Phrase Old Black Ram
Othello was written in 1603 by William Shakespeare.Bigotry in this play was a big part.The first few pages of this play presented the first racial slurs from the people. The theme of racism is strongly seen in the work of William Shakespeare's Othello. It shows the attitude of European society towards those who were different by race.. Races that did not look white were seen as inferior to the whole European society.
From the beginning of Othello, The main character Othello is named the Moor. The word ‘moor’ means that the person looks like they are North African or that originally referred to practitioners of Islam. Othello was born into privilege and grew up to become a general for the army of Venice which helped him in many ways but it did not keep him from discrimination from the fellow people of Venice.At the beginning of the play Iago refers to Othello as ‘the thick-lips’ (Act 1.1.66) and later he raises a toast to ‘the health of black Othello’ (Act 2.2.29). This opens us up to the fact that Othello is a African.
Iago manipulates Othello in many ways throughout the play. He is one of the main reasons that Othello becomes a problem in the middle of racists in Venice. Othello thought he was a trustworthy person. Through his words, he plants seeds of doubt in Othello’s mind. (Pilar, Owlcation)Iago becomes very calm when telling Othello that Cassio may be having an affair with Desdemona, his wife. When Cassio and Desdemona are talking, Iago walks Othello to themknowing that he would have become jealous to this harmless act. As Othello observes the scene of the actions of his wife and Cassio, He sees his wife talking to her mistress instead of two friends speaking.“The association of blackness with staining or impurity recalls Iago’s attempt to portray Desdemona as being polluted by Othello’s love, and yet their love is strong and wholesome until Iago interferes. ‘Black’ vengeance is associated with Iago himself before Othello seeks vengeance on Desdemona. Ultimately, we are made aware that it is Iago, a white character, who is guilty both of causing Othello’s descent into ‘dark’ emotions, and of evoking Othello’s difference in racially charged rhetoric.” (Kay , Karen) Iago’s character is the master of the act of manipulation. His character knows they way to phrase sentences to make someone see what he wants them to and how to speak while in a situation, Iago hesitated when speaking to Othello as if there was something to hide. This causes Othello to question what Iago is really saying.
Othello was in love with Desdemona daughter of Brabantio and married her. Desdemona father was tricked by Iago to believe that his daughter was in harms way. Iago was jealous about the union of Othello and Desdemona.Iago used racial slurs caused by jealousy to degrade Othello as a human-being. Iago jealousy was used in atime when Iago says “Even now, now, very now, an old black ram is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise;awake the snorting citizens with the bell,or else the devil will make a grandsire of you. Arise I say! (Act I, 1, 89-93) The phrase old black ram referring to Othello and also the phrase white ewe referring to the daughter of Brabantio, Desdemona. “The really disturbing thing about Iago is not that he’s an unfathomable psychopath, but that he's pathologically normal and theatrically irresistible. Although he initiates and engineers its catastrophe, Iago is not the fundamental or sole cause of the tragedy, which could plainly have erupted in a similar form for the same reasons without his intervention. To grasp that fact is to pluck out the heart of Iago’s mystery, which is dispelled by the realisation that his malignity is not a monstrous deviation from the Venetian norm but its mirror image.” (Ryan, Racism, Misogyny)He is telling him that he does not want black grandkids because it would be a horrible thing. The language Iago uses is showing the racial divide between Othello and his wife Desdemona.
To conclude, Othello is ignorant to the cultural background except for the european white culture. The racial aspect behind the play is a tragedy. The theme of the European people seeing every other color below them. Theymade him believe he was not worthy to the status of them. He sees himself as inferior to the society but later on accepts the fact he is black in a white society.