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How important is it that Othello is black?

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  • Essay length: 1824 words
  • Submitted: 27/08/2003
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GCSE Othello

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How important is it that Othello is black?

Othello's race and colour are explored in the play, especially in terms of his interracial marriage with Desdemona and therefore are very important and significant. The play 'Othello' generates dichotomy views on the issue of race at that time and the different confrontations of it allow us to acquire a perspective on Elizabethan attitudes as well as to consider our own argument.

One could argue against the importance of Othello's colour like A.C. Bradley who introduced a contention, which acquaints us with such an argument. However, even though Bradley's aspiration to respond to race in a humane manner is hesitant, it is reasoned as he focuses on character and motivation. Bradley fails to observe the racial issue a very significant one and considers it to be: 'unimportant in regard to the essentials of Othello's character.' He does not find Othello's colour damaging to his dignity either: 'He comes before us, dark and grand, with a light upon him from the sun where he was born' and recalls that in his view an Englishman would have been as much a victim as this Moor in these circumstances.

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