Preview
Preview

The Importance of Race in Othello Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 908 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Throughout time, writing has evolved such that gender, race and creed have taken on a more pivotal role in fiction. Some people argue that race in William Shakespeare’s tragedy, “Othello,” is hardly an issue. However, to many people, race is everything in “Othello. The challenges that Othello, the lead character, faces are directly attributed to his “Moor” complexion and if he were of a different nationality, the outcome of his situation would have been drastically different. These claims are supported by the articles of “Othello’s Alienation” by Edward Berry and “Race Mattered: Othello in Late Eighteenth-Century England” by Virginia Mason Vaughan that argue that race is a major element in “Othello.”

Within the first scene of “Othello,” the antagonist, Iago, shows his true feelings for Othello. He confides in Roderigo that he deserved the job that Othello gave to Cassio. In Iago’s 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 same problems if he were white? And ultimately, why would Othello so undisputedly believe the lies that he was told?

In the article, “Othello’s Alienation,” Berry explains that Othello’s race is “not only a mark of his physical alienation but a symbol, to which every character in the play, himself included, must respond” (Berry 319). In this alienation comes insecurities; Othello cannot help but to be...


... middle of paper ...


...his proclamations on Desdemona’s infidelity and hating the appropriate people, Othello is seeking Iago’s acceptance. He is trying subconsciously to appeal to Iago’s better nature even though Iago’s actions contribute to Othello’s demise. Because Iago is white and Othello is black, the events that incur are inevitable.

William Shakespeare’s “Othello” is a change from the norm in regards to play write in regards to race. Because Othello is black, Shakespeare was able to open up to new means of producing extreme emotions from the cast. These emotions entail rage, passion, jealousy, and love. All these emotion are attributed to the race of the main character and the tension that arises. Iago’s hatred for Othello relies solely on his race and provides a vehicle for which Iago can exact his hatred. Because of this malicious intent due to racism, “Othello” is possible.



Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
The Tragedy of Othello Essay - William Shakespeare masterfully crafted Othello, the Moor of Venice as an Aristotelian tragedy play. The main protagonist of the play, Othello, is the perfect example of a tragic hero. Shakespeare was influenced by Aristotle’s concept of a tragic hero and used Aristotle’s principles to create Othello. William Shakespeare attempted to create an Aristotelian tragedy play with a tragic hero and succeeded in Othello, the Moor of Venice by weaving in pity and fear into each line and action. The power of pity and fear creates the upmost tragic situation and follows in accordance of Aristotle’s definition of tragedy....   [tags: Othello Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
1286 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Role of the Female Characters in Shakespeare’s Othello Essay - In Shakespeare’s Othello, we the audience are introduced to several characters throughout the course of the play, three of which are female. These characters are Desdemona, wife to Othello, Emilia, wife to Iago and Bianca, Casio’s lover. Shakespeare has chosen to present the reader with only three female characters for specific reasons, as we are able to compare and contrast and see the differences in females in a male dominated society. It also helps us the audience to see how different woman, in different social classes would behave in 16th century Venetian time....   [tags: Shakespeare, Othello] 1612 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Racism and Interracial Marriage in Othello - Racism and Interracial Marriage in Othello Othello: The Moor of Venice is probably Shakespeare's most controversial play. Throughout this work, there is a clear theme of racism, a racism that has become commonplace in Venetian society which rejects the marriage of Othello and Desdemona as anathema. The text expresses racism throughout the play within the language transaction of the dialogue to question the societal ethos established by Othello, thereby making him nothing less than a cultural "other." Furthermore, the character of Desdemona is displayed as mad, or out of her wits, for marrying such an "other," and the audience sees her slip from an angelic state of purity to that of a tai...   [tags: Othello essays]
:: 8 Works Cited
3668 words
(10.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
What Way Would A Modern Audience React To The Way Race And Racism Is Portrayed In 'Othello'? - In the Sixteenth century, as we see clearly from Othello and other works of both Shakespeare and Cinthio's original version of Othello, race was a topic of great debate and discussion. Today, in the twenty-first century the debate retains its controversy and passion. However, attitudes towards race have taken a dramatic turn during the last century. In the developed world people are now living in an increasingly cosmopolitan society would undoubtedly be more tolerant and would reject or even be offended by racial discrimination to any person or sections of the community....   [tags: Shakespearean Literature] 1719 words
(4.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Updating the Setting of Shakespeare's Othello Essay - Along the crowded streets of Philadelphia the cars rush by and people are always in a hurry, but the poverty of the people that live in the neighborhoods can never be hidden. The name, the City of Brotherly Love, is almost ironic as crime and hate fill the streets of the city. There is a division between the people that can not be hidden, but only exaggerated by people’s interactions. This is the setting in which the Shakespearian play “Othello” will be interpreted. This modernization of this classic tragedy will be more appealing to the youth of today, who will be able to relate more to the characters and the setting of the play....   [tags: Modernization of Othello Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
2058 words
(5.9 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
William Shakespeare's Othello as a Victim Essay - William Shakespeare's Othello as a Victim Not All Works Cited Included In "Othello" Shakespeare shows that Othello is victimised in many ways, for instance; his race, his culture, his social position and naïve. Othello's victimisation could also show Shakespeare's meaning of the term "tragedy". In other Shakespearean tragedies the lead character is shown as cunning, ruthless and manipulative, more similar to Iago than Othello. This could represent a change in Shakespeare's opinion of a true Shakespearean tragedy....   [tags: Papers William Shakespeare Othello Essays] 1369 words
(3.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Othello by Shakespeare Essay - Many centuries have passed and almost everything has changed except one and that is discrimination . Discrimination is everywhere in the world, whether it is of caste, creed or color but it exists. It varies from place to place, country to country and from civilization to civilization but it exists. There are so many laws to stop it. But, it exists and it will exist no matter how hard we try to abolish it until there are a majority and a minority of people in imp this world. In Othello there is discrimination with Othello on the basis of his color and in The Importance of Being Earnest there is discrimination of class with Jack....   [tags: Discrimination, Literary Analysis]
:: 1 Works Cited
1269 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Deception in Shakespeare's Othello Essay - Deception in Shakespeare’s “Othello”      One may readily perceive the theme of Shakespeare’s “Othello” as deception. Deception appears many times in Othello, but in almost every incident the degree of deception is different. Deception is to “deceive another, illusion, or fraud” (Webster’s New World Pocket Dictionary 69), which is seen as a wrongful act. However, deception may be used to protect someone from getting hurt therefore being used with good intentions.      The very first act of deception is done by the character Desdemona....   [tags: Othello Shakespeare Deception]
:: 3 Works Cited
677 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Comparing Shakespeare's "Othello" and Nelson's "O" Essay - William Shakespeare’s Othello & Tim Blake Nelson’s “O” each demonstrate the issues of their respective contexts through the chosen mediums of both composers. Shakespeare’s Othello uses the medium of theatre to present ideas such as jealousy, appearance versus reality and racism through a variety of literary techniques while also encompassing the conventions of a classic Shakespearean tragedy. These ideas remain universally relevant in Blake Nelson’s modern day adaptation “O” which parallels the ideas conveyed in Othello through its cinematic techniques....   [tags: Literary Analysis] 2075 words
(5.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Modernism and Postmodernism in Shakespeare's Othello Essay - Othello teaches us much about our current postmodern culture. The play connects to our ideas of sexism, male-bonding, racism and capitalism. Shakespeare uses these universal and timeless flaws in humanity along with our use of language and truth to tell his tale. Iago, over a period of about three days, uses these facets of humanity to turn Othello against his wife Desdemona and his friend Cassio. Othello reveals both the struggle of the British people of the early 1600's and Americans in the late 1900's with sexism, capitalism and racism....   [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework] 1461 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]