Othello~Is Racism The Predominant Factor Throughout The Play?.
Many people consider Shakespeare's Othello to be a racist play. The main character in this controversial play is a black moor who marries a white woman, but their marriage is later destroyed by treachery, jealousy and deceit. Although there are many instance in this play that suggest that this is a racial play, racism does not actually control the play, even though it has a racist theme that is the romantic union of a black man and a white woman. This theme takes precedence over the entire play and sets up what is one of Shakespeare's most controversial works of the time.
The majority of the racial comments come from characters that are either irritated or upset. For example, when Emilia found out that Othello had killed her best friend, Desdemona, she was extremely infuriated and referred to Othello "And you the Blacker devil"(5.2.129), this was the only time in the play that she had said anything racial in reference to Othello. Her emotions could be considered to be out of rage or could also be considered that to come out because she was afraid to show them before.
The major characters that have racial tensions toward Othello are Iago, Brabantio, Roderigo and Emilia, with the hatred of Othello as the basis for their racial actions and comments towards him. Roderigo speaks the first racial comment in the play, when he refers to Othello as "thicklips"(1.1.65), which is spoken out of Roderigo's jealousy toward Othello. Iago is the most racist character in the book though, as he has it in for Othello right from the start. The event that causes this hatred of Othello and also his hatred of Cassio, occurs when it was time for Othello to choose his Lieutenant, it was Cassio who was chosen instead of Iago, even though Iago's war experience was much greater than that of Cassio's. Iago does not say anything racist to Othello's face but he has a lot to say against him behind his back.