Role that race plays in Shakespeare’s portrayal of Othello

In the first account, Othello is an influential story that is dominated by racial differences. This is because there are no explanations of other characters in the play apart from the racist characters. Through this play, there are wordings that have been used to replace Othello like ‘Moor’ as quoted by Bloom and Harold (1987). With such an accountable opening, the play enhances the reader to have a perception that the plot s composed of racism beliefs that were present in the Shakespeare’s period. In the plot development, the Othello character becomes louder and thus it is elaborate that he is unable to match the description associated to him by Iago. This is with reference to the view that he is considered to have fascinating and foreign account and legacy. Consequently, the racism role is elaborated by the implication that offset throughout the progression of Othello.

In the beginning, the story starts in darkness where two protagonists who are desperado talk about Othello, their adversary. Through the story, the reader is confined to discover Othello through the terms that have been used by the characters. This is because his name is not mentioned in the play. Iago and his friend Roderigo use the name ‘Moor’ on him to demonstrate his insignificance in the social world. Using insulting terms like ‘thick lips’, the reader is propelled to reflect monstrous perception of Othello. This is because his lips are likened with those of a horse for this is with regard to the fact that horses are associated with their big lips. The statement that refers to Othello about his half horse grandson clearly depicts that the two protagonists regard Othello as an animal.

Shakespeare is thought to be a racist in the beginning of the play because he brings a character who does not match with others in terms of color. Throughout the development of the play, we realize that the black race is associated with many weaknesses thus giving rise to the theme of race. The presence of Iago shows how the races have been portrayed in terms of having superior and the inferior race. This is because the white race has the tendency of insulting the black race basing their argument that black race is inferior. Racism has been used to show irony when Othello encourages his enemies to keep their bright sword because it will be rusted by the dew. Othello in this scene uses intellectual saying to deal with his enemies and thus bringing concept of wisdom among the black race. The role of racism has also been emphasized to show gender and race relations and their importance in contemporary movie creation. Othello has been compared with Desdemona to show the threats that are exposed by the feminine aspiration. This issue engulfs facts that surround a woman in terms of her virginity and authenticity

How do the other characters react to Othello’s skin color or to the fact that he is a Moor?

The characters reaction towards Othello is very dehumanizing for it inherits the concepts of animal description. The subject relating to use of coinciding animals traits with the dark race is hardened by his enemies who bring a dangerous outlook of Othello. In addition, the use of animals and beasts are used to describe the identity of Othello. Through this description, we come to have a perspective that black men are likened with animals. This gives a more outline of the character of black people in conjunction with deficiency of correct human identity. Sequentially, this brings imagery to the audience about the insignificance of black people in the society. Therefore, Othello’s color in the play is used to reflect to the discrimination that the black people face. The color issue brings another concept that faces the black race in terms of lack of modern progression. Many mistakes and an undeveloped way of intelligence are plotted against the black color because of the substandard way of thinking that is perceived to relate to the black people.

The other related disgust with racism in the story is black race fearing things or actions that they do not know. The news about the affair that existed between Moor and the daughter of Brabanzio is very distressing. This brings a belief to Brabanzio that there was the use of superstition that promoted love affairs between black and the white. Consequently, Othello is accused of using witchcraft to force Brabanzion’s daughter to fall in love with him. This is because black people were not expected to have an affair with the white people. The irony that dominated the whole issue was the association of the participation of the black race in the relationship. The affair between the whites and the blacks has been regarded to be defiling the laws of temperament. Therefore, this shows that racism has been used as a tool to identify cultural beliefs and ways of living of different races. The black color of Othello has been used in the play to imply how the black race is associated with superstition and witchcraft.

How does Othello see himself?

In the entire play, Othello has continued to regard himself irrespective of the diversity in races. His humbleness allows him to be willing to accept his race regardless of the insults from his enemies. The use of the term ‘other’ shows the ability of Othello to resist and defend his race even when he is regarded as an inferior race. This is shown where he is willing to enter into a relationship with a white woman. Through the period of insult by the duke, Othello holds his ground to defend his race. Superstition in the play has contrary been associated with the black. This is because the power of influence that is poised to Othello is the one that has attracted the woman to him.






















Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. William Shakespeare’s Othello. New York, NY: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987. Print.

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