In the play "Othello", just by reading Act 1, scenes 1&2 we already have very mixed opinions of the character Othello. As an audience or just a reader of the play, the contrasting impressions of Othello are vast. The description of Othello by the manipulative and deceitful Iago, by the betrayed Roderigo and the angered Brabantio creates a very negative picture of Othello indeed. In general, in the whole of Act 1 Scene 1, Othello is portrayed as lustful, black beastly "moor" who has used witchcraft and charms to marry Desdemona- Brabantio's white daughter. However when we meet Othello in Act 1 Scene 2 we are caused to question the impressions established beforehand, as the Othello we see here is almost definitely very different to the "lascivious moor" described previously. He is very noble, civilised and dignified. He handles the situation in a calm manner.
In Scene 1, it is worth noticing that throughout, a distinctly unflattering portrait of Othello emerges. In this scene he is only referred to as the "moor" thus stressing his racial difference. This is a point that is underlined further when Roderigo refers to him as "the thick lips". He is identified by his race. This sets him apart as an outsider in Venice. He is often regarded with the traditional contemporary hostility reserved for the stereotypical "black"- he is a moor and therefore ugly, sexually promiscuous and depraved, cruel and dangerous and a practitioner of witchcraft who is closely allied with evil and the devil. .
In Line 85, Iago uses animal imagery to describe Othello as the lustful beast and as inhuman; therefore when he refers to Othello's sexual relations with Desdemona it is bestial and unnatural:.
"Even now, very now, an old black ram.
Is tupping your whit ewe".
Here referring to his race and his age, as well as the bestial copulation Iago forces Brabantio to picture- like mating farmyard animals:.
"you"ll have your daughter cover"d with .