Theme Of Identity In Othello

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The theme of identity in Othello is brought up by the way certain circumstances shape a certain identity. In this essay I will explore the female identity, the racial identity, the military identity and the manipulated identity and how it evokes certain actions or response.

The supposed female identity has been decided by the men of the society, as seen by the outright proclamation of what Iago believes to be the proper, perfect woman. In 2.1, Iago not only uses repetition of the word “never”, the choice of diction of such an absolute word like “never” reflects that all these criteria of women was what was assumed by the society to be obvious and completely correct, that the conduct of women to be “never proud”, “never loud”, “never gay”, is something that has been established and should be abided by. Iago speaks in long and unending sentences that are separated by many commas, reflecting his rapid flow of thoughts as
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In 1.1, the conversation between Roderigo and Iago concerning Othello is what opens the play. The name “Othello” was never once brought up, and was instead substituted with “the Moor” that simply identifies him by the colour of his skin, not even worthy enough to deserve a name. Iago very crudely and explicitly tells Brabantio that Othello the “old black ram is tupping [his] white ewe” with the use of animal and sexual imagery, implicating that the general assumption on Othello’s race is that they are merely savages animals that only live by their sexual instincts. He also mentions that Desdemona and Othello are “making the beast with two backs”. Before the audience is even able to meet Othello, we are already forced fed with vivid description that implies the paralleling of blacks and beastly animals that are uncivilised and simply sexually driven, constructing a similar negative impression on Othello, sharing Iago and Roderigo’s racist mentality through lewd, indecent and debasing

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