Mid-Term Essay

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Throughout history people from a different race have been judged to be inferior. Othello was a great warrior, yet because of his race he was often thought of as a subordinate. Medea was cast out of the inner circles of Greece because she was of a different race. Enkidu who was 2/3 beast was made fun of because he tried to be civilized. Othello, Medea, and Enkidu all suffered from racism because they were considered outsiders and Barbarians to the people of the land. Othello is a play about Black versus white. This play is different in that the black man is good and the white man is evil. Othello is a well-respected military commander in the Venetian army and yet he is not accepted into the social culture of Venice because he is a Moor. Iago refers to Othello as “an old black ram”, not showing the respect a general would deserve. In the beginning of the play we never hear Othello’s name mentioned, only references like “the Moor” (I.i.57), “the thick-lips” (I.i.66), and “a Barbary horse” (I.i.113)—all names signifying that he is dark-skinned. These references are the Shakespeare’s way of showing the racism that existed in England at the time. Medea was also a victim of racism; she was from an island named Colchis. The Greeks considered Colchis Island a barbaric place and because she was from there she must be a barbarian. Medea was smart, defiant and out spoken, traits that did not fit into the Greek archetype of a woman. At the time Greek woman where submissive to their husbands, could not chose their husband, and had an almost slave like existence. Medea being from another culture questioned these traditional roles and therefore caused many problems for herself by not conforming to the traditional role of the women. How could you not see her as a barbarian after she kills her own brother and children? I would ask you to look at the circumstances, she was a

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