William Shakespeare’s Othello as a Victim Essay

William Shakespeare’s Othello as a VictimNot All Works Cited IncludedIn “Othello” Shakespeare shows that Othello is victimised in manyways, for instance; his race, his culture, his social position andnaA?ve. Othello’s victimisation could also show Shakespeare’s meaningof the term “tragedy”. In other Shakespearean tragedies the leadcharacter is shown as cunning, ruthless and manipulative, more similarto Iago than Othello. This could represent a change in Shakespeare’sopinion of a true Shakespearean tragedy.

The main cause of Othello’s victimisation is his race. Unlike theother characters in “Othello” he is a Moor, a natural figure of hatredand disgust. In the play he is very rarely referred to as “Othello”,but more often as; “moor” or “negro”, Desdemona even refers to Othelloas “my noble moor” not Othello. The event where Othello is victimiseddue to his race are vast, for example at the start of the play whenIago is talking to Roderigo, Othello’s race is a major issue,

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“To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor-“.

Here evidence of racism is shown. There is also a case that this showsthe imperial and colonial nature of Venice in the Sixteenth century.”Othello” can be seen to show the stereotypical contemporaryElizabethan belief of blackness and the barbarous nature of the”black” man as evil and devilish. Othello’s race also helps tohighlight his jealousy and gullibility, due to his race Othello isalways subconscious of his weaknesses, his “tragic flaw”. This may bea reason for why he befriends Iago, who would act as his link to the”white” world, informing Othello of the opinions white society.


…d social figures.

In conclusion I feel that Othello is more “sinned against thansinning”. This is not to say that he is a innocent, it most beremembered that he killed Desdemona, not Iago and that no matter howbig a part Iago has it is still Othello’s fault. But, Othello isvictimised, he is portrayed as an “other”,

“if this be known to you, and your allowance”.

He is also presented as a savage, barbarian and a inferior, aparasite, living of the healthy Venetian state. But, this is all dueto the fact that he is different, it has been noted that if you aredifferent you will never be equal, “if you are different you willalways be different” (Marx – CM 1848) and Othello’s difference is nofault of his own.

Works Cited:

Shakespeare, William. Othello. Ed. Alfred Harbab. Middlesex, England: Penguin, 1970.


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