What role does race play?

What role does race play?


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Race is an extremely important theme, as it leads to Othello's insecurity, which Iago is able to manipulate. Despite his standing and military prowess, Othello never feels comfortable in Venice because of his otherness. As a Moor, he is constantly stereotyped as "savage" or "animal", even though he speaks eloquently and displays more gentlemanly qualities than those who judge him. Thus, Othello perceives himself to be a rough outsider, though he is nothing of the sort. Othello's race sets him apart, and makes him very self-conscious; it makes him work hard and look carefully after his reputation, so he is regarded as equal to the white people that surround him. This has perhaps led to his success, but the prejudice that surrounds him - especially with respect to his marriage to Desdemona - has tragic consequences.