This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Haply For I Am Black": The Issue Of Race In Othello

2185 words - 9 pages

Othello's race does not greatly impact his downfall in the play. He maintains that while Shakespeare touches upon the issue of race, the cause of Othello's demise lies elsewhere.1 However, the implications of race in the play directly lead to its tragic ending; it is this issue that impels the characters to set the tragedy in motion. Brabantio would agree to the union of Othello and Desdemona if it were not for Othello's blackness. Roderigo could never be motivated to pursue Desdemona were it not for his belief that their relationship is unnatural. By far the most significant racism is Othello's own, racism that Iago brings to the surface by playing upon Othello's racial insecurities. Finally, it is racism that serves as Iago's primary cause in his destruction of Othello.Brabantio is very selective about suitors for Desdemona. When Roderigo comes to his window, Brabantio tells him, "The worser welcome! / ... In honest plainness thou hast heard me say / My daughter is not for thee" (1.1.92-95).2 Although Roderigo is a wealthy native Venetian, in Brabantio's eyes he is not worthy of Desdemona.. it seems that brabantio could approve of othello; he holds a high position as the general of the army, he is born of a noble background, and he has the respect of the State. In addition, Brabantio has an affinity for Othello, as he explains, "[he] loved [Othello]; oft invited [him]; / Still questioned [him] the story of [his] life" (1.3.128-29). There is no reason for Brabantio to disapprove of Desdemona's union with Othello--apart from his race.Yet Brabantio begins to take Roderigo seriously only when he informs him, in racist fashion, that Desdemona has fallen "To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor" (1.1.123). he finds the thought of his daughter eloping with a black man extremely repulsive. Brabantio can not believe how Desdemona, "a maid so tender, fair, and happy," could run "to the sooty bosom / Of such a thing as [Othello]" (1.2.65, 69-70). According to Brabantio, their union is so preposterous and "against all rules of nature" that the only logical explanation is that there is magic involved.The beginning of Othello and Desdemona's relationship, sparked by Brabantio's resistance, that the future of the relationship will end in tragedy.Though Roderigo lacks confidence and determination to charm Desdemona away from Othello, Iago gives him many reasons why Desdemona will not remain true to Othello: that Desdemona "must change for youth," that "she first loved the Moor but for bragging and telling her fantastical lies," and that Desdemona needs "sympathy in years" (1.3.346, 2.1.221-22, 228). The main idea here is that the relationship between Desdemona and Othello is unnatural because of Othello's race.the main prejudices held against "the Moor" are that he is devoid of basic intelligence, involved in superstition and magic, and barbaric. In the beginning of the play, when we encounter a relatively calm Othello, confident in himself, he does not fit...

Find Another Essay On Haply for I am Black": The Issue of Race in Othello

I am Black and I am Proud: Malcom X

3026 words - 12 pages internally resonated with Stokely Carmichael, one of his successors, who continued the passionate cries about black power. Stokely Carmichael was the most influential and passionate voice of the black males during the Black Power Movement. Carmichael was very popular in his highschool years and dated interracially, yet he described his relationships with whites as, “Now that I realize how phony they all were, how I hate myself for it. Being liberal was an

Reconciles Lincoln's emancipation proclamation and the quote " In I am not nor never have been in favor of bringing about in any way, the social and political equality of the white and black races..."

886 words - 4 pages is located in a Southern state, Lincoln changed his stand to reflect the opinions of his audience, "I am not nor never have been in favor of bringing about in any way, the social and political equality of the white and black races; that I am not nor never have been in favor of making voters of the free Negroes, or jurors, or qualifying them to hold office, or having them to marry with white people...there must be the position of superior and

Race: Can I have a Seat at the Black Table Please

970 words - 4 pages appear insensitive because they are hurt tare by someone else comment. My position on the race issue brings a lot of value. I am in the minority. I have been in situations were I need another Black person there to understand and support me. I am not saying White people cannot understand anything that goes on in a Black's life but there are some instances where they have no clue.

I am Your Sister: Black Women Organizing Across Sexualities (Audre Lorde) – A Critical Reflection Paper – Personal Review

1685 words - 7 pages PAGE PAGE 1 Brennan Tara BrennanStudent # 3745834Prof. Marie-Katherine Waller, Ph.D.FEM 1100 C24 March 2005I am Your Sister: Black Women Organizing Across Sexualities (Audre Lorde) - A Critical Reflection Paper - Personal ReviewAudre Lorde, in the article I am Your Sister: Black Women Organizing Across Sexualities, provides a clear assessment of the traditional and contemporary difficulties that Black Lesbian Feminists have to deal with

The Importance of Race in Othello

1036 words - 4 pages rant, he proclaims that Cassio has been given the job of lieutenant while he would be the “his Moorship’s ancient.” Iago goes on to say, “Now sir, be judge yourself, /whether I in any just term am affined/to love the Moor. Yet, again, Iago refers to Othello’s race as if it were a deciding factor in his actions. His statement leads to the question: Would Iago feel any more loyal to Othello if he were of a different complexion? Would Othello have

The Importance of Race in Othello

1103 words - 5 pages ). The duke is still aware of Othello’s color, black, but both Iago and the duke take into account the physical strength and virtue of Othello that makes both of those titles void, at least in being able to harm Othello’s position as general. Othello is not judged for his race in his professional life, and Othello eventually opens up to Desdemona who doesn’t see him as a general, nor does he feel like one around her.She listened to his stories

The Issue of Race

721 words - 3 pages Race has consistently been one of the most highly debated issues in the education field for decades. It is often a central factor in Supreme Court cases, such as the recent Schuette V. Coalition which prohibited the consideration of race admissions in Michigan, as well as the focus of student campaigns such as “I, too, am Harvard” which aims to create a voice for underrepresented students. Overall this issue can be broken into two main topics

Race In Othello

2481 words - 10 pages his personal situation has vanished. He concedes: Haply for I am black And have not those soft parts of conversation That chamberers have…. [III. iii. 263-65] Though he succumbs to the stereotypical presuppositions of the era, it is important to keep in mind that Othello—exhibited as defeated by his surroundings—is the same individual who once expressed impenetrable conviction. Edward Berry’s Othello’s Alienation offers a practically sound

The issue of race as a concept

1242 words - 5 pages Theme for English B reflects the inner conflicts of a minority race in a predominantly white society, written by Langston Hughes (1902-1967), who was one of the most important writers and thinkers of the Harlem Renaissance, the African American artistic movement in the 1920s that celebrated black life and culture. Hughes later became famous for this writings of Black American life in his poems, stories, autobiographies, histories and his

I am the king of the Castle

1648 words - 7 pages In 'I'm the Kings of the Castle' Susan Hill realized that in order for the book to be a success, the reader must feel sympathetic towards Kingshaw, so that they will believe in the likelihood of his suicide. She arouses the reader's sympathy through her narrative technique, the role of other characters and many other techniques that will be analyzed in the essay. Her skilful presentation of Kingshaw's story gives a disturbing insight into the

Am I Capable of Caring for a Dog While in School?

1593 words - 6 pages xxxxxxxxxxxxx English 80 MW 6PM-830PM May 8 2014 Am I Capable of Caring for a Dog While in School? "I am sorry I have to leave you to die in the hospital - I don't have enough money to pay for your treatment." I said grievously. My dog started to whine when I turned my back and began to walk away from him. When I turned my head to glance at him for the last time, I saw tears coming down from his eyes right before he closed them. " No!!!!!" I

Similar Essays

The Issue Of Race In Othello

3275 words - 13 pages his hatred for "the Moor." While feelings of inadequacy, hubris, and distrust all arguably serve as catalysts to the tragedy, the play is black and white in the sense that the igniting flame of Othello's demise is the issue of race.  The fact that Othello's skin color is highly relevant in the play changes our view of the tragedy.  Racism, as portrayed in Othello, is not merely a case of prejudices being held by one group of people against

Othello Essay: I Am Not What I Am (Analysis Of The Quote "I Am Not What I Am" In The Essay Of Othello By William Shakespeare)

762 words - 3 pages In the play Othello by William Shakespeare, the main villain, Iago, says many things hinting that he is not who he appears to be on the outside. Iago seems to be calm and kind, warm-hearted and loyal: many even call him "honest Iago," but there is a sting of irony to this -- Iago isn't honest at all. It is just a facade, put on to fool those around him into trusting him and letting their guard down long enough for him to trick them. On the

Man Causes The Destruction Of The Human Race: "I Am Legend" And "Z For Zachariah"

1755 words - 7 pages The film ‘I Am Legend’ and the novel ‘Z For Zachariah’ were chosen to be studied together for my connected text assignment. Originally I chose the film because I enjoyed it; I then matched it to a text based on similarities in theme. Both ‘I Am Legend’ and ‘Z For Zachariah’ are based on the same theme; that of man as the cause of the destruction of the human race. While the settings and characters are vastly different; as is the cause of

"I Am Not What I Am": Perceived Reality In "Othello."

1215 words - 5 pages The character Iago ominously mutters the words, "I am not what I am," at the beginning of William Shakespeare's "Othello the Moor of Venice" (I.i.65). What Iago means by these words so early in the play is a bit ambiguous, but as one reads on, many interpretations ensue. That very phrase becomes a subtle but powerful theme all throughout the tragic story that unfolds, and not only in regards to Iago, but also to Cassio, Desdemona, and especially