Othello’s Reformation of Personal Identity in Venetian Society
Dr. Ali Yigit, Yusuf Alkan

Among the literary works involving racial issues, Shakespeare’s Othello holds a special status due to the fact that it is one of the earliest literary works which touched upon the identity problem of blacks in Europe. Referring to Shakespeare’s Othello, Caryl Philips examines the issue of identity crisis and trauma in his The Nature of Blood with a keen eye on the ambitions and feelings of a black character who moves from South to Venice on a private mission. The main purpose of this study is to reveal the struggle of a black man, Carly Philips’ Othello, who suffers from a deep identity crisis imposed on him by the society he lives in, and to discuss to what extent the Venetian environment has been influential in shaping Othello’s identity and thus examine the trauma Othello experiences. This paper delves deep into the inner conflicts Othello experiences, uncovers his trauma, and focuses on his efforts to reform his identity in conformity with his environment. The newly gained experiences in this foreign environment reformats Othello’s original identity and this reformation period turns out to be a process in which Othello leaves his original self and accommodates himself with the newly gained social codes.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v3n2a5