Gender Roles In Shakespeare's Othello

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The female gender plays a major role in the development of the plot in William Shakespeare’s play Othello. Women are portrayed as inferior to men and are only meant to be obedient to their husbands. Likewise, they must follow social “laws” for women during the Elizabethan era. The role of women in the play helps create an interesting and dramatic situation for the audience to enjoy and comprehend accurate historical events pertaining to females. The inclusion of gender roles in Othello helps to achieve elements of tension between the couples and develop gender issues in the relationships within the play. The presence of gender roles in Othello are critical for its plot development and they contribute to its sense of reality. To start, females during the Elizabethan era possessed little to none social power compared to men. Male dominancy was present throughout European society and women were not considered to be equal to men. In fact, women were considered to be property of men whether they be wives or daughters. This is shown when Desdemona verbally stated to her father her roles as a female and defended her actions that he disapproved of. She said in response to his disappointment, “ To you I am bound for life and education… You are the lord of duty” (I.iii. 208-212). This…show more content…
The article “Looking well to linens” further helps explain the role of women in the play and it mostly mentions female labor during the time and stereotypes of women. This proves the accuracy of Shakespeare’s play because it has copious amounts of the stereotypes embedded within certain characters, like Iago and Cassio. The article analyzes the wrongs done to women within the time period after a interpreting it through a modern point of view. Othello contains multiple sexist and other offensive references towards females and it all contributes to the realism because these issues were quite common during the Elizabethan

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