Othello, By William Shakespeare Essay

1170 Words Nov 13th, 2015 null Page
Often the most important themes in literature are developed in scenes in which a death or deaths take place. In the play Othello by William Shakespeare, the death of the character Desdemona serves as the climatic breaking point where pervasive racism and sexism can no longer exist without resulting in detrimental harm to the involved parties. It is Othello’s prideful hamartia that, combined with sexism, is the catalyst that ultimately destroys both his and Desdemona’s life. In Othello, the cast of characters is subjected to the mounting pressures of sexism and racism without even realizing the detrimental effects it has on their lives. The main character from whom the play’s title comes, Othello, is a general in the Venetian army. He is a Moor with ancestral roots settled in Northern Africa, and while he is respected for his achievements, he is constantly scrutinized for the color of his skin. Othello comes under praise for his valiant behavior, but as soon as he takes Desdemona for his wife and protes Cassio over Iago, any ounce of civility the other characters once had is lost. It is obvious that Othello is a victim of his time. Throughout the play, Othello is admired for his physical stature and choleric temperament. Likewise, he is compared to animals, including rams and horses, and it can be inferred by the reader that these other characters, excluding Desdemona, view him more as a beast than a man. Their approach in viewing him as inhuman serves only to elevate their…

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