Theme Of Cruelty In Othello

Good Essays
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
…show more content…
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

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Without any proof or knowledge he agreed with Don John and assumed his true love was dishonorable. The aspect of self-deception that Shakespeare creates resembles to being wicked. Claudio portrays wickedness, as he creates a life punishing plan over his former lover to ruin her innocence in front of her family and the guests. He made such a heinous thought to ruin her life because he felt weak and powerless which is totally unacceptable to him, as he is supposed to feel more strengthened as a married man. He could not afford to lose his fame in society and so the idea of deceiving her, on her virginity, and letting her be shamed instead of himself, made…

    • 1223 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In the play, Othello describes himself as "one who loved not wisely, but too well". His passion for Desdemona is clearly tied up in his own sense of self-worth, in a way that is dangerous to his wife. Othello kills her has a desire to repair his own honor and self-image but for pure impulse and of pure rage. Othello has massive flaws in his character. His willingness to accept Iago’s very little evidence.…

    • 1599 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The only opinion that could possibly be made from this is that Iago hates it when someone completes a wrong deed against him. Iago is a man who disrespects women, it is fair enough to say that he does not seem to care if anyone has slept with Emilia. Hence, Iago’s source of motivation comes from the fact that the moor may have done something that makes him look fragile. To continue, Iago’s personal insecurities can be broken down into sexual insecurities. Exceptionally, Iago has a weak sexual life, he is not good with women and often refers to them as sexual objects.…

    • 1014 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Also he agreed to marry Romeo to Juliet when he knew it would cause an uproar of problems. Capulet was a fault, because he makes Juliet feel worthless and alone by the way he treats her, and he put blame on timing and not himself. This thesis agrees with the quote, because it shows how Friar Laurence and Capulet played the blame game, because they knew there would be backlash from the public They also understood that if they told the truth there would be severe consequences for their…

    • 812 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Theme Of Flaws In Othello

    • 972 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Othello’s opinions of Desdemona cause problems in their relationships and also facilitates Othello to want to kill her. He does not listen to what she has to say, and before he kills her, Desdemona asserts “Since guiltiness I know not, but yet I feel I fear” then Othello responds “Think on thy sins” (5.2.38-39), proving his disbelief of her honesty. When having a conversation with Emilia about Desdemona’s infidelity, Emilia becomes shocked that Othello does not trust her, asking “That she was false to wedlock?” to which Othello replies “Ay with Cassio” (5.2.142-143). Soon after, Emilia finds Desdemona’s dead body and realizes that Othello is the murderer. Emilia then becomes enraged at Othello, who realizes that he was wrong about his opinion of Desdemona’s disloyalty, and regrets killing Desdemona so much…

    • 972 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Othello was tricked and lied to but because of his insecurities it made him more vulnerable. Throughout the play Shakespeare tried to make Othello character the opposite of stereotypes by making him a nobleman with achievements and respect but toward the end it made Othello character embrace the stereotype of being a dangerous black male. Shakespeare let institutionalized racism become the center of what the play was about to show society how they are corrupting and judging people based on the color of their…

    • 884 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Women's Sexuality

    • 1238 Words
    • 5 Pages

    For these reasons, men feared this female figure and Leontes despises Paulina. He even accuses her of being “a mankind witch” (WT, 2.3.69) when she tries to tell him that Hermione is innocent. This exchange tells more about men’s insecurities than about female sexuality itself. According to Gulik Rosenfield, the patriarchal order is questioned in The Winter’s Tale through the representation of how female sexuality scares Leontes, in the part of the play set in Sicily, and Polixenes, in the part set in Bohemia. Because the society was structured so that women were powerless, the fact that frustrates and destabilizes Leontes is the realization that they can do more than any man can do: they…

    • 1238 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    They just have hate for people and they would rather see them fail rather than help them prosper. There are times when this hate becomes a destructive force that can even overcome the “healing” of love. We can see this demonstrated in the play “Othello” by William Shakespeare through the character Iago. This man had it for Othello from the start of the play we could see how much he really hated Othello. We can also see how hate went over love with the hate that Othello had for his wife Desdemona towards…

    • 1124 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Essay On Racism In Othello

    • 1626 Words
    • 7 Pages

    He used many racist actions describe Othello such as "lascivious moor", "Wheeling stranger". He also desribed Othello as a foul and dirty no good black when knowing Othello’s love for his daughter. In addition , he ordered his guards to catch Othello and put him in prison. Emilia also expressed her racist hatred for Othello when describing him as a ‘devil black ‘after his killing of Desdemona. Throughout the play, she had unfriendly attitude towards Othello but she was afraid to show this attitude because she did not want to get in trouble with her ‘lord ‘(Fiedler , 1973 , p.275) .…

    • 1626 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The negative stereotypes associated with color, especially blackness, creates a tragic sense of inferiority and “nobodiness” among the black people because of the crippling effects of slavery and segregation. Othello is a unique character among English literature, as he is a black military general, who has power and influence over many white men. However, Othello still feels like an outsider, a black-skinned man among the white Venetians, despite his intelligence, honesty, sincerity, and apt fighting skills. Author, Brent Staples, shows through the main character the ability of the black man to be perceived as the victimizer of violence and savagery, when in reality, he is the victim of racist attitudes defined by history of the past. Similarly…

    • 1061 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics