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Racism in othello relating to racial hatred in elizabethan england

March 17, 2016 In the 17th century, racism was an accepted part of public life; people of color were often thought of as "savage. As we go through the play we see a complex relation between a black man, a white woman and the state.

Racism In Othello Relating To Racial Hatred In Elizabethan England Essay

But in order to understand the racial issues we should, at first, consider the Elizabethan attitude to the black people. Othello is a Moor. Othello moves from being a colonized subject existing on the terms of white Venetian society to a tragic downfall.

For the post-colonial thinker, the establishment of "insider" vs.

  • This belief was very strong in Shakespeare's time and many of his audience would feel a mixed marriage was wrong;
  • Other races were usually ignored in the Elizabethan era.

Racism is the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. Racism is defined as discrimination or prejudice directed against somebody who belongs to a different race.

It is someone who discriminates someone because of their ethnicity and race. From about mid sixteenth century the English encounter with Africans began.

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Native West Africans had probably first appeared in London in 1554. However the Elizabethan era started in 1485, with the end of wars of the roses. It ended in 1603, and is considered to be the golden age. Other races were usually ignored in the Elizabethan era.

Race and Discrimination in 'Othello' by William Shakespeare

Black people were seen as exotic creatures at first and were brought to England as people without rights. Black people gradually gained some right and were known a Moors but tension still revealed between the different races due to belief of superiority. Racism back then was most common and brutal. It was common to single out north and west Africans out of the way they are dressed, behaved and their customs in Elizabethan England and to refer to them as devils or villains.

Racism today is still happening every day. Although racism is not as common, it is just as brutal.

  • Othello is mistreated due to the colour of his skin;
  • In his new home, his only obligations are to people he himself has chosen to serve;
  • However, after he brings up the issue of his own race and recognizes how he is different from the rest of society, Othello lashes out in anger at Desdemona, the scapegoat for his overpowering sense of self-loathing;
  • Othello and Desdemona, husband and wife, in happy times Source A Plot Rooted in Jealousy These achievements have earned Othello the respect and admiration of those around him with the exception of a resentful few, including Iago and Roderigo;
  • Othello delights in and experiences the ultimate freedom to do as he pleases;
  • Othello is a Moor.

People are attacked, judged, and neglected due to their skin colour and race. Stereotypes and racial slurs are more common due to people being desensitized. While looking at the racial overtones of Othello we must truly evaluate the treatment of Othello as a Moor, his position is Venetian society and his marriage to Desdemona.

He is not only a great soldier and leader but he is filled with good quality. Othello is mistreated due to the colour of his skin.

Even though Othello is very important member of the military, he is still seen as somebody of lower class by many people. It was written sometime between 1600 and 1605. In that time the ethnic minorities were so unimportant that they were almost ignored.

Othello a black moor rises and has a position of a general in Venice and is a well respected and trusted by his white leaders this whole thing is totally ignored. But everything changes after Othello marries the young and the beautiful Desdemona who was the daughter of senator Brabantio.

Arise, arise; Awake the snorting citizens with the bell, or else the devil will make a grandsire of you: Arise, I say" A1, S1, L112-17. They are even related to the devil and animals in disguise. The wealthy curled darlings of our nation, Would ever have, to incur a general mock, Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom. Brabantio would rather have his daughter unmarried than be with a black man.

Here we can find another presentation of racism; Brabantio believes that the Duke will support him because they are both white and Othello is black.

  • Enlarge image Another major theme is race, and the idea that our ethnic origin affects our behaviour and personality;
  • Desdemona acquits Othello of any wrongdoing, and the Duke says to Brabantio;
  • People are attacked, judged, and neglected due to their skin colour and race;
  • In that time the ethnic minorities were so unimportant that they were almost ignored.

Desdemona also persuades the council that she married Othello because she loved him, and he did not use witchcraft on her. However the Duke tells Brabantio that his daughter is safe if Othello is her husband.

When the duke says this, Racism is in the atmosphere because the duke is implying that Othello is not like all the other moors, Othello is honorable. The demonstration of Racism is displayed throughout the whole play. While racism indeed is demonstrated in Othello, it has nothing to do with the tragic outcomes in the play. On the contrary, Shakespeare has displayed Othello as a good black man who was driven to do horrible things by a white man.

The racial slur and insults of Iago and racist comments of Roderigo proves that there is racist sentiment within the play. The racist sentiment is confined to brabantio, roderigo and iago. The character, Othello does not lower himself to respond to these insults. The injurious racial blubbering of the whit echarcters only strengthens Othello against the stereotypes.

Looking at the character of Othello through the color prejudices of early 17thcentury England further shows how Shakespeare was very progressive for his time period.