Assignment is about Othello , written by Shakespeare & it is considered as orientalist narration in society all over.

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Is Othello an Orientalist text? Does it challenge or reproduce Orientalise discourses of Moors during Renaissance England-- or both? Answer this question, and use evidence from the text to support your argument. You will want to briefly explain Said's theory of Orientalism, in your own words. Give the reader a historical context of Othello: how were Moors viewed in Shakespeare's time? You can reference the "Writing Blackness in the Renaissance" handout posted on Blackboard (but do not quote it). Articulate your argument, and support it with evidence from Othello. 

Othello: an orientalist text

Shakespeare's Othello is considered as an orientalist because it story revolves around the society and also due to the religion, physique and social setting of different characters. According to Said's theory, orientalism is defined as one of the strong tradition or colonialism which has a huge impact on the outlook and personality of large population. It is one of the major factors in determining the relationship between countries like Asian countries and North African and EU and the Middle Eastern. In Western Europe, orientalism is referred to as the field of study related to the history, languages, and the culture. As per his theory of orientalism, it assumes the world is consisting of different civilizations (Shakespeare, 2018).

The issue of discourse in orientalism describes the way in which orientalist scholarship produces knowledge related to orients. This knowledge eventually acts as a 'power' for the Occident while justifying the supremacy over Orient. Said states that this power is still utilised in present day by the modern western superpowers to dominate through the parts of Africa, Asia, and Middle East. Thus 'Oriental discourse or Orientalism' describes the qualities which is generally stereotypical and also racist such as lazy, backwards, violent and overly sexual (Macfie, 2014).

Orientalist discourses of Moors

In case of Othello, it has become a challenge as to address Orientalist discourses of Moors during the period of Renaissance England. During Shakespeare time, Moors were the dark skin color people especially from eastern Africa and were Muslim. At that time, they were regarded as savage and monstrous, since they were neither English nor Christian. However, in renaissance the Moors were represented as varied, vague, contradictory, and inconsistent. Although Othello is considered as the Moor but its characterisation was not clear in the play. Being a Moor, it does not provide its clear character in the society on the basis of racial identity; since they are neither white nor black.

One of the phrase who depicts the cruelty of Moors is "Rude am I in my speech, and little blessed with the soft phrase of peace" (Gale, (2015). Othello's representation as the Moor shows the conflicting vision which is encapsulated in the contemporary discourse. The play depicts that Moor quickly falls into the monstrous actions and thoughts; on the other hand Othello blames Moor for his corruption and also makes him repent on his action. Therefore, it is necessary to consider an individual as oriental in all aspects viz., sociologically, politically, and ideologically.      

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