Othello Theme Essay

551 Words3 Pages
Andres Chacon
Andres Chacon

Role of Race in
Othello by William Shakespeare
Role of Race in
Othello by William Shakespeare

The theme of race plays a significant role in Shakespeare’s portrayal of Othello. In "Othello" Othello is called a moor, a Moor is a dark skinned man with a Muslim background. He is treated differently than others because of his skin color. People use his skin color as a way to attack him. Although Othello is wildly respected because of his hard work to become general, Iago uses Othello’s skin color to try and destroy his reputation. Othello is portrayed as a passionate and noble hero. He is represented as an honest man and holds a high rank as general in the Venician Army. Although Othello is portrayed as a great man, he is also treated as an outsider because he is a Moor. For example Brabantio says to Othello “You’re something to fear, not to love. It’s obvious to everyone that you’ve tricked her, drugged her, or kidnapped her… Arrest this man as a practitioner of black magic”. Othello can’t be with Desdemona because he is not of the same skin color according to Brabantio. His race has a great amount of influence on how people see Othello. The way Iago and Brabantio see him as a witch or a beast. He lives up to the reputation that he has created for himself. Othello see himself as a rough outsider, even though he’s not. Othello's race sets him apart, and makes him very self-conscious. He worked hard to gain his reputation, so he could be regarded as equal to the white people that surround him. For example Othello is a general in the armies of Venice, his victories at war have gained him a status as a hero among the people that surround him he is highly respected because of the battles he has fought. He is unable to believe his good fortune that Desdemona would fall in love with him, and that helps Iago make him believe that

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