Essay on The Effects of Racism and Misogyny in Othello

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The Effects of Racism and Misogyny in Othello Race and gender heavily influence the course of peoples’ lives. Shakespeare’s “Othello” depicts a society in which racist and misogynist behaviour informs and affects how characters are perceived and treated. Women in the play are viewed by men as objects, available for their possession and use. The constant subtle and overt racism that Othello encounters throughout the play contribute to his downfall. The unjust treatment of women and people of colour in “Othello” is proof that their society is one of racism and misogyny. Male characters in the play perceive women as objects to possess and use as they see fit. Unwed women were considered the property of their fathers until marriage, and …show more content…
He believes that it would be impossible for Desdemona to fall in love with Othello so fiercely that he thinks Othello must have bewitched Desdemona for her to fall in love with him. The racism that Othello encounters becomes internalized by the end of the play. After Othello comes to the realization that Desdemona was in fact faithful, he says, “‘Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away.’”(5.2.343) Othello is comparing himself to a “base” or uncivilized aboriginal. Throughout the play, Othello fixates on Desdemona’s whiteness, after he murders her, and is told she was never unfaithful, he once again compares her to a perfect, white pearl, and it is notable that pearls are associated with purity. This constant onslaught of racism that Othello faces leads to him acting in the very racial stereotype he was perceived as throughout the play. Racism and misogyny are the factors with the most impact when it comes to the treatment of women and people of colour in “Othello”. Women are used by men as if they were objects for their gratification. Racism permeates Venetian society so deeply that eventually Othello internalizes it. These prejudiced views make it impossible for Othello and women in the play to do anything without being looked at through a tainted lens. In modern society, not only does racism and misogyny make the objectification of women and the stereotyping of people of colour possible, it makes it truly