Othello, By William Shakespeare Essay

1085 Words Dec 1st, 2015 5 Pages
Race is an enduring controversy, remaining prevalent in literature and culture over many centuries. Recent events like Ferguson confirm the reality that racism still exists, and that it is not an old, outdated phenomenon. From the landmark Sacco and Vanzetti Trial to the shooting of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, society has consistently seen racial profiling and values of nativism affect human decision making and behavior. William Shakespeare’s play Othello is no exception. The play’s protagonist, Othello, a high-ranking official in the Venetian army, is a descendant from northern Africa and the only non-white character in the play. Despite his acknowledged abilities and knowledge, the military leader is often belittled by other characters in the play because of his race. For instance, his interracial marriage is questioned and manipulated by characters in the play. Even being faced with egregious racism, Othello plays a heroic character, one known for his militarial success and ability to defy the stereotypes that exist. People belonging to minority groups are vulnerable to criticism from those who let a difference in race have precedence over the qualities of an individual.
Othello’s recognized skills and his prestigious position in the Venetian army allow him to have significance militarily, and within Venetian society. Even Iago, who throughout the play, manipulates Othello in hopes to gain power, knows that Othello is an important figure in the…

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