Topics: Black people, Othello, Human skin color Pages: 4 (1431 words) Published: December 6, 2006

Shakespeare was a brilliant man capable of tying in social critique in the slightest of ways that one could only see if one looked very closely. Take for example Shakespeare's play of words using black and white in the Othello. These two words become so loaded with meanings that scholars today are still discovering new ways that the two words can be interpreted. "The Rhetoric of Black and White in Othello" by Doris Alder is ten pages delving deep into the brain of Shakespeare and the things that were going through his head as he wrote Othello. She uncovers the many meanings that black and white carried. Almost always, black was a way to emphasize how something could be dirty and impure, physically, morally, or anything of the sort. Something white on the other hand was young, innocent, and pure. These surface interpretations are good evidence to support the true meaning that Shakespeare was trying to get across. Part of this deeper meaning has to do with how black can always stain white, making it dirty and foul. White, however, can never affect black to purify and make it clean. Through Shakespeare's Othello as uncovered by "The Rhetoric of Black and White" by Doris Alder, Shakespeare attempts to show the helplessness of Othello in his seemingly trapped soul inside his black body. Despite what's on his skin, everything inside is righteous and white, only to be corrupted black by the fair skinned Iago. While those morally dirty and black can be witnessed several times into corrupting the white and righteous, those living white righteous lives never seem to have an effect on those consumed by blackness.

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Through this, Shakespeare shows the struggle between good and evil in which evil prevails.
In "The Rhetoic of Black and White", all evidence in the article in some way attempts to show how black is bad. Black is described as "black and burning pit of hell" (249, Alder) when usually red is used to describe hell. Black...
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