Essay on Othello

Topics: Othello, Iago, Jealousy Pages: 3 (1032 words) Published: June 26, 2013
Write Up On Othello:
Othello as an Outsider

Shakespeare’s Othello, written in approximately 1603, is a tragic play that centralises around the role of Othello, the Moor of Venice. Throughout the play, a notion that is consistently evident is that of “the outsider”. In Othello, many characters are in some way outsiders. Each character devises their own unique way to rid themselves of this “outsider” status, whether it be by marriage, gaining strength or through means of manipulation. As persistently as they may try, characters in the play never completely eradicate themselves of the title of the “outsider” label which is placed upon them.

The most prominent outsider in the play is the protagonist, Othello. His experiences and racial aspects are what differentiate him from those around him, and it turn, he is considered to be the outsider.

Coming to Europe from Egypt is one major factor that contributes to Othello being considered and outsider. Because he is not originally from Europe, he is less familiar with the customs of Venetian society. From the commencement of the play, Othello is depicted as being distant from most of the issues that concern him. Roderigo and Iago refer, quite ambiguously, to Othello as “he” or “him” in the majority of the first scene. When it becomes clear that they are talking about Othello, they still do not refer to him by his name, but rather, address him with a series of racial epithets. This is distinctly seen in Act I, Scene I when Roderigo and Iago are beneath Brabantio’s window and refer to Othello as the “the Moor”, “the thick-lips”, “an old black ram” and “a Barbary horse”. Other characters in the play focus on how Othello is different from those around him, which is seen when Iago contrasts Othello and Desdemona in the line, “an old black ram tupping your white ewe”.

Othello attempts to break his outsider status by gaining becoming the best warrior in town. In doing so, he thinks that he will gain respect and...
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