okay so we’re gonna talk about all the reasons that using this as an image for othello is embarrassingly ignorant of the play’s theme’s overall.
othello is a play about racism. RACISM. it doesn’t matter what shakespeare’s personal beliefs were or what he potentially thought of race issues. what matters is that his intent was to write about race culture, and he did so in a way that very specifically dictates the problems therein.
iago is a racist. his anger and his hatred of othello stem from his inability to handle the concept that someone “lesser” than he can receive more power. iago’s actions seek to disenfranchise othello as a person and as a professional, so it can be proven that his differences make him less than.
to use this image to encompass all of othello is to deny the fact that desdemona’s death is circumstantial to the greater themes. othello is not a play about a black monster man killing his lily-white wife. which is what this image suggests entirely. othello is a play about the ways in which societal attitudes towards racial differences contribute to dysfunctionality and violence. without race, the play would not exist. othello is driven to take appalling actions because a man wants to undo him. this man’s goal is to reveal that othello isn’t worth what everyone claims he is. he means to belittle a man’s character using manipulation that has its essence rooted in bigoted jealousy.
it’s incredibly dangerous to make desdemona the victim in this light. yes, she is a victim, very definitely. but she is a victim of greater hate, and i cannot deal with the fact that this photo entirely dismisses any discussion of how these characters were brought to this place. it’s horrendously oversimplified, and quite honestly disrespectful to a crucially detailed story about race politics and the ways in which they sway our actions.
desdemona is definitely victimized. but you know what? so is othello. don’t villainize him with his hands around a white woman’s neck before he’s even properly introduced as a character with a great deal of sensitivity and compassion, whose failing is in his eagerness to feel the betrayal he expects. desdemona and othello are both pawns in a much larger scope. please don’t forget that.
reblogging this because my queue didn’t post my commentary the first time around.