In Shakespeare’s drama Othello the chief character is Iago. although the play’s supporter. at least during some points of the drama is Othello. This paper will seek to analyze the functions of Victorian stereotypes in the devastation of Othello’s character particularly in the hoodwinking qualities of Iago in dividing up Desdemona and Othello The first scene of the drama is set in the streets of Venice where Roderigo and Iago are in deep dissension with what is subsequently revealed to be a secret plan to destruct Othello’s matrimony to Desdemona.

Othello is the object of hate of both Roderigo and Iago. as Iago provinces. “Your bosom is burst. you have lost half your psyche ; Even now. now. really now. an old black random-access memory Is exceeding your white Ewe. ” ( Shakespeare I. I 97-9 ) Roderigo is particularly racist toward Othello in the company of Iago. as Orkin provinces. “Roderigo excessively is adept at racialist insult…and falling upon the racialist stereotype of lust-ridden black adult male when he calls to Brabantino that his girl has given himself to the ‘gross clasps of a lewd Moor’ ( Shakespeare I. I. 126. Orkin 168 ) .

The evil strategy is double ; one. to interrupt up the matrimony of Othello and Desdemona so that Roderigo can court Desdemona and finally do her autumn in love with him. two. that Iago can eventually hold his retaliation on Othello. Iago suspects that Othello has slept with his married woman Emilia and he detests Othello for go throughing him over for a publicity that he felt he deserved more than the less experient soldier Michael Cassio. In the first few scenes of the drama. Othello’s name is ne’er mentioned. stressing the secretiveness in Roderigo and Iago’s traffics.

Alternatively. Othello is referred to as “ the Moor” and descriptive phrases such as “ midst lips” . “ a Barbary horse” are used to mention to Othello’s individual. which emphasizes Victorian stereotypes of the African race. While entirely with Othello. Iago implies the possibility that Desdemona is holding an matter with Cassio. Iago manages to carry Othello to doubt Desdemona’s trueness and love for him. He tells Othello to closely analyze his wife’s actions when she is with Cassio. as Othello provinces. “She loved me for the dangers I had pass’d. And I loved her that she did feel for them.

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This lone is the witchery I have used: Here comes the lady ; allow her witness it. . ( Shakespeare I. iii193-6 ) . Othello’s foremost gift to Desdemona was a hankie. which is a really Victorian gift to give to a lady. This purportedly fiddling object later becomes the piece of grounds that Iago uses to destruct Othello’s matrimony. and as Othello plaints at the stopping point of the drama. “I had been happy. if the general cantonment. Pioners and all. had tasted her sweet organic structure. So I had nil known. O. now. for of all time Farewell the tranquil head! farewell content!

Farewell the plumy troop. and the large wars. That make aspiration virtuousness! O. farewell! Farewell the neighing steed. and the sharp trump. The spirit-stirring membranophone. the ear-piercing fife. The royal streamer. and all quality. Pride. gaudery and circumstance of glorious war! And. O you mortal engines. whose ill-mannered throats The immortal Jove’s dead clamor forgery. Farewell! Othello’s occupation’s gone! . ( Shakespeare III. three. 397-409 ) . One eventide. as Desdemona and Emilia inform Othello that dinner is ready. Othello complains of a concern. Desdemona quickly offers her hankie to adhere his caput to alleviate the hurting.

Othello remarks that the hankie is excessively little and pushes it off. Desdemona unwittingly loses clasp of the hankie as she and Othello walk out of the room. Emilia picks up the hankie. retrieving that Iago had asked her a figure of times to steal it. she is delighted at the chance of surprising her hubby. At the same clip as Iago was to works Desdemona’s hankie in Cassio’s room. Othello who discovers his secret plan is infuriated and exclaims that he’d instead witness misrepresentation foremost manus than assume unfaithfulness without conclusive grounds.

At this point. Iago. of all time the operator. manages to acquire his manner once more by manufacturing another narrative that Cassio one time called out Desdemona’s name in his slumber and that Cassio acted as if he were snoging Desdemona. Iago reinforced his claim by claiming to hold seen Cassio wipe his face fungus with the hankie. This enrages Othello and he vows to seek retaliation on Cassio and Desdemona for the alleged unfaithfulness. Once once more. Iago succeeds and even manages to acquire promoted to lieutenant.

In the drama. Desdemona’s hankie is the symbol of fidelity and subsequently in the drama the symbol of truth. It is the hankie which symbolizes Othello’s internalisation of Victorian mores into his character which allow him to believe Iago’s tripe about Desdemona’s infedelity. and which finally leads to his ruin. his loss of love. and his shame. Work Cited Greenblatt. Stephen. et Al. . explosive detection systems. The Norton Shakespeare. New York: W. W. Norton. 1997. Orkin. Martin. Othello and the ‘Plain Face’ of Racism. Shakespeare Quarterly. Vol. 38. No. 2. ( Summer 1987 ) . Pp. 166-188.


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