Examples Of Outsiders In Othello

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Shakespeare is known for his art of characterization. Among his characters are the ones, who are unique in the sense that they are ‘others’ or ‘outsiders’. They are alienated inside the society that they live. Their soliloquies open up the debate of whether these people have ever properly been able to assimilate in the society; or conversely, if the society has fully been able to accept them as their own. Today I am going to talk about three characters from Shakespeare’s plays namely, Othello from the play of the same name, Shylock from the Merchant of Venice and Cleopatra from Antony and Cleopatra and try to show that what bring about the tragedies in their lives is contrary to what is generally thought. And my contention is that all these three characters suffer because of their being alienated in the society, albeit for different reasons- Othello for his race, Shylock for his religion and Cleopatra for her gender. To begin with Othello, as we go through the…show more content…
Interestingly the same Othello, who was previously a favourite of Brabantio and he along with Desdemona had diner so many times with him, now becomes unacceptable to him when he dares to marry his daughter. Othello is shown that he is not fully acceptable in society. His services as a general is needed and indeed lauded, but still he is not acceptable as a son-in-law. So the matter becomes an issue in the Venetian council chamber where the Duke and the other senators are preparing for war against the Turks. There Othello speaks eloquently of his love for Desdemona and she speaks on his behalf, and the Duke exonerates Othello. But in doing so, the Duke obliquely denigrates Othello because of his race- apparently unintentionally in a Freudian slip- telling Brabantio “Your son-in-law is more fair than black” (ibid 1.3. 291) implying that fairness is indeed superior to
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