The Role Of Women In Othello

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Shakespeare’s Othello occurs in sixteenth-century Europe during the Renaissance, a time when men believe they are paramount. Because they are subservient to men, women are weak and objectified. Women also have limits to their freedoms and opinions. In royal families, dire times cause for the princess to marry against her will to form alliances. Religion also pressures women into obeying men, the Church considers any form of disobedience as a crime. Education, in this era, is a privilege that is only available for the wealthy. Shakespeare introduces three female characters to demonstrate the different experiences of a noble, a commoner, and a prostitute. The role of women in Othello serves to shine a light on the stereotypes that label the women of the sixteenth-century, to emphasize the importance of status in the marriage between man and woman, and to reveal the submission of women towards other men. Women in the era of the Renaissance were often restricted and accused of succumbing to their “stereotypical nature.” In the book “Yael Manes,” one can read that “man viewed woman as a lower human species incapable of thinking for herself and hardly adept at making sound decisions” (DiMaria). This is an ideology present in the story of Othello. Throughout the story, Iago constantly uses this as the foundation of the reason for Desdemona and the infidelity of all women. Iago also dictates that women “rise to play and go to bed to work” (Shakespeare 2.1.115). He explains and
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