Othello By William Shakespeare 's Othello Essay

1184 Words Dec 16th, 2015 5 Pages
William Shakespeare’s Othello is a play that tackles the racial issues of the Elizabethan period without explicitly mentioning them. Shakespeare aims to go against the stereotypical views of black men and paint them in a good light, one that his audience is not used to. The play takes place in a setting relatively tolerant of Africans, Venice, but through the events of the play the Elizabethan audience is able to see the damage that their racist thinking creates. Shakespeare shows the effect of racism on an accomplished man, as everything that happens to Othello is due to his race and how others treat him because of it; he is accused of enchanting Desdemona, believes she is cheating on him, and dies all because he is black. In the beginning of the play, when Iago and Roderigo tell Brabantio that Desdemona has married Othello, they use racial slurs to describe him. Iago says “an old black ram/Is tupping your white ewe” (Shakespeare 1.1.97-98). He uses this term in order to distress Brabantio and have him go after Othello. Brabantio wants Desdemona to marry a white man that he approved of, and her marriage to Othello is the last thing he wants for her, so when he finds out she went behind his back and eloped with him, he is visibly unsettled. This demonstrates that Desdemona and Othello’s marriage is one that was looked down upon because of their race difference. This racist view is further confirmed when Brabantio assumed Othello used black magic to get Desdemona. “If she…

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