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Certainly racism was a factor in Shakespeare’s time. The Senators are an elite group concerned with the power of Venice. Othello wins battles for them so they like him. Despite Brabantio’s pleas that the Duke void his daughter’s marriage to Othello, the Duke knows that Othello is far too valuable to the state to cross or irritate. Still Iago understands Othello’s otherness and uses it against him. Iago subtly convinces Othello that his race might have something to do with Desdemona’s infidelity. Although Othello is celebrated as a soldier he certainly isn’t considered a fellow Venetian.