Women Being Objectified In Shakespeare's Othello

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In Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’, women are portrayed as either pure angelic beings and jewels, or as whores who are impure. They are objectified and shown as something to be used. The only women in this play are Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca compared to the main 6 male characters, not to mention the minor characters, who are also all male. Their depicted purpose is to belong to a man; Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca’s lives revolve around being wives to Othello, Iago and Cassio. This fits into the idea of a perfect Elizabethan woman, who’s lives are subject to their husband’s rule across all aspects, to be disposed of as men wish. Each female character is treated by men as a possession. However, there are also moments when they are presented as confident and challenge a male authority. This would have been exiting for Shakespeare’s female Elizabethan audience as women…show more content…
Men depersonalised even their own wives in order for them to have felt justified to use them for personal benefits. One of the senators, a person of importance in society, says “Adieu brave Moor; use Desdemona well,” after Desdemona gained Brabantio’s permission to marry Othello. The word “use” shows that it would be customary to exploit and take advantage of women. Furthermore, after the marriage, Othello says “The purchase made…The profit’s yet to come.” His tendency to use financial metaphors such as “purchase” and “profit” when describing the marriage suggests that he thinks that it is similar to “purchase”, allowing Desdemona to be viewed as a possession. This idea is further supported when Emilia says “They are all but stomachs, and we are all but food; they eat us hungerly, and when they are full, they belch us.” The animalistic language here, describing men as “stomachs” and women as regurgitated “food”, shows a primitive link to the way men discard women once they are satisfied/done with
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