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Racism and Bigotry in Othello

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In the early 1500s and 1600s the slave traffic was the dawn of a laissez-faire economy and ruled over changing into a dominant part of the ideology of society. Shakespeare created Othello by pure imagination, being the “Moor” a term going back all the way to Ellas, which means “mavro” translating into English as “black, blackened or burn.” Maybe, one amongst Shakespeare’s acknowledged characters, Othello is projecting to take one of his biggest disasters. Originally written by published Italian author Giraldi Cinthio and revealed in Venice in the mid 1560s, Shakespeare garnered the story making it into his own work of art, changing the characteristics and focus. The play came into prominence within the early 1600s creating the story and character quite simply being the “Moor of Venice,” where racism was at an all time high as Shakespeare picked apart Othello throughout the scenes he once saw before him and created his own twisted plot line. By exploiting multiple aspects Othello highlights the racism and intolerance towards fictitious characters deeming it prejudiced not realizing the matter at hand, this subject puts a stress on a problem that’s unnoticed. The Tragedy of Othello making a debut on the first of November in 1604, as racist remarks where within many scenes having the audience view how he is seen only by the color of his skin and his facial features. Othello is characterized by “What a {full} fortune does the {thick-lips} owe If he can carry’t thus!” (Shakespeare, pg. 11 lines 72-73.) The quote comes from protagonist Iago, permitting a touch of description as a racist comment. “The problematic racial, cultural, and theatrical issues inherent in the tradition of white actors who use blackface to lend visual credibility to their impersonation of Othello.” (Shakespearean Vol. 113). Never expanding his horizons to a black actor, Shakespeare led Othello to ceaselessly be pictured as a caucasian male portraying a black male, leading this behavior in associate overlapping motion in the modern era theatre, at the side of tv and films as others started to see not only black men but black people in a ominous light. At the time currently showing the negative fact of life, the racial discrimintion and also the violence to ethnic teams was blocked by an illusion.

Othello was delineated as a well revered man among the military group although is straight off seen as an outsider by his fellow troopers from the book, being hated by the antagonist Iago who was upset due to the actual fact that he was unnoted by Othello for the position of lieutenant once the duty was given to Cassio who was qualified though appeared inexperienced to Iago. Along with being hated by Desdamona’s father—Brabantio, taking a liking to Othello inviting him to his home where both Othello and Desadamona spoke a lot, typically on every occasion. Growing closer to Othello, he asks Desadamona for his hand in marriage disconcerting her father and everybody around them. With insensitive racist remarks from Iago, Brabantio and also the Duke, they shamed Othello for brainwashing Desdamona into being with him, the sensation created “By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks; For nature so prepost’rously to err– [Being not deficient, blind or lame of sense] Sans witchcraft could not.” (Shakespeare, pg. 33 lines 74-77). Beside a quote from Willaim Shakespeare; “You’ll have your daughter covered with Barbary horse, you’ll have your nephews neigh to you, you’ll have coursers for cousins and jennets for Germans.” (Shakespeare, pg. 15 lines 124-127).Shakespeare plays with Elizabethan, notioning that black men have a very animal-like, hyper-sexuality. This will appear to mesh with manipulating Brabantio’s fears of reproduction with the horror thought of having mixed grandchildren in the future. The self-marginalization of Othello permits him to attribute his feelings regarding race, making an attempt to free the narrative from the racial constraint that was currently alive. As “Othello’s blackness must rub off on her.” the “blackness” being the sole drawback and “From her perspective, the Othello figure who spies on and murders his unfaithful wife is a raced stand-in for the reader or spectator in masculinist-racist discourse.” (Christy Desment from Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England (Vol. 20).Displaying the prejudice towards Othello for being an older black male, discarding the fact that Desdamona has fallen for him from the hardships of his life and his military days, having eyes and selecting him, linking him to be a visible illustration, a black amongst a court of white Venetians.

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The wickedness of Iago had advanced as he was held by the hate and jealousy of Othello, feeling that it had been necessary to act or appear in concert of those possibilities are true and somehow found himself still not within the wrong for his unspeakable actions throughout the entirety of the book. “I hate the Moor. My cause is hearted; thine hath no less reason.” (Shakespeare, pg. 53 lines 408-410), called “Honest Iago” by Othello and his different peers, it is undeserving of his nickname by any means and also the reader will start to see how Iago truly acts and his intentions most of the time. “Iago… is a pitiful plaything of circumstance; there is, after all, one thing pitiful in this man’s final doom.” “I can’t agree; Iago was not a good man.” (Marvin Rosenberg, Shakespeare Quarterly Vol. 6, Issue 2). Iago, being aware of his cruel actions was too filled with excitement, adrenaline, rage and jealousy to stop. However, that does not stop him from continuing his emotion and bias to Othello, although he has an almost-like deep hatred relating to the women. In The Tragedy of Othello there are three women with speaking roles. Desdemona who is Othello’s wife, Emilia Iago’s and Bianca who has a smaller role though is still relevant. All females play corresponding roles in terms of their social status, Othello and most of the other men tend to portray all three women as secondary to the opposite sex to full extent. Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca are treated poorly amongst their husbands and the men of Venice.

Misogyny manifests in numerous ways, including belittling women, sexual objectification and male privilege. Having the benefit of learning “basic knowledge” up to a certain point women were forced to run their households and respect all male figures above them, along with not being allowed jobs. Repeatedly having cruel comments to women and showing no remorse. Iago firmly believes that women are universally untrustworthy and sexually deviant and may be obedient to men, doing what they say always without a thought. The fault of bigotry in misogyny is pursued while Othello downgrades Desdamona in arguments due to the lies from Iago. As the argument escalades Othello says “O, devil, devil! If that the earth could teem with woman’s tears, Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile. Out of my sight!” (Shakespeare, pg.189 lines 275-278) indicating that women in the 1600s are seen as a piece of meat and have no validation, only meant for seducing anything and everything. Without exception males have always believed that women must pay attention to what men say at all hours of the day. “In its searchingly honest discussions of female inter-racial rivalry, the book lays bare marriage–at least in the slave-holding class–as a racist-masculinist institution that pits white women against black.” (Christy Desmet, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England Vol. 20). They were not allowed to express themselves in any way or conduct their right to free speech. Proceeding on within the story, Iago is disrespectful to his wife Emilia almost as much as Othello is disrespectful to Desdamona. The idea of women as merely objects is drawn to and in society of this time period. Emilia does love Iago with all her heart, but however realises that Iago’s plan to destroy Othello is becoming a reality along with his will to ultimately tarnish Desdemona’s life. The fire of jealousy in Othello’s heart and his trust in Iago without questioning lead him towards insanity and the ultimate tragedy where he is found dead alongside Desdamona’s corpse after taking his own life.

Thus, the racism and bigotry that was blatantly there in the plot did not stay unhidden, as Shakespeare dove further with each character. The problems that are relevant were not to be regarded in the end. Consequently, the inescapable and destructive effects of racism and being biased towards the color of skin changed the lives of Othello and Desdemona deeply. It is observed that a society having the problems with not only a black male but with an interracial couple, can put a restrain on love and in moments there cannot be a limitation of racist people destroying the happiness of others.  

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