"Othello" and Racism Analytical Essay by Master Researcher

"Othello" and Racism
Analysis of the theme of racism in the tragedy "Othello".
# 32098 | 2,650 words | 12 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Sep 22, 2003 in African-American Studies (Racism) , Shakespeare (Othello) , Literature (General)

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This paper presents the thesis that "Othello" is tragic story whose action, when viewed through the perspective of human relations, can be seen as result of the racial issues that fester in the minds of the characters. The paper goes on to highlight how racism is an inescapable component of Othello's life to the extent that Othello is insecure about his place in Venetian society. The paper clearly shows how in the character of Iago, Shakespeare demonstrates the dangers of holding racial prejudices.

From the Paper:

"Almost from the first performance on, critical debate has raged over whether a Moor is Arab or African. Those who prefer their Othello as a knight in ebony armor tend to lighten his origins. As Emlyn Williams (Bartels, 1996) once observed about such a performance, "I suppose the day will come when they'll have a black Iago and a white Othello!" Race is too singular a feature in the play to ignore, and any attempt to diminish it is only another form of avoidance. All the characters seem to view Othello's color as a physical liability: Brabantio and Roderigo are horrified by it; Iago views it as unappealing; the Duke of Venice can offer Brabantio only, "If virtue no delighted beauty lack, your son-in-law is far more fair than black," which isn't exactly saying "Black is beautiful." Even Desdemona defends her choice with "I saw Othello's visage in his mind," which privileges who he is at the expense of what he is. Othello's racial separateness is essential to his marital insecurity. Othello's race is clearly a case where less is not Moor."

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"Othello" and Racism (2003, September 22) Retrieved February 28, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/othello-and-racism-32098/

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""Othello" and Racism" 22 September 2003. Web. 28 February. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/othello-and-racism-32098/>