Racism In Othello Essay

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In the aftermath of the death of Desdemona by Othello, Emilia vehemently attacks Othello for his wrongdoing. In act five scene two, Emilia says this to Othello: "O, the more angel she, And you the blacker devil!" (V.ii.129-131). Emilia is not only mad that the pure and immaculate Desdemona was killed, but is enraged that the devil (i.e. Othello), has slain an angel. This scene suggests that the word black was used as a metaphor for the devil and darkness since Othello killed Desdemona in the shadows. Emilia also sees Othello as a monster who cannot control is own anger (possibly due to his Moorish characteristics). Race in Othello is only used to propel more important themes in the play (e.g. love affairs). The racial thematics are not only used to influence and establish more relevant topics but to create more intriguing metaphors for dialogue. Dr. Marjorie Garber, a Harvard Professor, states that race is used as a categorization point to insinuate someone who is out of place or who is not part of traditional society (e.g. being a moor). In this essay, I will examine how imagery in the play affects not only the characterization of Othello but his interaction with Iago and how those color associations reflect non-racial language. In Othello, Shakespeare uses color and color imagery to depict certain ideas and to create the mood for the scenes taking place. The utilization of color imagery enhances the play, causing the audience to look past the words and search for a more profound understanding behind the scenes, besides race. In the realms of the play, the color black has always been used to create the mood for evil and deviousness, as we will see, since Iago is portrayed as satan and a trickster. Iago constructs most of his... ... middle of paper ... ...ret his decision. But if Othello makes the choice to kill the innocent Desdemona, he knows he would not be able to bring her back. This also illustrates the fact that Othello could go to hell if he puts out the light (i.e. pure and immaculate Desdemona), and that killing Desdemona would create the darkness that Othello does not want to show. In Othello, racial language is used in multiplicity to describe several subsets of themes and metaphors. Black and white imagery is seen as a possible proxy for race since race is not used as a relevant issue in the play. Those nuances, illustrated by Marjorie Garber and Cinthio, create a more authentic production of Othello in terms of its symbolism and representation. As a whole, imagery makes Othello a more appealing tragedy than race, since it is more about the depiction of life and death and not just the color of the skin.
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