I often hear Othello described as a racist play - certainly, race is a strong theme throughout - but can you really tag this play "racist"?
This is, afterall, the "dark moor" who has made it in a white man's society. I know ... this is a fairly banal statement today, but in its historical context Shakespeare was taking a huge risk.
At a time when non-whites were often thought of as "savage" by the general populace, Shakespeare's presentation of Othello was revolutionary.
Othello is well-spoken, highly regarded and about to marry an aristocratic woman - characteristics that would have cut against popular conceptions. If you were standing in the Globe Theatre some four centuries ago, there must have been an unease amongst the spectators watching this play.
I think for this reason alone, Othello is ground-breaking - the "racist" label is an ill-thought out modernism ... surely?