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This essay is an essay for Intro to Shakespeare. 

This analysis paper invites you to dive into any number of aspects of race in the play Othello: Moor of Venice. You have several options. 

  • You can address the way that Branagh deals with the dialogue to reduce the trauma to Laurence Fishburne (remember this is discussed in the “Lend Me Your Ears: Othello” podcast). 
  • You can dig into the history of blackface and discuss Olivier’s approach as well as other white actors who also chose to use make-up to play the Moor (Orson Wells for one).
  • You can dive into the racism of the time and discuss the use of the Moor to make larger statements.
  • You can choose some combination of these or another approach. If you go outside of this list, be sure to talk with me about it. 

Ultimately the use of race to tell the story must be analyzed and discussed. While I expect that you will do your own research/reading, I do expect that you will come to your own conclusions and use the sources to support your ideas.