Theme Of Cruelty In Othello

915 Words 4 Pages
Othello in William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello experiences cruelty that in the end kills him. Othello showcases the idea that all people have enate cruelty that emanates throughout. Shakespeare creates sadistic characters to show how race, gender, and class can all be perpetrators of cruelty.
One of the main reasons Othello experiences cruelties is his race. Early on in the tragedy the reader is aware that Othello it looked down on society because he is a black man. In the time periods when Shakespeare wrote the play, racism was a big factor in society that could make or break someone. In the world of Othello race also plays a main role, Othello is a character with a high ranking in the army, but even with his respected job when he marries
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Emilia the wife of Iago was a victim of cruelty from her own husband. It has always been taught to young girls to please their husbands and Emilia knew this to be true. When the opportunity came to please her abusive husband she chose to obey. In the end, her situation did not change and although her dying words spoke of how she had a right to speak and voice her opinions despite what her husband told her, Emilia died as a victim of cruelty. Emilia’s defiant nature in the end shows the reader that Shakespeare encourages the breaking of the glass ceiling in the early 17th century when Othello was published. On the other hand, Iago represents the genetic nature of cruelty. People are cruel to a certain type of person, because they have seen others be cruel to that type of person before. Although, he is the perpetuator; Iago is also a victim if cruelty. Before him there were other men like Iago that were disrespectful to woman and only wanted them for nighttime purposes. When Iago warns Rodrigo that all woman do is decieve men he is reflecting the knowledge that he experienced from his life, as well as the life of other men he knew. Shakespeare uses these characters to so that cruelty because of gender is wrong and can only be shattered if men and woman unite for the common good. Iago and Emilia had a twisted relationship, but what this victim and perpetuator have in common …show more content…
Rodrigo a member of the lower class fell in love with Desdemona a woman of the upper class, but Rodrigo was denied his love for Desdemona. Brabantio denied Rodrigo this desire. Brabantio portrays how man primarily is concerned about materialistic items and perceived notions rather than what lies in the heart of a person. The self-seeking desire of man caused cruelty, which hurt Rodrigo. Brabantio knew that denying Rodrigo a chance with Desdemona would cause him pain. Brabantio’s sadistic behavior is a universal truth about mankind. Men hurt men for reasons they believe are noble, but typically they are not noble causes. Shakespeare informs readers that people create acts of cruelty for a supposed noble cause. Rodrigo has a crush on a young lady, but he was not given a chance with Desdemona simply because she was a member of the upper class. Rodrigo was also a victim to Iago. Because of Rodrigo’s vulnerable state Iago was able to take advantage of him and use him as a tool. Rodrigo, in this scenario, was a slave to Iago and when he became aware that he was enslaved he attempted to break free. Acts of cruelty were admitted for the sake of the greater good. Men assumed that class system was something to never be tarnished with and the social norm was cruelty. Shakespeare’s Othello highlights the fact that being cruel was socially acceptable given certain

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