Othello: A Legal Alien in Multicultural Renaissance Venice


Venice was like no other city in the world during the Renaissance. It was the beating heart of the Eastern Mediterranean. With its extensive political, cultural, and economic prowess, Venice served as a site of encounter between the East and the West. A seemingly quite integrated and racially diverse society, Venice was an opulent city and a multicultural metropolis where Muslims, Christians, and Jews would find a niche in its wide-opened doors. As a cosmopolitan city in constant movement, Venice attracted immigrants from all walks of life. It embraced the pluralities of ethnicities, creeds, and commercial trades. Thanks to its multicultural and ethic character, the city served as a site of encounter in the Mediterranean basin of the 16th century fostering a blurring of boundaries of all types. Yet, running parallel to this opulence and openness, there was a dim side about this multi-cultural city. The glamorous cross-cultural Venetian society was tainted with “ethnocentrism” where “the other,” as embodied in Shakespeare’s Othello, was misperceived, discarded, and racially unwelcomed. This paper aims to communicate the dual nature of a dazzling Venetian city caught between the binaries of integration and seclusion, openness and aversion to aliens. This paper will focus, more accurately, on the character of Othello and his suffering in a multicultural society which denied all his services on the basis of his colour and race.

Author Information
Oumeima Mouelhi, El Manar University, Tunisia

Paper Information
Conference: PCE2023
Stream: Challenging & Preserving: Culture

This paper is part of the PCE2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Mouelhi O. (2023) Othello: A Legal Alien in Multicultural Renaissance Venice ISSN: 2758-0962 The Paris Conference on Education 2023: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2758-0962.2023.21
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2758-0962.2023.21

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon