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Othello Essay | Critical Essay #3

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Critical Essay #3

[Cowhig provides background on blacks in England during Shakespeare's time, stressing the use of racial stereotypes in the dramas of the period. Observing that black people were typically depicted as stock villains, she suggests that Shakespeare's presentation of the noble, dignified Othello as the hero of a tragedy must have been startling to Elizabethan audiences. Cowhig also examines how several characters in the play, especially Iago, are racially prejudiced. Iago's racism is the source of his hatred of Othello, she claims, and he plays on the prejudices of other characters to turn them against the Moor. Importantly, Cowhig emphasizes that, although Shakespeare consistently challenges stereotypes with his depiction of Othello, he also demonstrates that, in a white society, the Moor's color isolates him and makes him vulnerable.]

It is difficult to assess the reactions and attitudes of people in sixteenth-century Britain to the relatively few blacks living amongst...

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This section contains 3,416 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Othello Study Guide
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Othello from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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