William Shakespeare's Othello is a book that is open to a wide range of different critical interpretations. It was originally written during the Elizabethan period which then held a completely different context and values than of today's post-modern context. One critical interpretation is the issue of racism, which is made obvious to the audience a great number of times especially when it came to the topic of Othello himself. Some of the characters, although racist, are used as a symbolic representation of racial prejudice and beliefs that existed in the original context of Othello and during Elizabethan times. Racism is also used as apart of the play's storyline and is the main force that drives Iago to conspire against Othello and in the end; it is also the issue of racism which plays a part in leading to Othello's tragedy. Another interpretation that is heavily criticised is that of the Feminist view.
The feminist analysis allows us, as current readers, to judge, contrast and to compare the different social values and status of women in the Elizabethan times. Othello serves as an example to demonstrate the imbalance of power compared with men, the beliefs associated with women's roles and also the men's perspective on women in general in past society compared with today's.
During the time when Othello was written, there was a strong sense of racism and hatred towards coloured people in society and this is made apparent through the characters and their speeches. Their racial comments reflect the original context and provide values and beliefs towards non-white people during that period. The racist characters include Iago, Roderigo, Brabantio and Emilia.
In Shakespeare's time, black people were seen as inferiors as humans and also in their roles in society. But Othello is different. Not only does he possess a...