Shakespeare's deep understanding of the human condition has made his characters extremely contemporary and modern making his works immortal and well engraved in our minds.
Not only was he able to bring to life men and women overwhelmed with contrasting feelings and emotions, but he also cleverly portrayed the society of his time, a society dominated by preconceptions and prejudices and yet, being aware that a successful play would have to meet its readers' expectations, Shakespeare indulged such stereotypes.
Some of the English writer's characters are guilty of hoping for a different future, of trying to tempt their fate, because in the eyes of their society they are doomed. As much as Othello may be in love with Desdemona he is a Moor, and “it was well known” that Moors are passionate, violent and barely capable of any self-control. Othello is then devoured by his jealousy and destroys everything and everyone around him. Iago's means, unfair as they may be, are a necessary evil to get things back to normal. Shylock meets the stereotype of the greedy pitiless Jewish merchant who takes advantage of other people to pursue his own interests. Although his life is spared Shakespeare does not offer him any real possibility of redemption.
However, the author's sensitivity which emerges from the accurate description of the traits of his characters' personalities leaves many doubts as to whether Shakespeare does agree with the prejudices within his works.