Shakespeare Othello - Essay Example

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Name Professor Course Date Shakespeare Othello William Shakespeare is a renowned play writer in English literature who has written many plays as well as sonnets, which communicate various messages to his audience. Othello is one of his popular plays written in the late sixteenth century at a time when Venice and Turkey were at war with one another (Shakespeare & Gayle 25)…
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Shakespeare Othello
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Download file to see previous pages Shakespeare’s play Othello is set in Venice and Cyprus and involves a general named Othello, a person of black decent living among the whites. Despite having an African heritage, Othello is a general in the Venetian army and is happily married to Desdemona, a white woman (Othello 870). However, Roderigo; a rich young man was jealous of the marriage between Desdemona and Othello since he had been pursuing her love in vain. Therefore, he unites with Iago who hates Othello for favoring the inexperienced soldier, Michael Cassio. Othello promoted Cassio to the lieutenant position instead of Iago who had a lot of experience. They ganged up against Othello and started planning on how to ruin both his marriage and life. Discrimination occurs due to various reasons such as envy, desire for power and fear. Racism is frequently viewed in terms of morphological features like hair type, skin color, as well as facial looks (Rizzo 65). Just like in Shakespeare’s plays, Moors and other foreigners are identified by use of skin color. This play actually presents racist message when Othello, a character of African origin is insulted due to his race. For instance, in the play, he is referred as “The lustful Moor” (Shakespeare 2.1.290) Consequently, Othello is regarded as “An old black ram… tupping your white ewe” (Shakespeare, 1.1.110-6). Consequently, he is seen as “a Barbary horse” to …, make the beast …backs” (Shakespeare 1.1.110-6). These are racist insults of animal imagery directed at Othello because of is of African origin. He is seen as animal of lower status compared to the whites within Venice. However, I do not agree with the assessment of the play and the playwright that Shakespeare is a racist. This is because Shakespeare never considered race a central theme in his works. Instead, his comprehensive soul established an impressive racial vision. He comprehended many things related to racism thereby making him develop an impartial attitude towards different races within his surroundings (Moore 121). Consequently, five of Shakespearean plays focused on racial problems within his white centered Christendom society. This clearly proves that Shakespeare identifies the existence of racial differences though he is not a racist. Despite presence of sexual jokes as well as animal imagery directed to Othello, it is wrong for critics to consider Shakespeare a racist. Shakespeare is an impartial and humanitarian dramatist championing for interracial equality liberty, as well as fraternity. In fact, he encourages everyone to shy away or come out of racial bond, which cuts human hearts. Thus, we should discard racism since it cuts human hearts resulting in tragedies rather than curing the same (Bloom 78). Further, some critics argue that the sexual jokes as well as animal imagery within the play are forms of racial discrimination directed by Shakespeare towards Othello. For instance, he is referred as an old black ram spoiling Brabantio’s white ewe. The other instance is when Othello is considered a Barbary horse covering Desdemona would later produce a beast with two backs (Shakespeare 1.1.110-6). Consequently, Othello is portrayed as a person who gets angry faster. This is proved when he believes in the lies of Iago concerning the purported affair between her and Cassio. The lie angers him so much and makes him jealous of Cassio. Later, it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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