Telephone Conversation By William Shakespeare Essay

Telephone Conversation By William Shakespeare Essay

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Even the most influential, powerful and intelligent people are looked down upon because of the color of their skin. In William Shakespeare’s classic, Othello, and Wole Soyinka’s poem, Telephone Conversation, we follow two protagonists who undergo constant racial prejudices. Othello, being set in the sixteenth century, depicts a religious black man who is often tormented by the thought that his affluent white wife, Desdemona, is unchaste. On the other hand, Telephone Conversation, being set in the mid 1900s, follows a black man hoping to purchase a home from a white landlady. Although the situation doesn’t end well, the poem suggests that the author intentionally wrote the poem circulating the theme of discrimination against people of color as a means to begin social change. The works of Shakespeare and Soyinka are similar in the way that the main characters defy racial prejudices and stereotypes in order to dissemble society’s attempts to “other” them as inferior individuals, ultimately suggesting that the “others,” in no way have control over society’s set standards.
William Shakespeare depicts injustice throughout his play by putting his leading character through daily struggles surrounding primarily the issue of race. Iago slyly persuades Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, into believing that Othello had “enchanted” his daughter with some sort of witchcraft and magical spells. Brabantio, evidently racist and holding biases against blacks, finds it impossible that his daughter would “in spite of nature / Of years, of country, credit, everything / To fall in love with what she feared to look on!” (1.3.114-6). Othello is accused of kidnaping and luring Desdemona by her father, even though she genuinely is infatuated with him. Brabant...


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...reak down society’s “othering” efforts upon inferiors. William Shakespeare’s Othello wrestles with constant racial discrimination, following a black Moor who becomes paranoid by the thought that his both socially and physically affluent wife, Desdemona, has cheated on him with his white best friend. Similarly, Wole Soyinka’s Telephone Conversation follows a black man endeavoring continual racial prejudices, while hoping to purchase a home from a white landlady. Although ultimately ending in a disaster, the author presents a poem circulating the theme of discrimination against people of color to encourage others to undertake social change. Although the protagonists are influential, powerful and intelligent people who defy stereotypes and constantly retaliate racial discrimination, they come to realize that they have no chance of eradicating society’s act of “othering.”

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