Othello Essay

990 words - 4 pages

Nakee Mayes
Professor Roberts
6 November 2014


William Shakespeare`s Othello is a play set in Venice. The plot is based on a story about two people who love each other dearly and the problems and conflicts they face from the start. The conflicts are, for the most part, tied in with racial issues and questions of race and loyalty. These conflicts stem from the society around the couple, as well as from the couple themselves as they too are part of this society, but with very different backgrounds: The female protagonist is the daughter of a highly-respected Venetian senator Brabantio. Othello also known as the Moor--is a foreigner, black in color, has a ...view middle of the document...

The phrase "look to her" suggests several things: that Desdemona needs to be watched closely, in other words; she cannot be trusted, or that Othello should notice what a deceiver looks like. Desdemona has actively alienates herself from the other Venetians by marrying him. Othello, on the other hand, seems to be more than anxious to conform to Venetian ideals. By adding "Moor" rather than a name or his position Brabantio emphasizes Othello`s difference blackness. Brabantio dehumanizes Othello, by taking away his name, his individuality and in so doing makes Othello acutely aware of his difference as well as well as making him believe that he is a barbarian. He even related Othello to animals and the devil in disguise. However, we can confirm that racism is in the atmosphere after Brabantio’s reaction. Brabantio mostly displays this racist atmosphere when he confronts Othello on the marriage situation and demands Othello to tell him where his daughter is.
As Brabantio's unmarried daughter, Desdemona is basically considered her father's property. Since she's married Othello without her father’s permission when Brabantio discovered that Desdemona wasn’t forced and was willingly married. Brabantio believed that Othello had used witchcraft on her. This displays racial undertones because Brabantio is stating that it impossible for his daughter to fall in love with a moor, unless he used some sort of witchcraft. A black man has nothing to give to a white woman even a noble soldier such as Othello. Brabantio would rather have his daughter unmarried than be with a moor man. Another factor was Iago plays on fears of miscegenation when interracial couples intermix during sex or marriage. Iago makes reference by calling Othello an “old black ram" that was sleeping with “white ewe" which is Desdemona. A "ewe" is a lamb, so there's a suggestion that Desdemona's white skin makes her pure. Iago's vivid and crude description of the...

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