Othello Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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How does the status of "outsider" relate to Antigone and Othello? In the society they live, how the title character can be seen as an outsider?

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Certainly, there can be much said about how each character is an outsider in their particular social setting.  Othello is an outsider for a variety of reasons.  Being a Moor (Muslim) and of dark skin (race/ ethnicity), as well as being a military soldier and not of landed wealth, Othello carries with him many elements that would relegate him to the outer fringes of the power circles in which he is immersed in the social setting of the play.  All of these help to maximize his feeling of insecurity and strike at his love with Desdemona, something that Iago identifies in attempting to widen his growing sensibility of doubt and fear regarding her fidelity in their relationship.  At the same time, Antigone is an outsider because of her own sense of power about her predicament.  In intense contrast with Ismene, who is more willing to accept a traditional role for women in Greek society, Antigone is an outsider because of her demands for a vision of justice that lies outside the boundaries of the law.  In a setting where the rule of law is seen as absolute and women are seen as passive for the most part, absent in policy making decisions, Antigone is an outsider for she defies these conventions.

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