course hero Core Othello Essay

course hero Core Othello Essay - 1 Shakespeares Othello,...

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1 Shakespeare’s Othello , recounts a story in which racism and jealously are the dominant themes. Othello, the protagonist of the play is continually undermined and put in the spotlight because of his dark skin color and high position as governor of Cyprus. It is this combination that inclines Iago, the antagonist, to conjure up a plot to ruin Othello after he promotes Cassio over him. While Othello abilities are repeatedly questioned because he is the only “Moor in Venice”, he proves himself through his actions. Jealous of his position, Iago uses both as a motivation to bring Othello down. Iago’s untruthful actions show how he is the complete opposite of an ideal Venetian, whose morals include faithfulness in marriage and loyalty and respect to those in higher positions. He is in fact, the “otherness” that the reader initially assumes as Othello, but his intentions separate him completely from all members in society. Regardless of race, Iago’s devious proceedings would have occurred nevertheless. Othello, at first an unlikely candidate, proves to be the epitome of a Venetian while Iago is its dark opposite. Firstly, the fact that Othello is the only dark skinned person in Venice automatically puts him in the limelight as people have higher expectations from him because they expect less. He is predisposed to quicker judgment and disapproval. While the Venetians see being a Moor a negative quality, Othello turns it around to make it a positive quality as he proves to be a solid leader who works arduously to higher himself in rank. His skin color is the only trait of “otherness” seen in him. As expected out of any other Venetian, he follows the morals that society dictates, acting as a true and seamless member of it. This is shown in Brabantio’s reaction to his daughter, Desdemona, and her marriage to Othello. After Iago discovers that Cassio has been appointed lieutenant and not he, he seeks revenge, telling Roderigo to “Call up her father, / Rouse him. Make after him, poison his delight,” (Act I.i. 67-68). He begins his journey of evilness and deceit as he plans out Othello’s
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2 downfall. He uses Brabantio as a vessel to try to get Othello knocked out of the ranks. After being told of his daughter’s actions in a manner that puts Othello in a bad light, Brabantio interrupts a meeting with the duke exclaiming “She is abused, stol’n from me, and corrupted / By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks; / For nature so prepost’rously to err” (Act I.iii. 60- 62). Because of his character and position, the duke is hesitant to accuse Othello immediately, thinking that Brabantio must be frantic and confused. When addressing Othello later he says, “Come hither, Moor” (Act I.iii. 192). The way that Brabantio speaks to Othello shows his disrespect as he calls him out by his race rather than his name. Brabantio is convinced that because Othello is a Moor, that he must be up to something unnatural. He does not even make an
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course hero Core Othello Essay - 1 Shakespeares Othello,...

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