portrayals of race and skin color as well as characters' religion intersect with the plays' depictions of gender
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Yes you are correct with your second statement. This is a complex question. Othello is a Moor (black) which puts a spin on the average Shakespearean relationship. Othello is a war hero. The nobility of Greece love him for his heroic exploits on the battlefield. Othello is quite accepted as a man's man but when it comes to dating white women of nobility, things get a little complicated. Although Desdemona's dad is severely pissed off that his daughter is dating a Moor, the Duke puts up with it. Othello is more important to Greece than some daughter's honour. Regarding gender, the play is classic Shakespeare. Sought after women were either worshiped or scorned. There was no grey area here. My old English prof. at university called this the "Madonna/hoer" complex. We see this in many of Shakespeare's plays. Othello worships the ground Desdemona walks on. When he finally acquires her, and her reputation is put to question, Desdemona becomes a common strumpet and deceiver. It's really a no win situation for the girl. Chastity and virtue are so easily turned into the opposite. This is so especially in the mind of Othello who already feels emotions in extremes.