Examples Of Light And Dark In Othello

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William Shakespeare’s Othello can be interpreted through many critical lenses, including gender theories, feminist theories, and class structure theories; however, the most prevalent ideas included in Othello allude to race and race theory principles. Through the syntax and imagery Shakespeare utilizes, the motifs of light and dark are painted to emphasize not only the difference between races, but also to emphasize the goodness of white and the badness of black, and to create tension and conflict necessary for the plot of the play. In Richard Dyer’s (a noted Cultural Studies theorist) essay, (now book) White, he sheds light on the human tendency to associate black with monstrousness and white with pureness. He states, There are inevitable associations of white with light and therefore safety, and black with dark and therefore danger, and that this explains racism (whereas…show more content…
When Iago has lured Othello deep into the agony of jealousy, Othello reflects on the way his image of Desdemona has changed by saying that “Her name, that was as fresh as Dian’s visage / Is now begrimed and black / as mine own face” (3.3) Diana is goddess of the moon, so "Dian's visage" is the pale and shining face of the moon, while Othello is the begrimed, dirty, polluted man. Desdemona, the Shakespearean Virgin Mary, now appears to Othello as dirty and black in honor as people perceive him to be. Afterwards, Othello says farewell to love and summons up hate to take its place: “Arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow cell! / Yield up, O love, they crown and hearted throne / To tyrannous hate!” (3.3) Black is consistently seen as negative, as Othello refers to vengeance as black. Shakespeare’s syntax during this make for a dark image. The words “hollow cell,” and “black vengeance” paint a picture of evil and

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