Othello By William Shakespeare 's Othello Essay examples

1628 Words Nov 18th, 2016 7 Pages
Race is one of many themes presented in William Shakespeare’s Othello. It is used at the beginning of the play to convey Othello’s blackness, but as the play progresses Othello uses racial comparisons to identify his own blackness. Things like his facial features (nose, ears, face,) are used to portray his appearance in relation to the other characters in the play. Shakespeare uses the detailed imagery of Othello’s blackness to place readers and the audience into the time period and setting of the play. The beginning of the play starts by creating a separation between Othello and the other characters. His blackness is the focus of the scene and prompts Iago to be glad he is not black: “The fellows have some soul,/ And such a one do I profess myself. For, sir,/ It is as sure as you are Roderigo,/ Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago (1.1.53-56).” The play criticizes race by having Iago contrast his own whiteness against Othello’s blackness.
Iago is happy not black like Othello because then he would not be a superior white man. There could be a reading of the quote that indicates Iago’s lust for Othello’s position, but Iago still would be abandoning his own pride in exchange for Othello’s fame. Though below Othello in social status, Iago still acts superior towards him by only referring to Othello as the Moor. This establishes Iago’s vendetta against Othello’s nobility and socioeconomic class. The play shows us characters like Iago, Roderigo, Emilia, and Brabantio refer to…

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