“Racism springs from the lie that certain human beings are less than fully human. It 's a self-centered falsehood that corrupts our minds into believing we are right to treat others as we would not want to be treated.”- Alveda King
Although most people will tell themselves that race is not an issue, the truth always is staring them straight in the eye. The fundamental crime is a flawed belief that some people are above others and deserve to look down on those different. In the play The Tragedy of Othello, William Shakespeare uses symbolism, imagery, and characters to illustrate the prejudice and racism which surrounds different ethnicities and its effects on society.
In the play Othello, Shakespeare uses symbolism to show the hatred between the characters when talking about Othello. The first instance of this animosity is seen while Iago refers to Othello as a black ram while talking to Brabantio. The second occurrence is when Iago and Roderigo compare Othello to a horse.
As Roderigo lusts over Brabantio’s daughter, Roderigo and Iago illustrate symbolism with their personal bigotry towards Othello, Shakespeare writes:
R: Signior, is all your family within?
I: Are your doors lock’d?
B: Why, wherefore ask you this?
I: ‘Zounds, sir, you’re robb’d! For shame. Put on your gown!
Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul.
Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise!
Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,
Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you:
Arise, I say!
B: What, have you lost your wits? (1.1.80-9)
Critic Christopher Pye points out, “… I maintain that the ambiguity of the category of race is a function of its re...
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Yet, for necessity of present life,
I must show out a flag and sign of love, (1.1.139-51)
Estelle Taylor writes, “Iago from the very start of the dramatic action becomes not only the representative, the symbol and embodiment of the dualism or the ironic equation, but also the real active controlling force that will motivate the other major characters or character types--including Othello, the hero--and determine the extent to which, and even the manner in which, each of them in turn will be so manipulated or, in modern terminology, so brainwashed or programmedas to be literally "fascinated" into accepting shadow for substance, appearance for reality.” In every situation, a single person arises to lead the pack down this dark path. However, the actions of the leader seem righteous inside their head; they are actually clouded with a presumption of justified status.
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