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Word Count: 2,273
Othellos race does not greatly impact his downfall in the play He maintains that while Shakespeare touches upon the issue of race the cause of Othellos demise lies elsewhere1 However the implications of race in the play directly lead to its tragic ending it is this issue that impels the characters to set the tragedy in motion Brabantio would agree to the union of Othello and Desdemona if it were not for Othellos blackness Roderigo could never be motivated to pursue Desdemona were it not for his belief that their relationship is unnatural By far the most significant racism is Othellos own racism that Iago brings to the surface by playing upon Othellos racial insecurities Finally it is racism that serves as Iagos primary cause in his destruction of Othello Brabantio is very selective about suitors for Desdemona When Roderigo comes to his window Brabantio tells him The worser welcome In honest plainness thou hast heard me say My daughter is not for thee 1192-952 Although Roderigo is a wealthy native Venetian in Brabantios eyes he is not worthy of Desdemona it seems that brabantio could approve of othello he holds a high position as the general of the army he is born of a noble background and he has the respect of the State In addition Brabantio has an affinity for Othello as he explains he loved Othello oft invited him Still questioned him the story of his life 13128-29 There is no reason for Brabantio to disapprove of Desdemonas union with Othello--apart from his race Yet Brabantio begins to take Roderigo seriously only when he informs him in racist fashion that Desdemona has fallen To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor 11123 he finds the thought of his daughter eloping with a black man extremely repulsive Brabantio can not believe how Desdemona a maid so tender fair and happy could run to the sooty bosom
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