Racism, Ethnic Discrimination, and Otherness in Shakespeare’s Othello and The Merchant of Venice
Keywords:Deconstruction, Racism, Shakespeare, Marriage, Otherness
This study aims to present a comparative examination of the traces of racism and discrimination in two plays of Shakespeare, Othello and The Merchant of Venice, written in 1603 and around 1598, respectively in the Elizabethan Period. The attempt in this paper is to explore the construction of racism and the evidences of discrimination as depicted in Othello and the Merchant of Venice by use of the deconstruction of marriage. For this purpose, it deconstructs the marriage by focusing on Othello in Othello, and The Prince of Morocco in The Merchant of Venice; and, depicts racism and discrimination by comparing the characterizations of Othello in Othello and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Both sections critique the cruel issues these people experienced as other. The notion of ‘otherness’ and its application in the characterizations of Othello and Shylock, Othello vs. Shylock, the application of deconstruction of marriage to Othello and The Prince of Morocco, and racism in Othello and The Merchant of Venice are among the major items on which this article elaborates following by a conclusion describing the role of human conscience in racial and religious discrimination.
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