Othello - Textual Integrity

Topics: Othello, Racism, Love Pages: 3 (828 words) Published: June 21, 2013
What features of Othello contribute to its textual integrity?

Shakespeare’s tragic play Othello has the ability throughout time to relate to the intrinsic nature of the human condition. Exposing the vulnerability of humanity, Shakespeare confronts the universal concerns such as racism and discrimination, which have a sense of timelessness still present from the Elizabethan age to the modern day. Potentially leading an eternal life, the play Othello is able to be interpreted by each individual differently through the complex language and understanding which ensures its validity in different contexts in society. These diverse interpretations include my own which has further formed an insight on the concern of human emotion such as jealousy and love, when logical reasoning is overpowered by these sporadic emotional inclinations. The collapse of Othello from a stable and rational hero, to a man driven insane by passion is a prime example of this, also framing the power of society on an individual choices and development as a character.

Society’s treatment of the outsider and those with different traits and characteristics from the majority, plants the seeds which can cultivate into a mass of insecurities. Although portrayed as the hero of the play, the racism and class/wealth based discrimination towards Othello is present from the beginning, with the constant reminder of his differences through the racial slurs and references as “moor” “thick lips” and “beast”. This racial prejudice affects Othello’s view of himself as “unworthy of love,” and his confidence throughout the play deteriorates, as his minimal acceptance in the society takes a toll. This thematic concern is one which is repeated in many other contemporary literary texts as the idea of being an outsider is relatable to almost everyone. In the opening of the play, Brabantio’s loyalty as Othello’s friend is quickly altered, when finding out about his relationship with his daughter Desdemona. The use...
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