Othello, By William Shakespeare

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In William Shakespeare’s Othello, identity seems to be the biggest concept in which Othello faces. Being the outsider in his world gives him a disadvantage amongst his peers. Othello being a moor is thought very low of in the eyes of Iago who despises him and ultimately sets out to destroy him, by tricking him into thinking his new wife is being unfaithful. However, for Othello the way he views himself is not as clear, being a moor married to a white Venetian beauty, with a father in law who despises the notion of them being together. Being a general in the Venetian army gives him some sort of identity but as much as he can try and fit in with the Venetians, he cannot. Othello is constantly referred to as a moor throughout the play and the stereotype that was associated with evil, violence, jealousy and witchcraft, despite the fact that Othello was a man of status. Othello although not coming off this way emerges throughout the play as man who is easily manipulated, and turns murderer towards the love of his life over the word of an evil man. Othello’s identification of himself throughout the play is manipulated by the racial stereotype that other characters use to define him. This manipulation causes Othello’s identity to go from being a respected general, to savage murderer. One’s vision of themselves can be a determining factor in the way they carry themselves, and act in situations. Being an outsider from Africa, he gained his respect from being a courageous, intelligent, and skillful general in the Venetian army. Although Othello is confident in his military defense matters, when it comes to socializing with the upper class venetians he is insecure, as demonstrated when he goes to defend himself to the Duke by saying “Rude ... ... middle of paper ... ... and that Othello indeed was a noble man. Cassio, the man whom Othello was turned against and set out to destroy was even aware of the noble man he once was before Iago. Othello tells the tragic tale of a noble man who was deceived by an evil man who thrived on the pain he caused others. Othello was the outsider amongst his people, called a Moor, yet a respected general of the army. He was a brave and intelligent man, who when pushed, turned into a man who was irrational and a fool. Othello, before Iago although saw himself as an outsider, but nonetheless still worthy of Desdemona’s love, and he fought for that love when the Venetian people questioned it. Iago viewed him as someone who did him a disservice, and was weak enough to be manipulated and punished. Othello went from a noble man, to a deceived murderer, just to go back to a noble man before his dying breath.

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