What is the Meaning Behind “I Hate the Moor” Quote?

The quote “I hate the Moor” from William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello demonstrates Iago’s intense loathing towards the protagonist. This is indicative of a personal conflict between the two characters that drives Iago to destroy Othello. However, when the phrase is applied to reality, it reveals a deeper meaning of racism.


Othello is a play that centers around two main characters, the protagonist Othello and the antagonist Iago. The conflict between them ultimately results in the deaths of their loved ones and Othello’s own suicide. Written by Shakespeare in the 17th century, the tragedy deals with themes of love, hate, jealousy, revenge, betrayal, and racism, making it a popular work of literature that still resonates with audiences today.


In Act 1 Scene 3 of the play, Iago expresses his hatred towards Othello, referring to him as “the Moor”. This hatred stems from Othello’s promotion of a less experienced soldier, Cassio, over Iago. Iago is convinced that he is more deserving of the promotion and therefore seeks revenge against Othello by spreading rumors and lies about him.


Iago’s hatred towards Othello is so strong that he convinces the protagonist that his wife Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio. Although Desdemona is faithful and truly loves Othello, he believes the rumors and ultimately murders her.


However, Iago is not only a jealous and vengeful character but also a liar. He does not seek to solve the root of the problem within himself but instead seeks to express his anger by manipulating others. As a result, his actions lead to the deaths of innocent people.


While the phrase “I hate the Moor” is used to show Iago’s hatred towards Othello in the play, it also serves as an indication of racism. The word “Moor” is used to refer to someone of African descent, and Iago’s use of the term is a reflection of the racism that was present in the 17th century when the play was written. It highlights the belief that black people were inferior and not worthy of the same respect as white people.


Therefore, the quote has a deeper meaning when viewed through the lens of racism. It demonstrates how individuals can use hate and prejudice to justify their actions and beliefs. Iago’s hatred towards Othello, fueled by racism, leads to a tragic outcome for everyone involved.


In conclusion, the quote “I hate the Moor” from Shakespeare’s Othello serves to highlight Iago’s personal conflict with the protagonist. However, it also reveals a deeper issue of racism that was prevalent during the time the play was written. It demonstrates how hatred and prejudice can lead to tragic outcomes and serves as a reminder of the destructive power of discrimination.


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