Racism is prevalent throughout the play in Othello. When Othello was originally written in England, things between white and black people were far different than they are today. The time when Othello was published came shortly after the start of British slavery, so African peoples were held in low regard.
During this time, seeing two individuals of different colors together was unusual. Shakespeare did a good job of conveying institutional racism throughout the play by having Othello constantly confront issues from the characters due to his race. The major cause of Othello’s tragic end is his race.
Othello was a powerful guy who played the part of a soldier, but others made it difficult for him as a result of his race. Othello wasn’t prone to jealousy or madness, but Iago drove him insane.
I believe that Shakespeare used the conventional black male stereotype in Othello and that he tried to project this image. In order to illustrate the racial inequality of his time, Shakespeare utilized Othello and their encounters to highlight racism’s horrible effects in Europe. This was used by Shakespeare to imply that racism was a big problem in Europe, demonstrating the consequences of categorizing and cultural inequality for the spectators.
Racism is an important topic in Othello, with the essential role that it plays throughout the action. In the play, Othello is the only black-skinned character. His unusual appearance causes him to be prejudged. As a result, Iago, Brabantio, and Roderigo subject Othello to a variety of charges. Shakespeare also raises the issue of interracial marriage in his play.
The subject of racism in Shakespeare’s Othello drives the narrative’s development. Othello is the protagonist of the play. His ancestry was most likely from North Africa. Characters have been displaying open animosity toward Othello since Act I. Brabantio compares Othell to a Barbary horse during a conversation with Iago, for example:
“Because we come to
do you service and you think we are ruffians, you’ll
have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse;
you’ll have your nephews neigh to you; you’ll have
coursers for cousins and gennets for germans.”
(Act 1, scene 1)
Roderigo actively backs Iago up, calling the Moor a pervert. He tells Desdemona’s father the following about her relationship with Othello:
“As partly I find it is, that your fair daughter,
At this odd-even and dull watch o’ the night,
Transported, with no worse nor better guard
But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier,
To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor”
(Act 1, scene 1)
The interracial relationship is one of the most striking instances of racism in Othello. In earlier years, any romantic connections between people from diverse races were frowned upon by society. Nonetheless, despite any preconceptions, Othello covertly marries Desdemona. As a result, the spouses confront racial prejudice and social norms at home.
Othello’s men are killed, Brabantio becomes one of Othello’s haters, and Desdemona’s father, Brabantio, joins the list. He began to admire the Moor for his military skills at first. However, he is unwilling to believe that his daughter had formed a family with a black-skinned man. He gets furious when he finds out that Desdemona was attracted to Othello because of his mysterious Moorish spirits:
“O thou foul thief, where hast thou stow’d my daughter?
Damn’d as thou art, thou hast enchanted her;
For I’ll refer me to all things of sense,
If she in chains of magic were not bound.”
(Act 1, scene 2)
Shakespeare does an outstanding job of addressing racism in his work. Despite Othello’s position as a well-known and renowned general, he persists to face subtle racism. The primary difficulty is that Othello is underdeveloped. He accepts his outsider status and abuses himself, committing numerous transgressions.