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Racism in Othello

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Racism in Othello Othello, by William Shakespeare, is a tragedy that tells that story of what happens to a man named Othello after he marries a woman named Desdemona. Othello is a black man, known throughout the play as a Moor and he marries the daughter of a white Venetian Senator. One of the most critical themes of the play is race. While racism is a reoccurring theme throughout the play, the play itself is not racist. The main character is a black man and the evil villain is white. Shakespeare does not dumb down Othello just because he is black, but rather he portrays Othello as a well-liked, high ranking officer in the Venetian military. During the time that Shakespeare wrote Othello many people were racists and people of color where thought of as savage (Essay). Many people at that time would have felt that an interracial marriage was wrong. They would have not thought that Shakespeare’s writing was racist. The audience would be used to the type of racist language Shakespeare used (Blum). Shakespeare would not have been thought of as being racist. The play itself is not racist, but rather individual characters are either racist or not.
The most racist character is Iago. Iago is considered “honest” when in reality he is a pure villain. The audience knows that Iago is not what he seems to be. He shares his plans for destroying Othello. Even though Iago is white, he plays the bad guy, while Othello is considered a good man. Iago hates Othello because he did not promote him to his lieutenant. Iago also believes that Othello slept with his wife. “It is thought abroad that ’twixt my sheets / He has done my office” (I.iii.369–379). He does not like that fact that Othello married a beautiful white woman. He even lusts after Desdemona and wants to get even with Othello. He says “And nothing can or shall content my soul / Till I am even’d with him,...

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