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Black Othello: A question of definition

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Peter D.
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  1. Introduction
  2. The ten different instances
  3. Racial group
    1. The subject of Othello's racial
  4. Black: Marked by anger; Sullenness
  5. Black: Evil and wicked
  6. Conclusion

Is William Shakespeare's Othello really black? That depends. It depends on the specific definition of the word "black." Taking the word at face value in our contemporary society, the word tends to describe a specific cultural community of peoples derived from or near the continent of Africa. In that sense "black" has to do with outward appearances. Digging a little deeper, "black" can also represent the opposite or absence of light. In the past, the word "black" has also held very evil connotations, being used as an adjective to describe a particularly wicked or sinful act or event or object.

[...] Black: of or belonging to a racial group having brown to black skin, especially one of African origin. The subject of Othello's racial and/or national heritage is one that has been widely debated by the people of the theater community. Some take the text literally when the title character is referred to as "black Othello" by Imago in Act scene 3 of the text. They believe that the word "black" was used there, as it does today, to symbolize the Moor's African heritage. [...]


[...] Black Othello: A question of definition Is William Shakespeare's Othello really black? That depends. It depends on the specific definition of the word "black." Taking the word at face value in our contemporary society, the word tends to describe a specific cultural community of peoples derived from or near the continent of Africa. In that sense "black" has to do with outward appearances. Digging a little deeper, "black" can also represent the opposite or absence of light. In the past, the word "black" has also held very evil connotations, being used as an adjective to describe a particularly wicked or sinful act or event or object. [...]

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