Is Othello a Racist Play

Topics: Othello, Iago, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 2 (532 words) Published: November 27, 2005
How far will society go to demolish inter-racial relationships? Today, it is very challenging to have an inter-racial relationship because of the views humanity has against it. This view has always been present, even in the 1600's, when the tragedy of Othello, by William Shakespeare, was written. Many questions occur when discussing this play like: Is the tragedy of Othello a racist play? Many people argue that indeed, Othello is a racist play, but it is not. The play does contain several racist remarks and characters, but Shakespeare's intentions are not to make it a racist play, but to prove a point against racism.

The demeaning diction that occurs in the play makes the reader judge that this play is racially prejudiced. But without this diction, the play would not hold the influential message that it portrays against racism. Othello is not just a moor, but the general of the army of Venice. He holds a high rank and is respected by many, that is until the citizens of Venice find out that he is marrying the daughter of Senator Brabantio, Desdemona. Senator Brabanzio is friends with Othello, until he finds out that this "lascivious moor" and "wheeling stranger" is with his daughter. If this was a racist play, Shakespeare would not have placed a black male in such a high rank. Therefore, Shakespeare is trying to prove that even a man from a diverse culture, like Othellom, can do the same job regardless of race.

Many people do not agree with Othello and Desdemona's relationship like, Iago and his wife, Emilia, and Roderigo who wants Desdemona himself. The evil resentment comes out of all of these characters. They use Othello's race to tear down and destroy a pure loving relationship. In the first act, Iago tells Brabanzio that, "Even now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe." This line clearly shows that Iago is racist against Othello and Desdemona's relationship. Iago's intentions are to get everyone against Othello and to...
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