Othello – Race and Stereotypes

Topics: Othello, Racism, Discrimination Pages: 2 (634 words) Published: March 25, 2011
Othello’s race does not prominently impact his demise, although Shakespeare touches upon the issue of race, the reason for Othello’s demise lies somewhere else. However, the allegations of race directly lead to its tragic ending. Feelings of inadequacy and distrust without question aid in the tragedy. The fact that Othello’s skin color is important alters the interpretation of the tragedy within the play. The racism represented in Othello is not just about an instance of prejudices and prejudgments made by a crowd of people against another, but in fact has much more subtle and devastating consequences, specifically, that it is proliferated not only by the discriminatory section of society, but also by the target of this discrimination. Although Othello didn’t initially validate any of the stereotypical qualities that certain people labeled him with, he began adapting to them as he started to doubt himself. By coming to the assumption that he is in a racially inferior position, Othello struggled in dealing with the stereotypes appropriately, thereby only increasing his own struggle with his race. If Othello didn’t have such inferior complex and instead had faith within him, the conflict would never have ascended. Rather than tagging the play Othello as anti-racist or a discriminatory play, there is a substantial lesson that can be learned. From a racial perspective, the tragedy exposes the powerful outcomes that racial differences can generate when in conjunction with one’s personal self-doubt. With Iago’s manipulations the notions of race were provoked for Brabantio, Rodrigo, and Othello, activating any suppressed racial prejudices and self-doubt. It seems obvious that Iago has strong feelings of personal inadequacy and is jealous and resentful of the love shared between Othello and Desdemona. However, Iago’s motive seems to be more than that. I thought his hatred was from his own personal dissatisfaction, but when he becomes lieutenant he is still unhappy and...
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