The main reason behind Othello's ability to withstand the currents of time is the fact that Shakespeare used universal human themes in the play. Themes such as racism, jealousy and love are values that have persisted in human society. Therefore it is no surprise that when these themes become the most important part of the storyline in Othello. It is the ability of a piece of literature to move the crowds by the core values and human emotions of each and every individual that makes it popular. The play Othello has succeeded in achieving that. Among the main themes is racism. Othello, the title character, was a Moorish general serving the Venetian government. Being a black, he was subjected to so many different forms of discrimination and hatred by others around him. Iago who was his ensign was probably the worst racist in the play "old black ram tupping your ewe" to Brabantio, "thick lips" and he describes Othello as a "Barbary horse." While racism may not be as prominent, it still exists. Through Shakespeare's Othello, today's audience could relate to the idea of racism, a very real social dilemma that confronts them in their daily lives as well as in human history.
The theme of jealousy which is a highlight in the play is a catalyst theme that is extremely relevant in today's society. This is because jealousy is a universal human emotion. Every person feels envy. Iago was the main reason for jealousy in Shakespeare's Othello. He was extremely envious of his colleague Cassio who was promoted to the rank of lieutenant by Othello. Othello, who mistakenly saw Iago as the "most honest" among his friends was put under his spell of jealousy.to make Othello jealous of Cassio, Iago "advised" him "O, beware, my lord of jealousy; It is the green monster." This shows how jealousy in Othello relates to a modern day audience. Another important theme is of love and infidelity.