Othello by William Shakespeare: The Collapse of a Civilized Savage to a White Savage

Othello by William Shakespeare: The Collapse of a Civilized Savage to a White Savage

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The play Othello by Shakespeare is set up in Venice, during the 1500s. At the time blacks were deemed and dehumanized due to their complexion. Non-westernized people were also seen as savages. Having one black character (Othello) in this story presupposes that there will be tension between Othello and a white male. Therefore, when Othello promotes Michael Cassio to lieutenant Iago becomes infuriated and filled with jealousy. Iago becomes enraged because he feels that he should have been the one to be promoted. He claims to have more experience in the field. He then strives to get rid of Cassio in hopes of attaining the position he desires in doing so he also manipulates Othello and fills his soul with jealousy and insecurity. Othello’s insecurities and jealousy eat him alive and lead him to his downfall. This play denies blacks a full complexion furthermore; it dehumanizes them and belittles them making them resemble savages in order to illustrate European problems.
Othello’s physical appearance is emphasized through out the play, but paints him and blacks negatively. Othello is a well-respected man due to his talent in warfare. He is a general and well respected by his army and Venice for defending it. However, even though he has earned his title he is still targeted and deemed as an inferior just because of his phenotypes. Rodrigo refers to him as thick-lip. This is a racial slur that dehumanizes him due to his physical appearance. Moreover, the scene when Desdemona father discovers that her and Othello are married demonstrates that a black body should not affiliate itself with a white one in any way. There is an invisible race boundary that exists and Othello is breaking it by being with a white woman. He is stealing a white w...


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...with the Devil, it is an unorthodox practice and Othello living in a Christianity realm can easily be convicted and killed for such practice.
The play Othello revolves around the theme of race, this play dehumanizes blacks in order to explore white ambiguity. Even though the ending of the play is open Iago still lived to see another day. If Iago did not put to much faith into Rodrigo he would have been able to pull out his plan and attained his desired position. Because Othello was black and self-conscious about his race, he was weak mentally which led to his demise. This play paints black as weak beings that can be easily deceived and self-conscious about their race. It shows that blacks do seem themselves as inferior to white. This play is a racial play that just uplifts whites by portraying them as superior and being able to easily manipulate a black individual.

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