Examine The Issues Of Racial Stereotyping In Othel

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Othello Coursework Examine the issues of radial stereotyping in Othello in relation to Elizabethan culture Many Elizabethan's had negative views of black Africans. Some Elizabethan's viewed non-whites as inferior beings and savages; and because religion played a big part in Elizabethan culture, others would associate blacks as evil and witchcraft, and other non-Christian superstitions such as the devil. Usually black was associated with evil and white with good.

Brabantio proves a good example of Shakespeare showing these images, when he accuses Othello of witchcraft, "she is abused, stolen from me, and corrupted by spells and medicines" (act 1 scene 3 line 61), he says that the "Moor" must have used "drugs and minerals", Othello's and Desdemona's answer to this is that it was the stories of Othello's life which captured her heart not black magic, for example Desdemona says "I saw Othello's visage mind" (act 1 scene 3 line 249), and Othello tells everyone present "I won his daughter" (act 1 scene 3 line 94) Another example of undermining stereotyping is at the end of the play in act 5 scene 2, Emilia accuses Othello of being the devil, "o, the more angel she, and you the blacker devil:" (line 130) She says this because he has killed Desdemona by this point so she refers Othello as being evil, which is typical of Elizabethan culture.

Shakespeare also shows the racial side when Iago refers to Othello as a "Barbary Horse" (line 108n act 1 scene 1), an "old black ram " (line 85 act 1 scene 1) and "the beast with two backs" (line 115 act 1 scene 1), and Roderigo uses the term "lascivious Moor" (line 124 act 1 scene 1). Moor is a term used frequently in the play, to an Elizabethan the word "Moor" meant black...