Othello in Shakespeare's Tragedy

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When discussing the characteristics of Othello one finds he has morethan one side. Othello is a tragic hero in this drama. Also, he portrays aman with much greatness. ...

Othello - Character Analysis - FIELD OF THEMES

characteristics of Othello which Iago exploits to the full are his gullibility and uxorious nature Much of the scholarship on Othello's racial and ethnic origins tend tofocus on the binary duality between ideas of color (black vs. white), ideasof race (Morocco vs. Syria), and ideas of place (North African vs. Sub-SaharaAfrican). These develop into discussions of how ocular perception,biological determinism, and geographic contingency have either hinderedor helped readers and critics in understanding the true nature of just whoOthello is. These context clues are supposed to help us understand his truthbased upon known and true characteristics of Othello. Many passagesallude to physical appearance as determining factors, as the audience issupposed to know what these generalizations refer to. As Philip Butcherstates, "it appears that neither he [Shakespeare] nor other Elizabethans made careful distinctions between Moors and Negroes." This leads to the inevitable conclusion that the populace of England at thetime not only had frequent and intensive mixing with people of color, butthey tended to generalize the race, ethnicity, and actual color of peoplesin England. This was an accepted practice during that time. Shakespeare'spractice to use adjectives to describe the physical attributes of variousraces and nationalities was an accepted method to generalize and characterizecertain peoples. thus if a playgoer heard these allusions, they wouldalready know who Shakespeare was talking about. The distinction between"Moor" and "Negroe" was not one that needed to be flushed out into any specificdetail. In general, as Butcher notes "[t]he Elizabethans held no highopinion of foreigners and seem to have had a particular aversion for thepeoples they class as Moors," which is amply supported by historical data. But the knowledgeof these peoples by the English was based mainly on travel into the heart of Africa by explorers and what they wrote on return to England. Thesetravelogues were then read by the public which formed the popular caricaturesof these 'others.' But their knowledge of 'others' was superficial,inauthentic, and rather cliched images of what it was to be black or a Moor. This was due to the rather simple mindset when it came to questions of howone became black. Blacks were black because they were exposed to ahigher intensity of sunlight due to geographical location, and this in turnprovided misconceptions on how blacks behaved as well:

Othello (character) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Othello mimics the image of a Venetian, and becoming, as Phillips puts it "a figment of a Venetian imagination" (1997, p. 182). We assume that the term "rhizome" befits the transformation Othello has gone through; Othello and Desdemona form a rhizome with "no roots," "no particular shape," and "no particular territory" they are bound to. We should also remember the original text by Shakespeare and Brabantio's foreshadowing warning to Othello which also points to deterritorializing and reterritorializing transformative characteristics of Othello - Desdemona relationship: "Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see. / She has deceived her father, and may thee (Othello 1.3.293-94).

Othello is a character in Shakespeare's Othello (c