Racism and Shakespeare

Abstract

This paper explains that the way Shakespeare constructed the themes of racism in “Othello” and “The Merchant of Venice” can be analyzed using social psychological theory because the racism towards Othello and Shylock is based purely on racial and religious differences between Othello, Shylock and the Venetians. The author points out that Othello, the Moor of Venice, is referred to by other Venetians as the Moor or another derogatory, bestial name “the thick-lips”, “an old https://essaylab.com/cheap_essays black ram”, “a Barbary horse”, and “the lascivious Moor” much more often than by his name, which, while not necessarily indicating racism, separate Othello from those around him. The paper concludes that Shakespeare’s ability to characterize human nature is perfectly illustrated in the characters of the Christian Venetians, Othello and Shylock.

From the Paper:

“Shylock is how to write an essay for college about yourself telling us that Antonio hates him because he is Jewish, however when considering Shylock’s place in society and psychological theory, there is more to his hatred than just religion. Antonio also thinks Shylock is despicable because of his un-holy and sinful profession, even though Antonio and the other Venetians take advantage of his business. Shylock’s job poses a threat to Christian values, but it is also slightly more significant that just that. The Christian Venetians feel threatened because they themselves are not being very Christian and ruining their society themselves; they are taking advantage of a money lender, and try to deny Shylock of the Christian virtue of mercy (IV.i.182-203).”

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