Discuss how age, social position and race impact the relationship between Othello and Desdemona

749 Words Feb 17th, 2014 3 Pages
Discuss how age, social position and race impact the relationship between Othello and Desdemona?

“She loved me for the dangers I had pass'd,
And I loved her that she did pity them
This only is the witchcraft I have used.” –Othello (act 1, scene 3, 167-169)
Othello and Desdemona’s manifestly love-filled relationship was somewhat shielded by society’s views of the age, social position and race differences, that would evidently cause implications. In the late sixteenth century, the time in which Othello is based, it was disreputable to do anything that was thought of as abnormal, for example, marrying below your class. Othello and Desdemona’s relationship was quickly looked down upon, simply due to the fact that it was seen as
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Desdemona was the daughter of a senator, a well regarded, upper class man. Othello was a General in the Venetian Military, and while that was a highly classed job, it was considered below Desdemona’s class. In the late sixteenth century, the man was generally from a higher class then the woman, hence why Desdemona and Othello’s relationship was objected to. Social position was an influence in Othello’s belief of Desdemona’s betrayal, as he thought that he wasn’t good enough for her.

The most influential impact on Othello and Desdemona’s relationship was the differences in race. Differences in races have –and will- impact on relationships for a very long time. Desdemona was fair skinned, as was the rest of her family, and Othello was a dark-skinned Moor. Race discrimination has been an issue for thousands of years, with the common misconception, that ‘whites’ are better then ‘blacks’. Othello and Desdemona put this judgment aside, and fell in love with each other. This, of course, shocked others around them, primarily Desdemona’s father, Brabantio. Brabantio had liked and trusted Othello, before he found out that he was with his daughter. He couldn’t accept them being together, and believed that Othello had put a spell on Desdemona, as ‘black’ people were often presumed to be part takers of witchcraft. Othello also felt threatened by other ‘white’ man around Desdemona, particularly Casio, which made him jump to the conclusion of