakespeare was known for his countless plays like Othello, which tackled a variety of subjects, some touching delicate moral, social, and political issues (Miller n. p).
On the other hand, Mary Shelley, a young woman who ran off with the young poet Percy Shelley was the author of a famous horror story called Frankenstein (Hamberg n. p). Both of these writers wrote stories of what may be considered as rule breakers of their time.
Since Othello is a play by nature, there were only a few parts that are narrated. The main character Othello was an innocent victim of crude lies made by Iago, the envious villain. Most of the events that took place in the story were the effect of the twisted plan of Iago. People like Cassio, and Roderigo were manipulated according to Iago’s whim resulting to a tragic ending (Shakespeare and Sanders). This Shakespearean narrative proved to be a rule breaker indeed as all the elements therein point. The main character, Othello, was a moor in Venice, the country’s center of Christianity.
Instead of putting a Christian at the point from which events should revolve, Shakespeare used a moor to represent how much hypocrisy that a Christian is capable of. This was of great importance because during the period when Shakespeare wrote the play, Christianity was stagnant and people were calling out for reforms (Muhlberger n. p) In the play, though the Christian characters were supposed to be portrayed as righteous and covetous, there were depicted as lying men who tried to get what they wanted at the expense of others.
They were selfish and greedy, and were even willing to take another person’s life. This was a critical part of the play as it portrayed the city’s religion as one having anomalies and hidden controversies (Muhlberger). Another point that shows the defiance of this play was that a moor was not a very common site in Europe in reality during those days. But in the play, the moor was even a servant to the duke of Venice. He was even more affluent as compared to the other Italian characters (Cummings n. p).
On the other hand, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein also proved to rival the deviance of Shakespeare’s play. It was a story about a man, Victor Frankenstein, who created a hideous creature out of spare human parts from slaughtered houses and dissecting clinics. As did the Othello play of Shakespeare, Shelley’s story ended tragically with the main character and the subject of his torment dead (Hamberg n. p). The story strayed in deviance from the norms as it used a story where a man tried to play God by creating a man from chunks of flesh and parts sewn together.
Using electricity, he was said to have breathed life into it. This was a form of disrespect because during that time, death was considered as a sacred event. Whether of Anglican or Protestant religion, people exerted all possible efforts to produce a grand funeral for their dead. The dead were lavishly dressed, placed in elegant coffins and buried in cemeteries with the most beautiful tombstones or mausoleums (Alirangues n. p).
Shelley was brave to have characterized a being out of stolen parts of the dead in a time when the dead seemed more important than those who were living. However, this was not yet the most defiant feat of her story as also during those times, in reality, Science and religion had such harmony that in creating a being through science was a form of sacrilege that may utterly destroy the harmony of the two subjects. This has almost been the case of Shakespeare’s Othello (Fyfe n. ).
Given such, it may be concluded that the works by two of the most famous authors in history are indeed rule breakers in their own right, and in their own time. Whether they have created the narratives for the purposes of satire or to show the people harsh realities, they have successfully weaved literature treasures that are remembered not only because they were masterfully done, but because they have dared to break away from the norms in the subtlest yet very striking way.