Updated September 10, 2022

The Role of Race in Othello

sample details
The Role of Race in Othello essay
  • Pages 3
  • Words 593
  • Views 165

Download Paper

Watch out! This text is available online and is used for gudiance and inspiration

Race per se can be defined as a grouping of human beings based on their shared physical or social qualities and color. Some people are judged and treated differently based off their race. The characters in the Shakespeare play of Othello reacted to the main character due to his skin color.

The only two characters that are not bothered by Othello skin color is Desdemona and Cassio. Othello, in Shakespeare’s play Othello, is a happily married and widely respected general in the Venetian army despite his African heritage. In this play Othello is described as a “Moor”. According to the editors of the play a “Moor” is described as Muslim people who lived on the northern coast of Africa, an area of Europeans called barbary.

Othello is a Moorish prince living in Venetian Army. His officer Iago tricks him into believing that his wife Desdemona is having an affair with his Lieutenant, Michael Cassio. The issue of race in Othello is describe by many things. Many people discriminate based on several reasons; fear, desire for power, or a need to remove themselves from other people. People sometimes use others skin color to express their hatred towards them.

The problem is the racial difference that causes unnecessary doubt and jealousy, sense of revenge and hatred in Othello which results disasters, However, in Othello “in Shakespeare day, the term Moor was often used broadly, to refer to any person with dark or black skin, including black Africans. Several references in the play seem to describe Othello as a black African” (xix). This goes on to show that people judge others based off their race. Othello was well respected but also judged. Although we know the exact color of his skin, the important point is Othello was an outsider in Venice. In the beginning of the play, Othello has not yet, experienced discrimination.

Discrimination is not always the key to expressing your feelings towards others. However, expressing your feelings can hurt others as well. According to Kris Collins, the “raced” bodies of blackface cannot be extricated from the economic circumstances of slavery”. Slavery contributes to the role of race in Othello because he is being discriminated based upon his skin color. People treated others unfairly just like it this play. Most people see blacks as “Negroes”. The word negroes show hatred to many people.

However, Othello, was described as a “Moor” in this play. The article written by Arthur Kris Collins goes to show that there are a lot of people who don’t too much care about your feelings or your race and ethnicity. The article talks about the productions of Othello.

Changes that were made to the lead character to erase all elements of Negro-like behavior, included what the productions of `Othello’ projected blacks as, and what the play `Othello’ signified for white Americans. Theatrical production of Othello in nineteenth-century America was governed by many of the same institutional conditions that bore on the production of all Shakespearean dramas at the time. The main cause of Iago’s hatred of Othello is also his racial hatred and prejudice; it is in that sense also that we can regard racial difference as the cause of tragedy.

The role of Iago in the Shakespeare play of Othello is to manipulate Othello into demoting Cassio and thereafter to bring about the downfall of Othello himself. He has an ally. Roderigo. Who assists him in his plans in the mistaken belief that after Othello is gone, Iago will help Roderigo earn the affection of Othello’s wife.

The Role of Race in Othello essay

Make sure your essay is 100% unique

Our experts will write for you an essay on any topic, with any deadline and requirements from scratch

Get your custom essay

The Role of Race in Othello. (2020, Sep 17). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-role-of-race-in-othello/


Does race matter in Othello?
Race is not at the core of Shakespeare's Othello but affects everything in the drama . It plays a central role in shaping the plot of the drama and the behaviour of the characters. Shakespeare has not selected the protagonist to be a man of color without a strong reason.
How is Othello insecure about his race?
1 Othello is the only man in Venice with a different color skin, so he feels insecure about being born black . Othello knows he lived in a world where the white people are the majority of the population. He is worried about what others will think him marring Desdemona, so they eloped at the beginning of the play.
How is race an issue in Othello?
The colour of Othello's skin is obviously a crucial factor in his downfall, because his visibly alien racial identity makes him and his bride far more vulnerable to the machinations of Iago than if he were an equally accomplished and indispensable white man .
What is the race of Othello?
Although Othello is a Moor , and although we often assume he is from Africa, he never names his birthplace in the play. In Shakespeare's time, Moors could be from Africa, but they could also be from the Middle East, or even Spain. American actor John Edward McCullough as Othello in 1878.
We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

I'm Peter!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out