The theme of racism developed in the play – Othello the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare

Othello is a black man who introduces himself and is mentioned in the play with a derogatory name such as the Moor. This reference is a person of Arab descent who lives in North Africa, who is of the Muslim religion and who is of uncultivated, crude, coarse and cruel origin. In other words, a Moor is an unintelligible and barbaric person. But, this is where the mystery begins with this ugly word. Shakespeare expresses that this man is more than a simple Moor; he is an honest, noble and just Moor. This terminology can easily confuse his thinking as to whether or not racism is really present. But don’t get carried away by the two because either it is there or it isn’t.

First of all, I will say that racism entered the play immediately from the beginning. It started after his superior, Othello, let Iago pass for a promotion in the Venetian army. After this action, Iago expressed how he hated Rodrigo for his decision. This is where the fire was fueled and the fire turned racist. Iago had no honest or just reason to hate Othello, so he first used Roderigo’s lust for Desdemona, who has just secretly become Othello’s beautiful Venetian wife. This news ignited anger within Roderigo, prompting the first in a series of racist comments made throughout the play. He said, “What a complete fortune the thick-lipped one owes.” (Act I, Scene I, Verse 66) Their indication of thick lips obviously tells me that there was something different about them and the one they hated. One would think that it was something that was wrong and full of flaws.

Second, the two go to Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, that same night to notify him of the marriage that took place behind his back. Waking him up and asking if everyone was at his house, the two suggest that he doesn’t know what’s going on inside his house and her blood. Iago, with Roderigo’s help, panics Brabantio by saying things like “Your heart is busted, you’ve lost half your soul. Even now, now an old black ram is killing your white sheep.” (Act I, Scene I, Verse 87-89) To me this proclamation communicates to Brabantio that he has just lost her daughter and that Othello the black ram was taking advantage of her. Iago then introduces Othello as “the devil”. (Act I, Scene I, Verse 91) This would probably make any father think the worst of the man who took his daughter’s hand. “Your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.” (Act I, Scene I, Verse 115-116) Iago’s quote surely conveyed an obvious message that he hated Othello for personal political reasons, but also, and perhaps more strongly, because of his ethnicity. He clearly was a racist and was no doubt using his own personal racism to corrupt and manipulate the feelings of others.

Finally, Iago influenced different characters to act on their emotions by relying on their open love or hidden hatred for the honest and noble Moorish Othello. She showed many faces, such as hatred, jealousy and arrogance from the two of them was racism from him for the guy that many considered so noble. Anything to see the demise of him, I believe was the true and ultimate goal Iago had for Othello. He hated him simply for existing, in his authority, in his position, in his country or even in his world. This hatred so strong that he would pretend to love him to see the end of him in the place where he did not belong. Racism throughout this work conveys that at all costs it will try to consume everything that surrounds it, and no one is excluded when that hatred like racism takes its place in a life and tries to feed or spread and grow until everything and everything whatever is in its path is destroyed.

Shakespeare illustrates to the audience how the theme goes through a metamorphosis to reveal something stronger and more dangerous lurking in the dark and hidden areas of this society. This theme continues until the end of the play when, even after the bloodshed of some of the characters, Iago still prefers to remain silent rather than justify or even appease the curiosity of the very people who had been victims of his malicious and detestable acts. . (Act V, Scene 2, Verse 303)

In closing, I will say that this work has shown me how ingenious hate can be and how it will grow and consume more than it feeds on. It also demonstrates how someone like a noble and honest Moorish Othello could simply fall prey to a falsely portrayed honest Iago with a heart that survives on jealousy, hate, and racism. Be careful who and what you think may very well be the unknown battle of good versus evil. Sometimes what you see is what you get and other times it may not appear black and white but there can always be a chance it could be blood red.

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