Discrimination In Othello

1845 Words 7 Pages
The play adaptation Othello is a tragic play that focuses on the racial and misogynistic elements of Shakespeare’s writings. Through Shakespeare’s play, critics have argued his depiction as racist and even sexist. Othello is a play that is debated on whether Shakespeare wrote it for entertainment at the expense of the “racial other” or if it was an advanced social message about the detriments of othering marginalized groups.
The character, Othello, was a Moor of Venice who was subjected to racial stereotypes and misogynistic projections upon his wife via the protagonist Iago. The story is a tragedy of a general who was once a respectable hero soon turned into a violent and jealous man based on Iago’s deceit. The racial and sexual tones of the play come in when Shakespeare depicts the treatment and perception of Othello and Desdemona’s characters. Desdemona was a white woman who eloped with Othello written as a Moor likely of African descent rather than Arab. Her sexuality as a woman correlates with Othello’s race because as a white European woman, she is deemed pure in
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It is Iago who shows himself to be an unbearable, disparaging, and violent character. In spite of Othello extracting physical violence at the hands of Iago’s psychological manipulation, Iago is the one who causes the greater violence in the play. He uses intelligence and reverse psychology to ruin Othello’s reputation and relationship with Desdemona. If it weren’t for Iago’s initial intent for Othello’s demise, the violent outcome of Desdemona and Cassio would not have taken place. This brings the question of whether Shakespeare meant to reveal Iago’s evident racism and violent behavior or if Shakespeare was simply noting that Othello ends up succumbing to his primitive instincts of being the “barbaric” black man Iago and Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, have foretold in the beginning of the

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