Hussah's Blog 501

Just another Marymount University Commons site

Hussah's Blog 501

Week 5 post

October 1st, 2018 · No Comments · Uncategorized

For this weeks post, we were asked to find a primary source and a secondary source that can help us analyze Shakespeare, or at least help us better understand him and his works. I myself view that the best primary source that is available online is from the Folger Library site. I used this site and went on to see the works of Shakespeare and focused on Othello since that is what the class text is. What I really enjoyed about this source was that the page offers a synopsis of the work, so it helps the reader have an idea of what to expect to read if they have never heard of the topic before. Furthermore, it lists out the characters in the play and makes searching easier. For instance, if I want a specific scene or quote from a character, I can just write out the phrase or the character and it makes research more efficient and less time-consuming. I chose this source since if I were to do research on Othello, my topic would either focus  on race or gender, so, for now, I will just focus on race, and a simple way to use this source to help me research about race, is to focus on terms used in the play about race, such as “Moore”. If I type out that phrase, it shows me how many times it is said in the play, who says it and any other correlation surrounding the term, so it helps me better create my argument and analyze, which is really helpful.

The citation for the source is:

Folger Shakespeare Library. Shakespeare’s Plays from Folger Digital Texts. Ed. Barbara Mowat, Paul Werstine, Michael Poston, and Rebecca Niles. Folger Shakespeare Library, 30 September, 2018.


For my secondary source, I browsed Jstor, since most of the articles in MLA international bibliography and Jstor are similar, but to me, Jstor is easier to use. I typed out the search bar “racism” then in the other search bar, I wrote “Othello”. I looked at the first source available since the title was intriguing ”

“An Essence that’s Not Seen”: The Primal Scene of Racism in Othello” by Arthur L.Little JR. I read the keywords associated with the article and saw that it would speak of both gender and race which are both interesting to me. I however before reading the text thought that the author would speak of both topics separately, but I did not realize that he would connect racism with gender. He made Desdemona’s gender seem equal to Othello’s color. throughout the rest of the texts, he associates the negativities connected with Desdemonas gender and Othello’s skin. Othello’s skin demonizes him while Desdemona on the other hand, since her honor is unseen, unlike Othello’s skin which is clear to everyone, that also puts her in a negative perspective since she is no longer trusted and not viewed as pure or honorable, like Othello. I just really liked how Othello his race is clear that he will look down on, but with the connection that the author made that even though Desdemona is white because they suspect her honor, which is unseen, that still makes her like Othello, feeling like a minority.

The source is:

Little, Arthur L. “‘An Essence That’s Not Seen’: The Primal Scene of Racism in Othello.” Shakespeare Quarterly, vol. 44, no. 3, 1993, pp. 304–324. JSTOR, JSTOR,



No Comments so far ↓

There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment