Shakespeare’s Othello: The Esteemed, Reviled, Shunned, and Integrated?


  • Dr Rachelle D. Harris Visiting Professor, Frontier International Academy, University of the District of Columbia, United States of America



In Shakespearean literature, one can find themes that challenge the Elizabethan conventional way of thinking and life, and the tragedy of Othello is no exception. In a dramatic presentation, Shakespeare challenges the way in which Black people are seen in Elizabethan society by placing a Moor in the context of Venice, Italy who is both hated and respected in his place in a racist society. There is no doubt that there is racism in Elizabethan society. According to Eldred Jones, during the era in which Othello is composed, Queen Elizabeth enacts legislation that calls for all Black people to leave the country (Jones, 1994). Racism is not the core theme of the dramatic piece; however, the existence of racism is illustrated and expressed via Shakespeare’s artistic medium. Just as feminism, greed, jealousy, hubris, and varying other matters dealing with the human spirit do not seepage Shakespeare’s consideration, nor do race matters. Furthermore, just as he dramatizes human issues, he dramatizes race matters. There are fictional elements in Othello that are intertwined with nonfictional matters of human behavior and racial unrest. In the middle of racial unrest, Shakespeare composes a theatrical production with a Black character who is esteemed, reviled, shunned, and integrated into such a society, capturing the complicated nature of communal racism itself.


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Author Biography

Dr Rachelle D. Harris, Visiting Professor, Frontier International Academy, University of the District of Columbia, United States of America




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How to Cite

D. Harris, D. R. (2017). Shakespeare’s Othello: The Esteemed, Reviled, Shunned, and Integrated? . International Journal Online of Humanities, 3(5), 1–15.