Female Sexuality In Othello

966 Words4 Pages

Shakespeare's Othello is set during the Renaissance period and therefore the roles of the women in Othello are supposedly bounded by the period when women are considered to be of low intellect. In Othello, most male characters assume that women are inherently promiscuous, which explains why all three women characters in the play are accused of sexual infidelity. Yet Shakespeare develops the women to speak the most sense throughout the play and able to trust other characters in the play. To the men in Othello, female sexuality is a threatening force more than it is an attractive one. Shakespeare cheapens Othello by lowering his standard with impertinent language. Othello ruined himself with jealousy because of the doubt that Desdemona has …show more content…

The repetition of the word ‘lust’, combined with the sexual associations of Desdemona’s bed, reflects and draws attention to Othello’s preoccupation with sensual matters. Othello even refers to his precious wife as ‘whore’ (III.iii.356), a ‘subtle whore’ (III.ii.20) and a ‘cunning whore’ (IV.ii.88), in a way to appreciate him. Shakespeare actually has indirectly revealed Othello’s fear of Desdemona’s sexuality. Even though Othello seems to be very confident in him and his control over Desdemona, he is actually tentative and afraid that Desdemona will cheat on him, proving his …show more content…

With regard to the play's plot, Bianca functions to call Cassio's credibility into question. Though Cassio is relatively respectful to Bianca, he doesn't take her seriously. Cassio laughs about how much the woman loves him, how desperate she is, and how easily beguiled she has been by his false intentions of marriage. Iago has also referred to her as a prostitute, "A house wife that by selling her desires, Buys herself bread and clothes"(IV.i.97). Shakespeare further elaborates their dismissive speech over Bianca to arouse Othello’s suspicion into conviction that Desdemona is having a love affair. This conviction leads Othello into anguish and frustration. If Cassio has paid attention to Bianca’s traits other than sexuality, there would have been no failure of men. Thus, men’s view of women solely through a sexual lens has incurred a

Show More
Open Document