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Racism In Othello By William Shakespeare

1021 words - 5 pages

Firstly, Othello’s race and the racism around him ruined his marriage with Desdemona. Othello and Desdemona was a good couple, but you know what they say, all good things must come to an end. Almost everybody had a problem with their relationship. In that time, interracial relationships and marriage wasn’t allowed. While Brabantio was sleeping, Iago and Roderigo woke him up out of his sleep saying that Othello was having sex with his daughter Desdemona at that very moment. Brabantio didn’t believe them at first, but when he found out that they were telling the truth and his white daughter was with “the Moor” Othello, he didn’t take it lightly. He couldn’t believe that she would want to be ...view middle of the document...

The racism drove him crazy and Iago didn’t make it better. When Iago tells Othello that Desdemona was cheating on him, he thought that his blackness and Moorish characteristics changed her and made her do it because Iago and other characters like Brabantio said it would. When Othello killed Desdemona, his literal blackness became metaphorical (Little 322). As soon as Emilia found out that Othello murdered Desdemona, she had to bring race into the conversation; she made a racist comment by calling him a “blacker devil” (V.ii.131). He ends up becoming a whoremonger, a beast, and a devil (Little 322). The racial and non-racial comments that most of the characters made towards him must have been true or became true.
Secondly, Othello’s race and the racism around him alienated him from everybody in Venice. “To understand Othello’s position, one must appreciate not only his African characteristics, but his position as a black man in a Venetian society; he is the Moor of Venice” (Berry 318). Othello’s alienation played a big role in the play. Othello’s dark skin color isn’t only a mark of his physical isolation, but it also represents several different symbols. They were very stereotypical. Othello’s skin color is black and in the Elizabethan era, being black symbolized ugly, treachery, lust, bestiality, demonic, dishonest, and unintelligent (Berry 319). Those are just a few of the symbols.
Othello’s name wasn’t used very much in this play. That is a sign that Othello was alienated. It seemed like the other characters were avoiding using his name for some reason. Like I said in the last section, every character was blatantly being racist toward Othello. I realized that the more racist the character was, the less utilization of Othello’s name which was Iago. Iago used Othello’s name only five times and called him “the Moor” more than twenty times...

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