Different Attitudes To Othello's Ethnicity

737 Words3 Pages
How do the ideas and the language of these speeches help to reveal the different attitudes we observe in the play to Othello’s blackness?

Racism is a massive theme throughout this play. Particularly with Brabantio, who thinks the only way to solve his problems with Othello is to be nothing other than racist and rude. However, the use of language throughout this play proves that it’s the way in which someone says something that gives it a different effect, and we are learning that as the play progresses.

Brabantio had an extremely racist attitude towards Othello. He was so astounded and horrified that his fair Desdemona had even considered eloping with a coloured man. Brabantio refuses to believe that his daughter would have done this off her own accord. In fact he is convinced that Othello conjured some sort of magic and witchcraft and used it on his daughter. Brabantio made a very long speech about this and protested heavily that Desdemona had nothing to do with falling in love with the Moor. Brabantio says to the Duke during their exchange: “She is abused, stolen from me, and corrupted by spells and medicines bought of montebanks.” Here Brabantio refers to Othello using spells and medicines to entice his daughter to marry the likes of him. Brabantio then starts to talk about witchcraft. He was saying that he has also used witchcraft to encourage and persuade his daughter. “Sans witchcraft.” He’s referring to a very famous French witchcraft. Brabantio is here inferring that not even Sans witchcraft could conjure up this sort of magic.

Othello gave the audience a massive element of surprise with his responses and argument to Brabantio. From his previous descriptions made by Iago, we were all expecting an explosion to Brabantio’s accusations, however we received something completely out of the blue. Othello has portrayed himself as level-headed and
Open Document