Symbolism in Othello

             What do you think of when you hear the word “tragedy?” Tragedy is usually associated with suffering, pain, death or disaster. In the drama play Othello; written by William Shakespeare, you are able to understand the definition of tragedy. Othello offers a great variety of commentary of a variety of themes, such as trust, honor, racism and reputation. The play is located in Venice and Cyprus during the Renaissance. Othello is based on a Moorish general that is deceived by his ensign into believing his wife is unfaithful to him. Othello also contains a villain character named Iago and Shakespeare adds supporting characters like Roderigo and the unhappy Brabantio to compress the time frame and set it against the backdrop of military conflict. And of course, he turned the ensign, a minor villain, into the artist of evil whom we know as Iago.
             Shakespeare ‘s choice of a black man was strikingly original. Othello is called a Moor, which can suggest Arabic descent, but the language of the play insists that he is a black African. Blackness in Elizabethan England was a color associated with moral, evil, decay, and death. For example, the Moors in theater were usually stereotyped as villains. Othello embodies none of the characteristics typical of the “Moor,” instead of being lecherous, cunning, and vicious, he is a noble, towering a figure whose fall is therefore all
             the more difficult to watch. Othello was the protagonist of the play, as well as the tragic hero. Othello was in the commanding army of Venice and was represented as a general. He was also looked upon greatly and people found this not to be fair because he was not a descendent of Venice. The main person who seemed to envy Othello was Iago. Iago did not like Othello because of the respect you earned from everyone. He found that since he was an outsider that did not deserve being general, or get the chance to marry Desdemona.

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