Essay on Racial And Misogynistic Elements Of Shakespeare 's Othello

1845 Words Dec 7th, 2015 null Page
The play adaptation Othello is a tragic play that focuses on the racial and misogynistic elements of Shakespeare’s writings. Through Shakespeare’s play, critics have argued his depiction as racist and even sexist. Othello is a play that is debated on whether Shakespeare wrote it for entertainment at the expense of the “racial other” or if it was an advanced social message about the detriments of othering marginalized groups.
The character, Othello, was a Moor of Venice who was subjected to racial stereotypes and misogynistic projections upon his wife via the protagonist Iago. The story is a tragedy of a general who was once a respectable hero soon turned into a violent and jealous man based on Iago’s deceit. The racial and sexual tones of the play come in when Shakespeare depicts the treatment and perception of Othello and Desdemona’s characters. Desdemona was a white woman who eloped with Othello written as a Moor likely of African descent rather than Arab. Her sexuality as a woman correlates with Othello’s race because as a white European woman, she is deemed pure in itself. Othello is a black man written on white men’s fears of the rape and impurity of white women. Those very fears are what propel him and Desdemona into their tragic end. According to Jane Adelman, Iago is a projection of how one perceives race and how it affects the person they racially subjugate and stereotype. Iago displays the tropes of the “brute” he places unto Othello due to his race. Although…

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