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Autor:   •  October 30, 2010  •  724 Words (3 Pages)  •  433 Views

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The Significance of Othello's Ethnicity.

In William E. Cain's essay, "The Triumph of Will," he clearly states, as is represented by James that Othello's race is not an issue in the play. I strongly agree with James and believe that if Othello's skin was white it would not affect the outcome of the play at all. Desdemona's marriage to any other man, black or white, would have been just as upsetting to Barbantio and Roderigo, and in this paper I will further discuss my reasoning.

As I have mentioned in the introduction, the outcome of the play would have been exactly the same whether or not Desdemona's husband in the play happened to be black or white. One of the reasons is the fact that Barbantio was not necessarily mad at Desdemona for marrying Othello. Although this might have made him a little upset he got over that very quick, but what made him really mad was that Desdemona married Othello secretly behind his back without his approval. Basically Barbantio felt betrayed by his own daughter. This made Barbantio feel that he wasn't able to do his part as a father, and play that major role in his daughter's life anymore. Since Othello is now Desdemona's new husband it is his responsibility to take over those important roles. Barbantio would feel this way regardless of who his daughter married. Understandingly and respectively enough Barbantio knows that Desdemona loves Othello, and that Othello loves Desdemona just as much as he loves his daughter. In the end, Barbantio easily accepts the marriage. If the racial issue was the initial root of all evil here he would not have accepted the marriage as easily. In his acceptance to the marriage he joins the hands of Othello and Desdemona and gives them his blessings. "I here do give thee that with all my heart which, but thou hast already, with all my heart I would keep from thee for your sake, Jewel, I am glad at soul I have no other child, for thy escape would teach me tyranny, to hang clogs on them." (Shakespeare, 31)

As for Roderigo, his main conflict is the simple fact that Desdemona has married a man whom is not himself, as he would rather love to have it. Although Iago is supposed to be a friend if Othello's he sides with Roderigo and secretly is against Othello. Iago made a racial comment early on in the play regarding Othello's race to Barbantio about Desdemona's marriage, but it seems as though that Iago only used this comment


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