Theme Of Racism In Othello

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Throughout history, societies have succumbed to the toxic concepts of racism, causing an unthinkable amount of chaos and devastation. While racism on its own can lead to many societal evils, racism coupled with jealousy can create a truly catastrophic force that can only lead to pure destruction. When someone of a different race and culture is placed in this kind of society, this destruction will only naturally follow. In the play Othello, William Shakespeare focuses on the tragic outcomes of Othello, a Venetian general and black Turkish Moor, and Desdemona, his white Venetian wife. Throughout the play, both covert and overt racism, assimilation, and jealous dispositions all foreshadow the untimely death of Desdemona and Othello. Throughout the play, Iago, Roderigo, and Brabantio display covert or overt racism towards Othello. At the beginning of the play, Iago, Othello’s ensign, and Roderigo, a wealthy man in love with Desdemona, discuss Othello’s marriage and their hatred for Othello. During their dialogue, the first references made of Othello are “his Moorship” and “the Moor,” which is how most of the characters refer to Othello (Shakespeare 687). Rather than referring to Othello nominally, they refer to him by his ethnicity, showing their inherent racism. According to Kader Mutlu in “Racism in Othello,” Othello “has a harmony of racism. This harmony is provided by the tireless verbalization of ‘otherness’ in the words of ‘Moor’ and ‘Black’” (Mutlu 136). In addition to

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