William Shakespeare's Othello as a Victim Essay

William Shakespeare's Othello as a Victim Essay

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William Shakespeare's Othello as a Victim
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In "Othello" Shakespeare shows that Othello is victimised in many
ways, for instance; his race, his culture, his social position and
naïve. Othello's victimisation could also show Shakespeare's meaning
of the term "tragedy". In other Shakespearean tragedies the lead
character is shown as cunning, ruthless and manipulative, more similar
to Iago than Othello. This could represent a change in Shakespeare's
opinion of a true Shakespearean tragedy.

The main cause of Othello's victimisation is his race. Unlike the
other characters in "Othello" he is a Moor, a natural figure of hatred
and disgust. In the play he is very rarely referred to as "Othello",
but more often as; "moor" or "negro", Desdemona even refers to Othello
as "my noble moor" not Othello. The event where Othello is victimised
due to his race are vast, for example at the start of the play when
Iago is talking to Roderigo, Othello's race is a major issue,

"To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor-".

Here evidence of racism is shown. There is also a case that this shows
the imperial and colonial nature of Venice in the Sixteenth century.
"Othello" can be seen to show the stereotypical contemporary
Elizabethan belief of blackness and the barbarous nature of the
"black" man as evil and devilish. Othello's race also helps to
highlight his jealousy and gullibility, due to his race Othello is
always subconscious of his weaknesses, his "tragic flaw". This may be
a reason for why he befriends Iago, who would act as his link to the
"white" world, informing Othello of the opinions white society.

Othello...


... middle of paper ...


...d social figures.

In conclusion I feel that Othello is more "sinned against than
sinning". This is not to say that he is a innocent, it most be
remembered that he killed Desdemona, not Iago and that no matter how
big a part Iago has it is still Othello's fault. But, Othello is
victimised, he is portrayed as an "other",

"if this be known to you, and your allowance".

He is also presented as a savage, barbarian and a inferior, a
parasite, living of the healthy Venetian state. But, this is all due
to the fact that he is different, it has been noted that if you are
different you will never be equal, "if you are different you will
always be different" (Marx - CM 1848) and Othello's difference is no
fault of his own.

Works Cited:

Shakespeare, William. Othello. Ed. Alfred Harbab. Middlesex, England: Penguin, 1970.

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