Gender is a common thread that is woven through most major Shakespearean plays. An argument that follows the story lines of works such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and a more dominant role in Othello. Written in 1603, Othello examines the contrast between female and male characters, and where their place is in society. As this was written in a time where women were seen as the lesser sex compared to their male counterparts. Males take on more power hungry roles, drowning out the roles of females by minimizing their thoughts and actions. Othello, a man with military power as well as the other male roles such as Iago, Roderigo, Cassio and Brabantio who also hold roles with power and dominance over the female characters. This ultimately leads …show more content…
Not only does Iago contribute to the isolated Desdemona, her maid Emilia does as well. It can be argued that Emilia knew Desdemona so deeply in contrast to the other characters that the two shared a deeper bond past conversation, this is important to note as Emilia eventually proves the isolation of Desdemona, that even her most trusted friend befalls to the lies that are being told by Iago. Desdemona’s isolation slowly grows throughout the play due to the actions of others and the actions of Desdemona as well. Othello isolated himself from Desdemona, the act of this isolation had been thought out by Iago. This is seen when Iago and Othello discuss the relationship of Desdemona and Cassio, “Did Michael Cassio, when you wooed my lady, Know of your love?” (Shakespeare 3.3.103). Othello responds with a sense of curiosity towards the topic of Cassio and Desdemona, this is the first sense of isolation that is hinted towards as now the topic of something Othello is not even aware of about his wife is introduced by Iago. The wedge that is put in place by Iago between Othello and Desdemona can be transferred into the idea that “Othello is that of the responsibility for Desdemona's death” (Vanita 342). The fact that Othello is a factor in isolating Desdemona, is because he now has the idea that Desdemona is unfaithful to …show more content…
Emilia knows that Othello believes that Desdemona has cheated on him with Cassio, but the interesting factor is that Emilia knows that is not true as she arguably knows Desdemona the most out of all the characters. Desdemona's isolation prior to her death is “ attributable to the onlookers' nonintervention” (Vanita 343). Emilia was aware of the abuse that Othello put upon Desdemona even though she knew the accusations against her were false “For if she be not honest, chaste and true,/ There’s no man happy; the purest of their wives/ Is foul slander” (Shakespeare 4.2.18-20) but still leaves Desdemona in isolation with Othello, even though she was aware of what he believed. When Othello confronts Desdemona with the claims of cheating Othello commands Emilia to “Leave Procreants alone and shut the door;/ Cough or cry “hem”
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The play introduces us to two characters Roderigo and Iago, which sets up the first external conflict of which Roderigo owes Iago money , “That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse as if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this.” (Shakespeare, Act I) . Roderigo was referring to his payments to Iago in return Iago would get him his dream girl, Desdemona, which brings up another external conflict because Desdemona is married to the illustrious general Othello. Iago has some animosity towards Othello because Cassio got the job of lieutenant instead of himself. Iago instigates a fight between a drunken Cassio and Roderigo which results in Cassio being fired by Othello.
However, all this hatred is unfounded, and if Othello just dug a little deeper into Iago’s claims, he would realize that Desdemona is innocent. Othello’s problems affected Desdemona in more ways than one. She now has to deal with a husband who is angry at her for no reason. As mentioned in the last paragraph, the mental struggle one goes through when beating themselves up over something is great. Desdemona beats herself up because she doesn’t know what she did to Othello, but Othello is still angry.
When Desdemona ignorantly questions why anyone would cheat on their husband, she refers to Iago’s abusive personality saying, “I do think it is their husbands' faults / If wives do fall. / Say that they slack their duties, / And pour our treasures into foreign laps; / Or else break out in peevish jealousies, / Throwing restraint upon us; or say they strike us” (4.3.97-101). This begins Emilia’s recognition of the true depth of Iago’s deceit and manipulation along with speaking as a powerful statement for women. It shows an understanding that just because she is a woman, it does not give her husband the right to treat her as less than he would anyone else. Emilia’s full break from Iago’s control occurs after Othello reveals his reasoning behind believing that Desdemona was unfaithful, claiming, “...may his pernicious soul / Rot half a grain a day” (5.2.155-156 ).
William Shakespeare's play Othello is a tragic story that delves into issues of power dynamics, sexism, racism, and classism. These themes are intertwined and impact the relationship between the titular character, Othello, and his wife, Desdemona. In this essay, we will explore how sexism, racism, and classism are present within the play and to what extent these power dynamics affect the relationship between Othello and Desdemona. Sexism is evident in the play from the outset, as it is a male-dominated society. Women are often portrayed as passive and subservient, with their primary role being that of a wife and mother.
How many lies have been told today? More often than not, lies are spoken as frequently as truths. Worse yet, is the inability to sometimes be able to distinguish the difference. The concept of lying has become second nature to the majority of society; in addition individuals tend to lie to themselves more often than to others. This human trait is apparent in Shakespeare’s Othello, which brilliantly mirrors life.
In Shakespeare’s Othello and in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles women play an important role in the development of the plot. Shakespeare and Glaspell develop these women differently to enhance their message. In Othello, Emilia, Desdemona, and Bianca are all treated very poorly by their male counterparts.
Consequently, implies Emilia is promiscuous by directly saying to her, “A thing for me? It is a common thing” (3.3.311), referring to her as sexually “common” among men. Furthermore, Iago creates a false immoral image of Desdemona to Othello base on simple interpretation concluding Desdemona is adulterous, however, Othello ultimately convinces himself and perceives Desdemona as adulterous. At first, Iago distorts the reality to make Othello think his wife is deceiving him, but Othello is not fully convinced until he starts misinterpreting Desdemona actions, implying he perceives her as adulterous. Othello at first holds that “Desdemona’s honest” (3.3.230), but something as simple as a lost handkerchief makes him see his wife as an adulterous and called
In William Shakespeare’s Othello the two main characters are Iago and Othello. The entire story centers around Iago 's plan to achieve revenge on Othello for not promoting him to lieutenant. Throughout the story Iago tries to convince Othello that his wife Desdemona has cheated on him with his lieutenant Cassio. Iago’s plan is successfully and easily executed. Othello is tricked into believing that desdemona has been unfaithful and in the end he kills her.
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.
For Shakespeare’s plays to contain enduring ideas, it must illustrate concepts that still remain relevant today, in modern society. Shakespeare utilises his tragic play Othello, to make an important social commentary on the common gender stereotypes. During early modern England, Shakespeare had to comply to the strict social expectations where women were viewed as tools, platonic and mellow, and where men were displayed as masculine, powerful, tempered, violent and manipulative. As distinct as this context is to the 21st century, the play exposes how women were victimised by the men who hold primary power in the community in which they compelled women to conform to the ideal world of a perfect wife or confront an appalling destiny for challenging the system. Moreover, Shakespeare utilises the main antagonist, Iago, to portray how men are desperate to achieve what they want and to indirectly fulfil the stereotype of masculinity and power through manipulation.
A Modern View of Feminist Criticism William Shakespeare 's "Othello” can be analyzed from a feminist perspective. This criticism focuses on relationships between genders, like the patterns of thoughts, behavior, values, enfranchisement, and power in relations between and within sexes. A feminist examination of the play enables us to judge the distinctive social esteems and status of women and proposes that the male-female power connections that become an integral factor in scenes of Othello impact its comprehension. I believe that the critical lens that provides modern society with the most compelling view of literature is Feminist Criticism because it analyzes distrust and disloyalty among relationships, women being treated as possessions
Due to the fact that there is not a single relationship in Othello that demonstrates true friendship, the tragedy unfolds and results in all characters ' demise. This can be seen when Othello vilifies Desdemona for being a disastrous wife and says, "I will withdraw, To furnish me with some swift means of death, For the fair devil [Desdemona]. Now art thou my lieutenant" (3.3 543-545). As a result, this shows how arguably the most sacred friendship is not even true in between Othello and Desdemona. Othello is notably naive in this instance due to the fact that he puts his wife on death row based on the suspicion Iago planted.
The feminist perspective challenges sexism and other beliefs and practices that result in the domination of women. When we look at Othello from feminist point of view it is important to note how the women of this play are treated and stereotyped.
In Othello, Othello and Desdemona are both characters that are struggling with their identities. In the beginning of the play we find Othello as a respectful man that is successful, but then we get Iago that manipulates him to make him seem as the bad guy. We also find Desdemona that turns against her father and the Elizabethan society to marry Othello, but we also find that she is respectful and obedient to Othello.