Racial Proclivities in Shakespearean Works

Nandini Jiva
Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad, India

Volume III, Issue III, 2020

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare speaks volumes about how his perception about race was. Othello has been criticised for being racially driven. Keeping these instances in mind, the paper will be glancing at Shakespeare from a different perspective than how most scholars put him in. Many of Shakespeare’s works have shown signs and traces of this kind of discrimination, and the paper will aim to provide an account of these works, and how they have highlighted the issue. The papers deals with the objective to find the instances of racism that we have observed in Shakespearean plays like The Merchant of Venice and Othello among others, the climate with respect to racism in Tudor England that prompted Shakespeare to write in such a way and to know How these plays been looked at and critiqued by various scholars and interpreters?

The paper is divided into four broad headings, the second and the third culminating in the fourth. The first chapter deals with the introduction to Shakespeare and his plays, with reference to the atmosphere that prevailed when he was a literary mogul. Further, the second chapter analysis the concept of racism in The Merchant of Venice, and how it affects the characters and storyline of the play. The third chapter deals with the analysis of racism with reference to Othello, and how it manifested due to societal pressures and stereotypes. The fourth and final chapter deals with the comparison of the two plays, and the climate in which they were written. This will also contain final remarks about the topic.


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