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Victims in Shakespeares play Othello.

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Introduction

Alice Kostrzewa Victims in Shakespeares play Othello William Shakespeare presents the character Othello the eponymous hero of the play, as a victim of racism and prejudice. Othello suffers from being one of a black minority in the 16th century white Venetian society. It is seen that by the end of Act One, Iago, Othello's trusted ancient, has gone as far as to plan to destroy Othello's life. Iago is an anthrapist, he hates everybody, one reason why he hates Othello is that he promoted Cassio to be his lieutenant over Iago. We learn that Iago is a racist, by the language he uses towards Othello, 'black, ass, Barbary,' he, Iago a white Venetian, cannot believe that a black Moor has more and power dictatorship over the Venetian army than him. 'Old black ram is tupping your white ewe,' is the first of many racist and prejudice quotations from Iago. This quotation shows that Othello is a victim of racial stereotyping. It also symbolises that black men are ruled by lust and passion not by reason. Shakespeare's use of the verb tupping symbolises the act of sexual intercourse. Shakespeare's choice of simile the 'old black ram' symbolises Othello, the old black feisty male sheep, the other simile in this quotation, 'the white ewe' symbolises Desdemona the white harmless female sheep. ...read more.

Middle

When Emilia finds the handkerchief she hands it to her husband Iago. When Iago shows Othello the handkerchief, which he said he had found in Cassio's room, Othello replies with 'a whore'. He has now been reduced to calling his loving wife a whore. Shakespeare shows how Othello has fallen into Iago's trap so far that he is making Desdemona a victim of hatred and abusive language. 'I'll tear her to pieces' Shakespeare demonstrates how evil and hatful Othello has now become. Shakespeare presents Desdemona as a victim of abusive language and death threats. 'That Cassio is not alive' Shakespeare uses this quotation to show that Othello now wants his wife and lieutenant dead. Othello has now become so entrapped in Iago's web of deceits that he is making Desdemona and Cassio victims. Othello who was originally the victim has now become the victimiser so it was like he had become Iago's puppet to be manipulated into what he wants. In Act Four Othello is now no longer the real victim but Desdemona is the victim of abuse, both physical and verbal, hatred and slander. Shakespeare presents Desdemona as a victim of Othello's abusive language 'chuck impudent strumpet whore of Venice' are all examples of Othello using abusive language towards Desdemona. ...read more.

Conclusion

Iago has managed to kill Othello, Desdemona, Emilia and Roderigo and injured Cassio. Iago also manages to make himself a victim as Othello stabs him. Iago has weaved so many lies and deceptions that in the end he manipulates his own injury. Throughout the play we observe the gradual destruction of Othello from a kind, trusting, loving man to a jealous, untrusting, evil, twisted man by Iago. This play can be described as a simile. Iago is a spider that is spinning a web of lies and deceit. His initial prey is Othello, as he continues to spread his web he catches Desdemona and Cassio and then in the final act his web captures Roderigo and Emilia. The web eventually overtakes him and he is consumed by it as well. Shakespeare shows in this play how trusting the wrong people can lead to your demise. Othello trusts Iago who uses this to his own advantage. Shakespeare also shows how one person can change people through lies, and ultimately shows how dangerous lies can be. In this play Iago started to manipulate Othello for his own ends but it was not successful and in the end it turned on Iago. Othello is not the sole victim of this play, as Desdemona, Cassio, Emilia, Roderigo and Iago all become victims during the play. ...read more.

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