The Role of Race in Othello

Topics: Othello, William Shakespeare, Iago Pages: 4 (1773 words) Published: May 16, 2011
Topic paper :
The role of race in Othello.

“Although the plots of Shakespeare's plays are specific, the motivations of the characters -- as well as of Shakespeare himself -- have been the source of much debate. Arguments continue over interpretations of Shakespeare's intentions in part because his plays remain so profoundly relevant.” (, Teachers’ Guide, Othello : Essay on race, web.) Othello is the story of a Berber who in the fourteenth century, has reached the top of the pyramid in the Republic of Venice thanks to his value as a valiant general of the army. However, his life ended prematurely and tragically in the darkness of jealousy and crime. Othello is the only one able to defeat the Turks on the Cyprus battlefront. This is why the Doge sent him for this mission and, incidentally, gives him approval to bond with a woman from the nobility of Venice , Desdemona, daughter of Senator Brabantio, despite the reluctance of the latter, which obviously does not this "Moor" in his family. The drama takes place at the couple's arrival in Cyprus and victorious of the Turks - without a single fight since it is served by the storm which swept the enemy fleet. Othello becomes the governor of the island and is at the height of his military and personal life since he won the heart and selflessness of Desdemona who even strongly opposed her father to stay with him. From there, it's a highway to hell that Shakespeare offers us, and we are right to ask the question of why such a tragedy, when Othello had just made an exceptional course and that nothing, could predict such a fall? In the play, the Venetian society claims not to be racist, what is true because it allows Othello to become a governor of Cyprus. But just like our western and modern society, this racism rises under a speech of tolerance and opening. And it re-appears on the occasion of social struggles, of political or economic crises. It is the case in the play on the occasion of the fight...
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