Interracial Marriage in Shakespeare’s Othello
Racial bias against the foreigners existed during the Elizabethan Age and Shakespeare attempted to make a parallel universe in his calamity Othello. The Moor of Venice where he captures a broad array of reactions towards a Black Muslim by the white bulk Christians in Venice. The racial favoritism has been latent in their heads for a long period and the interracial matrimony of Othello and Desdemona acts as a accelerator ensuing in a volcanic eruption like catastrophe in the society through a paradigm scoundrel Iago.
The establishment of matrimony is frequently looked at as a agency of heightening the bond within a community and when an foreigner efforts to go a portion of a closed community so he is perceived as an interloper. This essay explores the disruptive reaction of the society through Iago towards the interracial matrimony of Othello and Desdemona. Human existences. one time accustomed to a peculiar form. will happen it highly hard to change the same.
Othello. the Black Moor with physical and cultural difference in the province of Venice has risen to the place of the ground forces general through his punctilious and painstaking difficult work. Iago. the barbarous scoundrel has developed an antipathy towards Othello because of his Moresque background and it is intensified when Cassio is promoted to the place of lieutenant. overlooking Iago. Iago besides suspects an illicit relation between his married woman Emilia and Othello. So he vows to convey the ruin of Othello and takes the interracial matrimony as the ripe chance to revenge Othello.
He instigates Brabantio. male parent of Desdemona to convey Othello under test for enticing his girl. Brabantio openly condemns Othello’s matrimony with his girl and accuses that the matrimony is “maimed and most imperfect” ( 1. 3. 99 ) and “Against all regulations of nature” ( 1. 3. 101 ) . Further he strongly suspects that Othello has used charming potions on Desdemona and exploited her artlessness by forcing her to run from her place to “to the sooty bosom / Of such a thing as 1000 – to fear. non to delight” ( 1. 2. 70-71 ) .
Brabantio therefore overtly expresses his racist positions before the Duke because he is fundamentally a Venetian who is obsessed with racial bias and it is so blatantly displayed because he learns that his girl has fallen for the Moor from Roderigo. the idiot consumed by lecherousness for Desdemona and Iago. where the later has hidden his individuality and has expressed their love matter in the most obscene linguistic communication as possible. Iago provinces. “…you’ll / Have your girl covered with a Barbary horse” ( 1. 1. 111-112 ) and “I am one. sir. that comes to state you your girl / And the Moor are now doing the animal with two dorsums. 1. 1. 116-117 ) .
As Elizabeth Beaudin notes. “The linguistic communication Iago and Roderigo usage to motivate the senator’s choler is clearly prejudiced ; they refer to Othello as ‘an old black random-access memory. ’ a ‘Barbary Equus caballus. ’ and a ‘lascivious Moor’ ( 13 ) . The racialist comments of Iago and Roderigo against Othello reflect the bias that existed in the society when a Black Moor holds a better place in the society be it in military. society or the bosom of a adult female. Both Iago and Roderigo refer to Othello as an animate being. thick-lipped. uneducated. and petroleum. and ne’er name him by his name in private.
Othello is enquired about the charges levied by Brabantio and the Moor responds that their love is common which has been nurtured through conversation. He states that “She loved me for the dangers I had pass’d. / And I loved her that she did commiseration them” ( 1. 3. 167-168 ) . The Duke is one of the few characters in the drama who trusts that the love matter is beyond the narrow lanes of racism and approves their matrimony. When both the lovers are found to be in a province of complete cloud nine Iago comments. “O. you are good tuned now! / But I’ll set down the nog that make this music. / Equally honorable as I am. ( 2. 1. 199-201 ) .
Iago swears to loosen the nog in order to convey about a inharmoniousness in their relationship. Mussari justly states. “From the gap scene the interracial matrimony between Othello and Desdemona colourss all facets of the drama. Race besides provides farther motive for the resentful Iago to destruct the general’s felicity. ” ( 40-41 ) . Iago strongly believes that Desdemona’s love for the Moor is nil but an unnatural sexual desire and strategies in the most scrupulous mode to inculcate green-eyed monster in topographic point of love in the head of Othello.
Earlier Othello believed that Desdemona loved him for his escapades and he non being a chamberer. But under the toxicant influence of Iago Othello believes that it is the really same quality that has made her leave him. “… for I am black / And have non those soft parts of conversation / That chamberers have. or for I am declined” ( 3. 3. 263-265 ) Iago is highly sly and a maestro puppeteer who brings about everyone under his rule. He convinces Roderigo that H can win Desdemona’s love merely by securing gifts for her and additions pecuniary benefits from him.
Cassio besides blindly believes him and thinks that Iago is endeavoring difficult to recover Cassio’s lost place. The seeds of green-eyed monster are sown in the heads of Othello and it has deep-rooted in him. He has made a thorough analysis of Othello’s nature and produces the optic cogent evidence for his wife’s unfaithfulness. Iago is unable to stomach the fact that Othello is non merely the supreme commanding officer of the weaponries but has won the bosom of a white Venetian adult female. He is perfectly hostile to this interracial matrimony and longs to fade out the matrimony at any cost.
Roderigo. Cassio and his married woman Emilia are made as pawns who unwittingly play a important function in interrupting the harmonious relationship between Othello and Desdemona. Iago goes to the extent of contriving an accusal that his married woman is perpetrating adultery with Othello. “… Twixt my sheets / he’s done my office” ( 1. 3. 380-381 ) . Othello and Desdemona unlike many other lovers set up a mature relationship in the beginning and are convinced that they portion a common bond of love and fondness.
But it is non merely the green-eyed monster of Othello that plays a killjoy. The racial mutual exclusiveness is internalized in every homo being because worlds are basically societal existences and hence are used to populating in a homogenous environment. The sudden invasion may floor a bulk subdivision of the society like Brabantio. Iago and Roderigo. But a few may develop an initial captivation towards this heterogeneousness like Desdemona. Desdemona herself is convinced that there is something unnatural about her love for Othello.
She fails to understand Othello wholly because of the cultural and racial differences that existed between them. She had one time remarked that she fears looking at such inkiness as in Othello which is reaffirmed by Othello when Iago provinces. “seem’d to agitate and fear your looks” ( 3. 3. 207 ) . Both Desdemona and Othello are ab initio drawn to each other because of their physical visual aspect but later this difference of Black and White creates a spread between them. Othello is appalled “not merely because Desdemona corrupts herself ut because her ‘blackness’ confirms his” ( Berry. 328 ) .
The interracial matrimony. no uncertainty. intensifies the race-related societal tensenesss and the society is wholly turned into a helter-skelter environment. The reaction of the racially prejudiced society has been highly intense because. the interracial relationship has matured to the degree of married. If Iago had carried out such frenzied beastly act before Othello and Desdemona had married. it would hold lead to the separation of the lovers. But the interracial matrimony has mounted such an apprehensiveness both in the society and the twosome.
Therefore every other Venetian was easy exploited by Iago and Othello himself easy succumbed to the force per unit areas of Iago. Being married. Othello is convinced that he could reconstruct his award merely by killing his married woman who is believed to hold cuckolded him. To reason. Shakespeare has illustrated that the famine of a society is certain when a racial mutual exclusiveness exists in the society. The interracial matrimony of Othello and Desdemona may hold survived a little longer if Iago has non intervened because Iago has merely acted as a accelerator and speedup the disintegration of the matrimony.
The love matter between Othello and Desdemona was strictly emotional but the minute they enter into the establishment of matrimony. it decidedly has to defy the whirlwinds of the society. An interracial matrimony is perceived as a menace to the unity of the society and hence it is seldom welcomed. Within such a hostile environment. it is genuinely a challenge for the twosome to continue their matrimonial relationship in which both Othello and Desdemona fail miserably as they easy yield to the force per unit areas of the society in the pretense of Iago.