Othello Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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How do Othello's themes of religion, culture, racism, and gender inequality affect the title character's relationship with the Venetians?

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The four themes mentioned in this question all relate in some way to Othello's relationship with the Venetians. During the time in which The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is set, issues of religion, culture, race, and gender all contributed to whether or not an individual could be accepted by their community; because Othello's religion, culture, and race are all different from those of the Venetians, he is an outsider, and the Venetians treat him with suspicion despite his proven record of integrity.

The question of gender inequality is an interesting one to ponder from Othello's perspective, as it manifests differently than the other three themes in his relationship with the Venetians. Desdemona's decision to commit herself to Othello is not respected by her community, generally speaking, and the Venetians' judgment of her decision and reluctance to accept her word is proof of the gender inequality that exists in this community. In an ideal world, Desdemona's choice would be...

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