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March 3 ENG 220.docx

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Department
English
Course
ENG220Y5
Professor
Styme
Semester
Winter

Description
March 3, 2014 ENG 220 Othello -Race -3.3, Iago’s persuasion Othello’s Race and Religion *What is Othello? What does he look like? -“Thicklips” (1.1.65) -said by Iago -racial stereotype of African peoples -“Are we turned Turks?” (2.3.153) -suggestion that Turks/Ottomans are wild in their behaviour -xenophobic phrase that might be referring to himself/what he used to be -before stabbing himself, Othello identifies with both the venetian official (who wields the knife), and the Turk -Othello is never fully Christian even though he is converted because of the practice of circumcision in the two other religions -converted Christians can never be more than skin deep because the scar of circumcision is permanent Two stories to tell: *Othello is a good Christian on the outside, but Iago manages to “activate” his inner Muslim *Othello is just a barbarian and is just wild inside -“Were’t to renounce his baptism” (2.3.317) -Othello’s religious and cultural identity can be projected as an act -Othello speaks too beautifully, he does things better than the natives themselves -The handkerchief: “there’s magic in the web of it” (3.4.67ff.) -conflict, Desdemona was accused of being under a spell, Desdemona said she wasn’t -but, Othell
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