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Cynthia I Quintana Racial Background Effect in Othello During the Elizabethan times it was uncommon for black people to act out roles in plays Shakespeare introduces this to his audience in two plays the first Titus Andromicus and the second Othello The first black character Aaron is portrayed as a secondary villain Othello on the other hand is of higher status than many of his peers in the play This was different for Shakespeare to present a minority person with such authority as a main character Even with such many different racial slurs were used by supporters to degrade him In Act I Scene I Iago the villain in this play and at the same time the right hand man of Othello is screaming to Desdemonas father from the outside of his house even now now very now an old black ram is tupping your white ewe Shakespeare 1051 The thick-lips Shakespeare 1050 is mentioned in this play towards Othello but is not the first time Shakespeare uses it He uses the phrase in Titus Andronicus to describe the biracial child of the Moor Aaron Moor is another term frequently used to identify those darker skinned people Shakespeare 1052 Brabantio goes as far as accusing Othello of witchcraft He says that Othello must have used drugs and minerals to get Desdemona to marry his sooty bosom Iago instigates the characters in this play that do speak foul of Othello It is quite obvious from the beginning of the story that Iago is betraying Othello Iago mentions to Roderigo I am not what I am The choice of words he used towards Othello does not necessarily mean that he is a racist yet at the same time I do not feel that Othellos Quintana -2- background effects the events in this play With or without Othello being a Moor the outcome of the play would have worked as well Name-calling which
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