Essay Othello Racism

The play, Othello, partly is the tragedy of racism, however I don’t believe that racism actually dominates the play. A few examples of racism may be seen in the dialogues that clearly state racist attitude of the British people towards Othello.

The play takes place in England in 1604. Othello, the soldier from Africa, is active supreme commander of the Venetian Army. Even though practically every character uses a racial slur to offend Othello throughout the entire play, there is a romantic union between black and white which gets ruined as most people believe this relationship is wrong.

Most racist remarks in the play have been demonstrated by people who are angry or upset. For example, when Emilia learned that Othello had murdered Desdemona she was very mad and she called him a “Blacker devil.” As you see, it was the only time in the whole play that she mentioned anything racist about Othello.

The character who made the majority of racist remarks was Iago. Iago’s hate towards Othello can be seen from the very beginning of the play since Othello had chosen Cassio as his lieutenant instead of Iago. Iago became very angry because of the fact that Cassio, in contrast to him, didn’t have expertise in warfare. Iago doesn’t express anything racist to Othello’s face, but he’s got much to say against him behind his back, meanwhile planning to destroy him and anyone in his way as well as Desdemona and Cassio.

Iago’s first racist comment is made during his conversation with Brabantio about Othello and Desdemona: “Even now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe.”

Iago uses racist comments all the way through the play, as he tries to turn people, including Brabantio, against Othello, for example, calling him a “Barbary Horse.” He never says anything racist to … …


If you like this essay, you can order a unique custom paper on this topic: “Analysis of Rasim in Othello”!

Lindsay Fares

Racism in William Shakespeare's Othello Essay

1059 Words5 Pages

Racism in William Shakespeare's Othello

The play, Othello, is certainly, in part, the tragedy of racism. Examples of racism are common throughout the dialog. This racism is directed toward Othello, a brave soldier from Africa and currently supreme commander of the Venetian army. Nearly every character uses a racial slur to insult Othello at one point in the play. Even Emilia sinks to the level of insulting Othello based on the color of his skin. The character that most commonly makes racist remarks in Othello is Iago. It is very apparent that Iago uses racism as a scapegoat to hate and blame Othello. Societal racism takes its toll on its victims. The effect of racism on Othello is quite evident and is one of the main causes for…show more content…

He turns against his friend, Othello, and labels him as a lesser person because of his race. Iago's easy provocation of an important Venetian senator by using Othello's racial characteristics shows how prevalent racism is in the play.

Roderigo also plays a part in the stereotyping of Othello. He is extremely upset that Desdemona has eloped with Othello, because he has been attempting to court her for several months with no avail. Roderigo, like many other characters, then bad-mouths Othello with racial slurs in order to paint a picture of Othello being a lesser person than himself. Roderigo, with great delight, says, "what a full fortune does the thick-lips owe," (1, 1, 72-73) in order to scapegoat him.

Emilia, when she discovers what Othello has done to Desdemona, also reverts back to racial stereotyping. Rather than simply being enraged and distraught, and perhaps criticizing his actions, she roars at him, "O, the more angel she, and you the blacker devil!" (5, 2, 161) This sudden cry from Emilia who seemed previously indifferent to Othello's race perhaps betrays some of the deep-rooted stereotypes that existed in

Show More

One thought on “Essay Othello Racism

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *