Examples Of Stereotypes In Othello

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Stereotypes have persisted so long in human societies because stereotyping others allows the person doing the stereotyping to respond easily and promptly to situations. For example, a black man with a hoodie is approaching a guy for directions, and the ordinary guy immediately says "I do not know" because he is afraid. However, stereotypes also make people ignore the differences in others. Those who stereotype categorized people based on what they have heard and assumed, not realizing that they are merely giving in to a simplified view of others. Even more, stereotypes tend to focus on the negative impressions more than the positives. One significant problem with stereotyping is the resulting “stereotype threat” that results. Stereotype threat…show more content…
In the play, Othello was frequently referred to as “the Moor” or other terms that point to him being an African (I.i.31). Moreover, some people, such as Iago, dehumanized him as a “Barbary horse” (I.i.35). Using these negative terms to describe Othello implies that black men were animals not worth calling by their proper names. Curry supports this concept by saying that “Black males are genre-ed as non-human and animalistic in the minds of whites” (3). By perceiving Blacks as animals, it would be easier for Whites to treat them inhumanely and get rid of them with a good excuse. However, despite the created identity that given to Othello, at first he did not act how he was portrayed by…show more content…
Originally, Othello and Desdemona had an enchanted evening together, courtship, elopement, and wedding night. All these events provided a foundation for a happy marriage. When he saw Desdemona, he commented on his happiness with her: “Oh, my soul’s joy! / If it were now to die / 'Twere now to be most happy” (II.i.81). He claimed that he could die at this moment because he could not believe that someone as beautiful and young like Desdemona would marry an outsider like him. Many people did not support interracial marriage during this period. For instance, when Brabantio said, “Damn’d as thou art, thou hast enchanted her,” he believed that Othello used witchcraft on her (I.ii.43). His belief portrayed the general fear of miscegenation that result in different children. Additionally, Othello’s comment also revealed his anxiety and insecurity, since he sounded like he believes does not deserve Desdemona at all. Othello’s concern was one of the stereotype threats. He worked hard not to act bestial and barbaric like how others characterized, which similar to Brent Staples from How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do. Staples existence brought fear upon his neighborhood because of the stereotype about "young African American males being violence prone" (Steele, 6). He whistled Vivaldi to deflect the stereotype to avoid being reduced to it. Correspondingly, Othello acted sophisticated to avoid being seen as barbaric.

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