Racism By William Shakespeare 's Othello

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In the 19th century, many scientists supported the belief that the human race could be categorized into different ethnic groups. Racism is generally defined as discrimination, prejudice, or antagonism directed against an individual(s) of a different race or ethnicity based on a certain belief. Every society that once lived on this Earth has essentially been affected by this global issue. Racism has been one of the most malicious aspects of the human race since the very beginning of history, and is still a topic of great debate in modern society. As all the major events of the human race are imperative, the issue of the race is one of the most significant themes that play a huge role in worldwide literature. In Othello, a tragedy written by…show more content…
A well respected black man in a white society, Othello, rises and acquires a position of a military general of the armies of Venice. He is a humble, gracious, and self-confident man. However, Othello is still perceived and treated as an outsider because of his skin color. In the beginning, Othello surpasses traditional stereotypes of a (Christian) Moor; referring generally to dark-skinned people. Instead of being referred to by his true name, he is only mentioned as “the Moor” or other more directly racial nicknames. In the opening scene of the play, Iago and Roderigo are discussing their common enemy, Othello. Surprisingly, there is no mention of Othello’s name, as a result, the audience can only interpret him by the remarks the characters used to describe him. The two characters often mention Othello as “the Moor” or “thick-lips” (I.i.68), but also indicate that by his race he is not human or undeserving of a name. Before the audience is given information about the true identity of Othello, there are only the descriptions of animals. This illustrates a similarity between the blacks and animals - that they are not entirely human beings, therefore unworthy of the use of a name instead of such representation. Consequently, the reader is manipulated into the same racist attitude of the characters in the play solely because of the descriptions Shakespeare provided.
Act I displayed the majority of
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