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Issues of Racism within Othello 

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    According to Cambridge Dictionary, the term racism is “belief that people’s qualities are influenced by their race and that the members of other races are not as good as the members of your own, or the resulting unfair treatment of members of other races” The Elizabethan Era began in 1485, with the finish of the wars of the roses and finished in 1603; this time is frequently viewed as the Golden Age. At the point when black people were first brought, they were viewed as ‘exotic creatures’ and had no rights. As the years went on they gradually began to increase a few rights, however, strain among them and different races were substantial and they were known as ‘moors”. Racism at that point was increasingly normal and merciless. It was basic to single out North and West Africans out for the manner in which that they dressed, carried on and their traditions in Elizabethan England and to allude to them as ‘devils,’ or ‘villains.’ A case of racism in the Elizabethan Era can be seen through the character, Othello in William Shakespeare’s play, Othello, racism is the explanation behind Othello’s destruction and his shortcoming due to the colour of his skin he was treated unfairly.

    Firstly, Iago can’t tolerate Othello, as he is black. He imagines that a dark individual can’t be such an effective fighter and can’t wed a white lady. When he learns Desdemona, little girl of the Brabantio, furtively weds Othello, he cautions Brabantio with a toxic racist dialect, and Brabantio does not believe the news as he goes on to say “she, in spite of nature, of years, of country, credit, everything, to fall in love with what she fear’d to look on, it is a judgment maim’d and most imperfect that will confess perfection so could err against all rules of nature (I.III.96-101). Brabantio cannot trust that his daughter has fallen for a black man, for he trusts it is against nature for interracial couples to exist. Besides, Brabantio stubbornly blames Othello for utilizing dark enchantment to lure his little girl, for Brabantio trusts this is the main path for his respectable girl to become hopelessly enamored with a dark man (Kader). This goes on to show that frankly no one believes or supports Desdemona and Othello’s marriage. He goes on to say that “if she in chains of magic were not bound, whether a maid so tender, fair and happy, so opposite to marriage that she shinned, the wealthy, curled darlings of our nation would have ever t’incur a general mock” (I.II.64-68). Brabantio still cannot accept and is explaining to Othello that Desdemona fell in love with him despite other suitors who were better than him, came to ask for her hand in marriage. When Othello finds out that Desdemona is cheating on him, he loves and trusts her with all his heart, but he is insecure that she does not feel the same way, and that he is not good enough, thus going for a white man: Cassio, that is why he is quick to believe Iago’s words. In the first half of the book, Othello is clearly in love with Desdemona and treats her kindly. ‘Come, my dear love, / The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue; / That profit’s yet to come ‘tween me and you’ (II.III.8-10). In this quote, Othello is depicted as exceptionally minding and adoring towards Desdemona like a spouse ought to be. After Iago’s manipulation and his exposure to racism and an increase with his jealousy, demonstrate a fast increment of both physical and verbal maltreatment toward Desdemona, and in Act 4, scene three, he slaps Desdemona to the point even Lodovico is stunned and questions Othello’s conduct.

    Secondly, in the play Othello, Shakespeare incorporates distinctive symbolisms that are dim and honestly satanic and insidious to represent Othello and African Culture. Iago shouts to Brabantio “arise, arise; awake the snorting citizens with the bell, or else the devil will make a grandsire of you” (I.I.89-90), and in this statement Iago is alluding to Othello as the devil, and Iago illuminates Brabantio that Othello is sleeping with his daughter the possibility of having devil grandkids scares Brabantio. This makes Othello and outside as he is outcasted from society.

    Thirdly, Othello is a broadly regarded man general in the Venetian armed force in spite of his African legacy. In the start of the story, Othello has not, up ’til now, experienced major racism. Be that as it may, Iago prevails with regards to realizing the destruction of Othello and his significant other Desdemona by uncovering to Othello the presence of racist thoughts. Through Iago’s control of Othello and others, town members utilize the shade of Othello’s skin to censure his behavior and as Othello is unreliable, he begins to collapse that prejudice exists. Throughout the story, Othello is called many different names, racist slurs. Othello’s alienation from society is shown through the lack of respect that other characters show him, as most people refer to him as a “moor” which was considered an insult at the time. At the very beginning of the Othello, instead of the name of the protagonist Othello, the words of “thick-lips” (I.i.66), and “an old black ram” are articulated (I.i.87) and throughout the play, the term “moor” is thrown around when talking to or about Othello. Racist slurs and comments can target and hurt one’s self-esteem. William Shakespeare much of the time utilizes animal symbolism to depict Othello and black individuals contrarily. This is through sexual references looking at the sex drive of dark men to that of creatures. The term racism returns to one race suspecting that they were better over another race, and the creatures pictures demonstrate that black individuals are lower than white, in this way they are viewed as creatures. “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise” (I.I.85-86). This statement proceeds to demonstrate that Iago is utilizing racial slurs when disclosing to Brabantio that his little girl has kept running off with a black man. Another example where Iago is contrasting Othello with a horse seeing that black men were inhuman and beneath white men “because we do come to do you service and you think we are ruffians, you’ll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse; you’ll have your nephews neigh to you” (I.I.106-109). The Elizabethan society calls Othello names to separate him from the high class of society. Othello goes through a large change in characterization. Othello was an honorable, respectable and noble man within Venetia walls. At the beginning of the play, Othello speaks properly and confidently and after Iago’s manipulation, he begins to use short fragments such as “Ha!” (III.III.209), “Damn her lewd mix! O, damn her, damn her! (III.III.478). This is all caused by the racism and manipulation that Iago has put forth in Othello’s mind to make him believe and to cave into the stereotypes. Othello is insecure and the theme of racism and jealousy is prominent and because of racism Othello becomes much more vulnerable to manipulation and is easily tricked. Racism can ensure that Othello will remain isolated from his peers making him an outsider.

    In conclusion, Shakespeare exhibits through racism and jealousy in Othello makes him uncertain and experiences a colossal change. Othello is called names alongside racist slurs, had been related with the devil. At the outset Othello is viewed as a good and respectable man with a high positioning position in the military, however on the off chance that Othello was white, his dependability towards Desdemona would not be addressed from Brabantio, his workers, for example, Iago and Roderigo would be happy to work under his administrations and nobody would scrutinize his appearance. Othello is simple prey to weaknesses as a result of his reluctance about being a racial and an outsider. He is insecure about himself already, and when he finds out that the one person he truly loves and trusts is “cheating” on him with Cassio he quickly trusts it since he trusts that he isn’t sufficient for her. He realizes that he does not fulfill Brabantio’s guidelines and that Brabantio does not need his girl wedded to a black man. With his low self – regard, he doesn’t address why Desdemona would cheat on him, however, he would think it is because of his race, and that he was known as the devil. The racist comments got to Othello’s head and caused his insecurities to build, which then turned into a tragic flaw, leading to his downfall.

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    Issues of Racism within Othello . (2022, Jan 11). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/issues-of-racism-within-othello/

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