Essay Preview: Othello Case
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Othello self-perception contributed heavily on his misjudgment of reality, because his views were easily manipulated by Iago that he listens to him as a guide to Venetian society. At the beginning of the play we can see that Othello was aware of the mainstream venetian society views on race. He always put himself as if he is lowers than the venetian. He used compliment such as “Noble and aprrovd” when he addressed the dukes of Venice ( 1.3.77), yet for his eloquent and intelligent speech he said “rude am I in my speech” (1.3.81) . This shows how Othello has adopted the idea that black peoples are inferior, less polite and more savage compared to the white venetians while in contrast he held an important rank in the military and his speeches are clearly politer and more civilized than other venetians such as Iago ,Brabantio and the dukes. This is Shakespeares critique towards the society that often forgets that position and education, not race and skin color should determine a mans status in the society. This idea might be seen as a part of his politeness in his speeches; however this view was manipulated by Iago to destroy Othellos relationship. He strengthens the idea in Othellos mind after Othello sees his marriage as “nature erring from itself” that Desdemona should be with a white man “of her own clime, complexion and degree” (3.3.229-33). This caused Othello to be more insecure about his marriage and start doubting his wifes loyalty. Iago played on the notion that interracial marriage is unnatural and wrong, that white people should not contaminate themselves with marrying the savage black people . The manipulation by Iago caused Othello to look he and his skin color down even more, to the point that he used black as a negative thing. For example, he compared his formerly good “name” that was “as fresh as Dians visage, is now as begrimed and black as mine own face”. Here it can be seen that Othello has really accepted the idea that fair and white stands for goodness whereas black stands for bad. Othellos status as an outsider in Venetian society caused him to absorb any values iago said existed in that society even if it was degrading himself. Thus, this ultimately contributed to Othellos doubt on his wifes loyalty, and Iagos plot to make Othello hates cassio, since Othello himself now think that he does not deserve his wife and his wife will want a white man to be with.