Racism and Cultural Differences Exposed in Othello Essay examples

Racism and Cultural Differences Exposed in Othello Essay examples

Length: 1328 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Othello, from the onset, is shown to us a play of love and jealousy. There is however more to this play than just love and jealousy; there is underlying racism, hate, deception, pride, and even sexism between these pages. Othello is a transcendent play, one that will survive the perils of time simply because it is still relevant. Even today, over 400 years later, there are still issues of racism and sexism. Hate is as natural as love in humans and Othello gets right to the root of that. We witness this from the very first scene, “…you’ll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse/ you’ll have your nephews neigh to you” (I.i.112-14); to the very last, “Moor she was chaste. She loved thee, cruel Moor” (V.ii.258). Moor however is used as an insult all throughout the play; not so much the word itself but the feel of the word. Between these pages we see many different ways as to how the cultural differences between Othello and the other characters.
To begin, race is the first and clearest of differences between Othello and other major characters. However race is also the least seen issue in the play. Racism is, as stated by Martin Okin “confined to Iago, Roderigo, and Brabantio” (Orkin, “Othello: and the”). Emilia herself has her moments of racism, going from using Moor as a describer of Othello to using it as an insult. Brabantio shows this racism when he discovers that Othello has wed his daughter stating:
O thou foul thief, where hast thou stowed my daughter?
Damned 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…
So opposite to marriage that she shunned
The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,
Would ever have, t’incur a general mock,
Run...


... middle of paper ...


...olored man are still viewed the same way; in this way Othello is a play that can still be considered pertinent. 400 years later and Othello can still have a major effect on the audience – more so than a Hamlet or a Macbeth – because the issues shown there are still visible today. For this reason I believe Othello may be Shakespeare’s best work. It is a powerful play that puts issues such as racism and cultural differences between people in the forefront.



Works Cited

Shakespeare, William, and Kim F. Hall. Othello, the Moor of Venice: Texts and Contexts. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2007. Print.
Orkin, Martin. “Othello and the “plain face” Of Racism.” 2nd ed. Vol. 38. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 166-88. Shakespeare Quarterly. Folger Shakespeare Library in Association with George Washington University, Summer 1987. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

William Shakespeare 's Othello And The Tempest Essay

- Matters of the heart have always been a theme within Williams Shakespeare’s plays. Elements of love, lust, and heartbreak have had major in his writings. Examples of this includes “Pericles”, “Cymbeline”, “The Winter’s Tale”, “The Tempest” and most notoriously “Romeo and Juliet”. As seen in several of Shakespeare’s plays, what effects two individuals in a relationship can also have an effect on others on a broader scale. The romance and tragic demise of Othello and Desdemona is a prime example of how both external and internal problems such as racism, issues in the bedroom, objectification, and infidelity can put strain on a marriage....   [tags: Marriage, Othello, Virginity, Wife]

Strong Essays
975 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Adapting Shakespeare´s Othello to Present Time

- It’s nearly impossible for the culture that was common in the 1600’s to be the same as it is now in 2014. We all know that the world has changed and adapted since the 1600’s. Isn’t it obvious. The Tragedy of Othello, a play by William Shakespeare, was written in the early 1600’s. If it were written in 21st century America, the issue of apparent racism would change due to cultural adaptations and history that America has gone through. The U.S. has seen about two hundred years of slavery and an even longer period of firm racism....   [tags: Racism, Society, Play]

Strong Essays
741 words (2.1 pages)

Nonverbal Communication and Cultural Differences Essay

- Nonverbal communication has always played an important role in the entire communication process. It may include gestures, kinesics, haptics and other means, which a person incorporates into the communication process. These acts make the communication process more effective and meaningful. However, nonverbal communication is highly influenced by cultural differences as the context of the culture defines how the message is interpreted. This essay will analyse several types of nonverbal communication such as proxemics, haptics, kinesics, semiotics and paralinguistic....   [tags: Cultural Differences in Nonverbal Communication]

Strong Essays
1651 words (4.7 pages)

Impact of Cultural Differences on International Students Essay

- Globalization is an unavoidable trend in today’s age. People nowadays have more and more chances to interact with the whole world. Students study abroad to gain more advanced knowledge. Travelers travel all of the world to enrich their experiences. And even a small company starts to consider how to deal with international trade. More interactions happening mean more information exchanges. More information exchanges bring the result that more knowledge and wisdom are shared. As more and more knowledge and wisdom are shared, humans are walking forward together....   [tags: Cultural Differences Essays]

Strong Essays
1074 words (3.1 pages)

Gender Roles and Racism in Othello Essay

- Gender roles and racism play a big part in Shakespeare’s Othello. “Othello is unique among Shakespeare's great tragedies. Unlike Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, which are set against a backdrop of affairs of state and reverberate with suggestions of universal human concerns, Othello is set in a private world and focuses on the passions and personal lives of its major figures. Indeed, it has often been described as a "tragedy of character" (Locklear). Adding well-developed female characters to the play Othello creates a dimension of gender conflict and feminist views....   [tags: Othello Essays]

Strong Essays
1505 words (4.3 pages)

Exposing Racism in William Shakespeare’s Othello Essay

- The infectious discrimination of Elizabethan racists is derived from fear unnatural a racist’s hate plagues a vulnerable community of black slaves, with religion and war corrupting diverse cultures in the attempts to purify the existence of sin. This enlightening argument of what inspires William Shakespeare’s to compose the play Othello contaminates romantic relationships, Before the integration of black-skinned people into Elizabethan culture, Christian ideology coalesce Satan’s appearance with babies born black, with such manifestations supported by centuries of anecdotal evidence....   [tags: Othello]

Strong Essays
2050 words (5.9 pages)

Racism in Othello Essay

- Racism is just one of the many problems that we have here in the United States today. Racism isn’t as bad as it used to be but it’s still here. In Othello, written by the one and only William Shakespeare, racism is the main theme and focus. England became involved in the slave trade during the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (Slights 377). Racism started in the twentieth century after this was written but the way the Elizabethan era viewed black people was similar to how racism is today (Bartels 433)....   [tags: Othello Essays]

Strong Essays
1062 words (3 pages)

Essay on Racism and Interracial Marriage in Othello

- Racism and Interracial Marriage in Othello Othello: The Moor of Venice is probably Shakespeare's most controversial play. Throughout this work, there is a clear theme of racism, a racism that has become commonplace in Venetian society which rejects the marriage of Othello and Desdemona as anathema. The text expresses racism throughout the play within the language transaction of the dialogue to question the societal ethos established by Othello, thereby making him nothing less than a cultural "other." Furthermore, the character of Desdemona is displayed as mad, or out of her wits, for marrying such an "other," and the audience sees her slip from an angelic state of purity to that of a tai...   [tags: Othello essays]

Strong Essays
3668 words (10.5 pages)

Essay about Racism in William Shakespeare's Othello

- Racism in William Shakespeare's Othello The play, Othello, is certainly, in part, the tragedy of racism. Examples of racism are common throughout the dialog. This racism is directed toward Othello, a brave soldier from Africa and currently supreme commander of the Venetian army. Nearly every character uses a racial slur to insult Othello at one point in the play. Even Emilia sinks to the level of insulting Othello based on the color of his skin. The character that most commonly makes racist remarks in Othello is Iago....   [tags: Othello essays Shakespeare]

Strong Essays
1065 words (3 pages)

Othello: Racism Essay examples

- Othello: Racism        Just how serious is the problem of racial prejudice in William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello. Is it pervasive or incidental. This essay intends to answer questions on this subject. Blanche Coles in Shakespeare’s Four Giants maintains that the racial discrimination in the play may be overstated by critics: In the first scene, Roderigo has referred to Othello as “thick lips.” No other character in the play attributes any such negroid features to Othello, and it should be remembered that Roderigo has a half-insane prejudice against and hatred for Othello....   [tags: Othello essays]

Strong Essays
1897 words (5.4 pages)