Essay Race and Racism in Othello

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In What Way Would A Modern Audience React To The Way Race And Racism Is Portrayed In 'Othello'? In the Sixteenth century, as we see clearly from Othello and other works of both Shakespeare and Cinthio's original version of Othello, race was a topic of great debate and discussion. Today, in the twenty-first century the debate retains its controversy and passion. However, attitudes towards race have taken a dramatic turn during the last century. In the developed world people are now living in an increasingly cosmopolitan society would undoubtedly be more tolerant and would reject or even be offended by racial discrimination to any person or sections of the community. Openly 'racist' people today are seen as outcasts. Taking this into…show more content…
On the face of it, Othello seems to be the tragic hero of the play. However, it can be argued that Othello is shown to be a proud man who eventually becomes a beast, a murderer and hence in a way fulfils the prejudices with which his enemies brand him. They also argue that Othello is portrayed as devious because he 'steals' Desdemona from Barbantio and then announces he has a clear conscience, "...I must be found, My parts, my title and my perfect soul." On the subject of whether Othello becomes a beast and a murderer, some critics suggest that Shakespeare is promoting racial stereotypes because it is shown in Othello how, "The stuff of which he (Othello) is made begins to deteriorate and show itself unfit." Some would also argue that a person cannot be manipulated so quickly and be so naïve as to fall for Iago's plot so quickly as Othello does in Act4, Scene 1. Before this scene Othello lets it known that, "I do not think but Desdemona's honest." But after only being presented with a handkerchief as evidence and a few words of opinion from Iago he is requesting from Iago, "Get me some poison..." But most brutal of all is the way he kills his supposed beloved. The scene is intensely emotional as Desdemona asks, (in fear and tears as performed in the most recent R.S.C production directed by Edward
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