Racism In Othello Analysis

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Racism in Othello

When reading Othello it becomes apparent that race plays an important role throughout the play and is one of the main themes. Especially the race of the main character Othello is important here because he is a so called “Moor”. The definition of a Moor is a person originating from Northern Africa. This means that Othello was, unlike most of the other people in the Venetian Army, black. Throughout the play it becomes clear that because Othello is a Moor he treated differently by most people he encounters and by many is seen as less important. In this essay I will talk about how Moors are represented in the play and why Othello’s race is so important to the play’s plot

The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a play
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In the play Othello is a general in the Venetian Army and is well respected and trusted by his white leaders due to his good work. This goes against the prejudices people had about Moors in that time However, throughout the play there is a constant racist atmosphere which becomes clearly visible when Othello marries the senator Brabantio’s daughter, Desdemona. This shows that people respect Othello to a certain extend but do not want to have anything to do with him on a personal level. Despite his high army rank Brabantio still does not think he is good enough to marry his daughter. Moreover there is Iago, a flag carrier in the army who despises Othello for his position and makes various racist remarks towards and about Othello throughout the play. An example of this is “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram Is tupping your white ewe.” This comment is one he makes towards Brabantio, the father of Desdemona and he is comparing Othello to an old black ram. Despite the fact that his hate for Othello was mainly fuelled by jealousy and despise Iago seems to hate the Moors in general and is also called “The Moorslayer”. In the play Iago tries to convince Othello that his wife Desdemona is cheating on him and when trying to that Iago focusses mainly on Othello’s race. Othello eventually starts believing what Iago is telling him and driven by jealousy and hate, he starts turning into a beast-like person who…show more content…
Being a Moor certainly makes Othello an outsider. Despite his position he managed to get an important position in the army because he was good at his job. This, and the simple fact that he is a Moor makes people angry. When another character would have been a Moor too, Othello would have stood out less than he does now and the play would certainly not have had the same impact as it did with Othello being the only Moor.

In conclusion, a great deal of structural racism can be found in Othello. Nearly every character hates Othello simply because he is a Moor and a lot of racist remarks towards him can be found throughout the play. Furthermore Othello is the only Moor present in the play which gives the play more impact than it would have had if Othello were a white person. Moreover race plays an important role for the play’s
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