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Racism and its Part in the Play Othello

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Racism and its Part in the Play Othello Racism has long played a huge part in history, both ancient and modern. A play, written by Shakespeare, about the downfall of a great black general in the Venetian Army. The play, "Othello", describes his fall using the questionable hero technique along with many others, including racism. In the play "Othello", race plays a huge part in the destiny of the characters. How Othello is treated, Desdemona's love to Othello, and how the play might have went if he faced the courts instead of suicide, all relate to the race of the hero, Othello. One main factor in racism is how the racists will refer to the victim, or mainly, how he is treated. What really stands out in the first sections of the play is that none of the characters actually refer to Othello by his name. "An old, black ram is tupping your white ewe." (1,1, 89-90) Iago here is referring to Othello as an old, black ram. He is the main racist in the play, and the one who plotting the downfall of Othello. ...read more.


"She is abused, stolen from me, and corrupted..." (1,3,60) The father views Othello as an abusor and corruptor. This is a serious accusation, especially since he is saying it to the Duke, who was just praising Othello for his bravery. This shows what hate can make a human do, refer to the one thing a person cannot change, his race. Love is a completely different thing. Desdemona shows and proves to us throughout the play that she loves Othello. She has never once mentioned his race in vain. She defies her father, who is obviously doing the wrong thing here by referring to Othello's race as a reason for his daughter not to marry him. It is a classic scenario between father and daughter that definitely still exists today. "I am hitherto your daughter. But here is my husband..." (1,3,23) Desdemona tells her father that she is his daughter, but this is her husband who she has the duty to respect and love, and that is exactly what she is doing. Desdemona even defends Othello from the racists who insult him. ...read more.


"O! O! O! falls on bed..." (5,2,197) Othello is an extreme case of shock after he finds out that it was Iago who manipulated him into killing his own wife. Although race plays a small part here, it must not be forgotten that racism is probably what started this entire tragedy. Othello then commits suicide by stabbing himself. The others in the room are shocked, and this includes Cassio. "This I did fear, but thought he had no weapon, for he was great of heart." (5,2,356-57) Cassio has long been known as the gentleman in the play, along with Othello. Again, he plays the role of the gentleman by summarizing Othello in a few words: he was great of heart. Like Desdemona, this is another extreme example of overlooking racism, something that might not have happened if Othello were to face the law instead of suicide. Race has once again played a huge part at the end of the play. If Othello had been white, there probably would not have been any tragedy involved. He would have also almost got away with murder in the courts. This goes to show how big a problem racism is and how it still is today. ...read more.

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