Some critics would state Shakespeare ‘s Othello is really male dominated, since there are merely three female characters throughout the full drama. The female characters appear to be connected to each other in the signifier of Desdemona ‘s hankie. I think this shows something about the manner in which Shakespeare has created them, as though he wants to utilize the characters to set forward his position of adult females and the manner in which they were treated in Shakespearean times. Does the type of characters they are say something about life for adult females in the Shakespearean epoch?
This shows her green-eyed monster that he may hold been with another adult female while he was off from her. I think that this shows a batch about her character since it seems that Bianca has more feelings for Cassio than she does for other lovers which she may hold. The handkerchief Cassio gives to Emilia appears to be important to all the female characters since it crosses their waies at least one time during the drama. For Bianca, the hankie is a type of verification that Cassio has been with another adult female which she is evidently disquieted about. There is nil Bianca can make about this since she is non married to Cassio, and she presumptively has more than one lover at the same clip. It could be that Shakespeare portrays Bianca in this manner, as a adult female who is unable to alter her manner of life, because Shakespearean life has no chances for adult females. I think Shakespeare tries to demo this through Bianca ‘s character since the lone manner she can afford nutrient and vesture is to sell herself whether she likes it or non.
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I think is it possible that Shakespeare is utilizing Emilia to demo his audience that adult females had no existent chances in life. In the Elizabethan epoch Women were non allowed to come in professions such as jurisprudence, medical specialty and political relations but were able to work in domestic services as amahs or cooks for rich people. They did non hold the chance to move on the public phase or compose for phase productions. I think the manner Shakespeare portrays adult females in Othello reflects his society ‘s positions on adult females, that work forces were the superior sex while adult females were to function their hubbies if married, or to work as amahs for wealthier households. Possibly this is why Shakespeare portrays Emilia as powerless to alter the manner her hubby is and the best manner to acquire on with her life is to do Iago happy by stealing the hankie for him.
It could besides be seen that Emilia takes the hankie through fright of Iago, and what he would make to her if he of all time found out she had had an chance to take the hankie from Desdemona. If this is so, so it has been expressed by a beginning that “ If Emilia obeys Iago because she has to for survival grounds, so is this non strength? ” I think there are elements of truth in this since Emilia does talk to Desdemona about work forces striking their married womans in Act 4 Scene 3. Emilia says:
‘aˆ¦or say they strike us,
Or skimp our former holding in despite ; ‘
It is possible that Emilia speaks of this through hurt and fright, that ‘s it has already happened to herself and she is worried it will travel on. Again, I think Shakespeare utilizations Emilia to demo the audience she is unable to alter this and I think that Emilia taking the hankie makes her decease at the terminal of the drama inevitable to a certain extent. It seems the result would ever be the same and I think Shakespeare wanted this to go on to demo the audience the small picks adult females had in life.
Desdemona receives the hankie as a present from Othello and hence makes it intend a batch to both the characters. When the hankie disappears it makes Desdemona ‘s decease inevitable since she is in a place where she can no longer make anything to alter what Othello thinks or does. Equally good as Iago perverting Othello ‘s head, the hankie ‘s disappearing has a immense impact on Othello since he now believes his married woman is being unfaithful to him and makes him covetous. Desdemona ‘s artlessness causes her to believe that nil is incorrect other than her mislaying the hankie and does n’t understand why Othello is moving in this manner. She says:
‘I ne’er saw this before.
Surely, there ‘s some admiration in this hankie ;
I am most unhappy in the loss of it. ‘
I think this is interesting as there is the possibility that Shakespeare did this to demo the audience that Desdemona ca n’t make anything about her hereafter and is stating that adult females had no say in what their hereafters were to be.
A possible attitude towards adult females presented in Othello could be that adult females are naA?ve. Shakespeare uses the adult females in Othello to set this thought frontward. For illustration, Emilia does n’t look to gain what she is making when she takes the hankie from Desdemona and gives it to Iago. This could propose that she is blinded by love and ca n’t see what Iago is truly similar. She says, ‘I nil but to delight his phantasy ‘ which suggests that she truly did non see what purposes Iago had in utilizing the hankie and hence doing her naA?ve and inexperienced. This would propose to the audience that Shakespeare does reenforce the position that work forces are superior to adult females in Othello, as adult females do non understand things which may look simple to work forces or the male characters in the drama.
Desdemona seems to be naA?ve when she is truly shocked when Emilia says she would be unfaithful to her hubby if it would do him a sovereign. Desdemona ‘s response is:
‘Beshrew me, if I would make such a incorrect for the
aˆ¦I do non believe there is any such adult female. ‘
I think this shows her artlessness and how small she knows about love and green-eyed monster. She seems to be shocked and astonished that Emilia feels otherwise to herself and shock that there are adult females that would be unfaithful to their hubbies. This makes the decease of Desdemona more tragic as it shows the audience how corrupted Othello has been by Iago. That he could believe of Desdemona in this manner and believe her to be person who would be disloyal to him ; he must hold been poisoned by Iago into going covetous and believing severely of the adult female he loved so much at the beginning of the drama. Possibly Shakespeare wanted his audience to believe that work forces were superior to adult females since the naivete of adult females does look to do them inferior when work forces do non look to be as naA?ve. Iago has a dark and at times upseting mentality on life and adult females as he seems to believe they are ever unfaithful:
‘I hate the Moor,
And it is thought abroad that ‘twixt my sheets
He ‘s done my office. ‘
However, the adult females seem to alter throughout the class of the drama. Emilia realises what she has done and caused and chooses to talk out against her hubby despite the fact that he will be angry with her for making it. Desdemona stays faithful to Othello and defends him before she dies even though he has killed her. When Emilia asks who has done this to her she says:
‘Nobody. I myself. Farewell.
Commend me to my sort Godhead. O farewell. ‘
Possibly this is Shakespeare stating that adult females may be naA?ve at times but they are in a manner stronger-willed than work forces since they are honorable and devoted to their hubbies until the really terminal.
Shakespeare ‘s adult females could besides be seen every bit flimsy as it seems they are merely stereotypes of adult females in Shakespearean times. Shakespeare ‘s female characters have frequently been criticised as being either good or evil because of the phallocentric nature of his society. I hence think that Shakespeare could besides be stating that there were n’t many strong, independent adult females in Shakespearean times. For illustration, it is possible the ground that Othello falls for Desdemona is that she is about man-like, where she has more assurance and is more independent than most adult females. An illustration of this is in Act 1, Scene 3, when Desdemona voluntarily speaks out against her male parent, whom she has presumptively honoured and obeyed throughout her life, and tells the Duke and Senators how much she loves Othello and how she fell in love with him volitionally, alternatively of being corrupted by enchantments and medical specialties, like her male parent, Brabantio had proposed. Desdemona says:
‘That I did love the Moor to populate with him,
My downright force and storm of lucks
aˆ¦My bosom ‘s subdued
Even to the quality of my Lord
aˆ¦The rites for which I love him are bereft me. ‘
This shows how she is non afraid to withstand her male parent and travel against his wants by acknowledging to her matrimony with Othello. She does non talk shyly, or in a diffident manner when she says her address on how much she loves Othello and I think this shows some sum of assurance, doing her really different to the other adult females in the drama and doing her more respected by other characters such as Cassio. Desdemona tries to assist Cassio when he loses his place of lieutenant and he says to her: ‘Bounteous dame,
Whatever shall go of Michael Cassio,
He ‘s ne’er anything but your true retainer. ‘
However, I think Shakespeare besides wanted to demo his audience that non all work forces were amazed by strong, independent adult females, since Iago, despite the fact he is respectful towards her to her face, he is disrespectful behind her dorsum. He says:
‘aˆ¦an old black random-access memory
Is tupping your white Ewe. ‘
He dehumanises her as though, being a adult female, she does non merit to be spoken to as an equal and makes her sound as though she is an animate being. I think this goes against the quotation mark, ‘Shakespeare ‘s Othello merely serves to reenforce the position of the high quality of work forces over adult females ‘ because it proves that work forces and adult females are equal instead than one gender being superior to the other. Womans have the right to stand up for what they believe to be right. I think that possibly Shakespeare wanted adult females to hold more freedom in the chances they were given, or more rights to talk up and be heard.
Finally, I think there is the possibility that Shakespeare wants his audience to be sympathetic towards his female characters. Bianca is in love with a adult male who does n’t lover her every bit much as she loves him. She misses him and asks inquiries about where he has been because she loves him and does n’t wish being apart from him. I think Shakespeare wants the audience to experience sorry for her because she wants the relationship to be stronger but Cassio ‘s repute would be damaged if he married what his society would believe is a ‘whore ‘ . Cassio speaks to Iago about her and is really defensive about their relationship, doing it sound as though he has no feelings for her and she is in love with him:
‘Alas, hapless knave! I think i’faith she loves me. ‘
I think he may state this to protect his repute and do it sound like he does n’t care. However, I imagine there is a opportunity that Cassio has more feelings for her than he lets on because he can be fond towards her. For illustration he says:
‘How is it with you, my most just Bianca?
I’faith, sweet loveaˆ¦ ‘
This perchance suggests he does hold feelings for her instead than merely utilizing her.
I think Shakespeare wants the audience to sympathize with Emilia because she is married to an atrocious adult male and does n’t gain it. He regulations over her and negotiations of her severely even though she tries difficult to delight him when he allows her to. She is in an unhappy matrimony where she is mistreated and finally killed by the adult male she loves. Desdemona is besides murdered at the terminal of the drama by her hubby for something she did n’t make. She says, ‘A innocent decease I die. ‘ Helping Cassio puts her in a unsafe place which she dies as a consequence of. Shakespeare could be utilizing this to demo the audience that kindness does non assist you to last in a universe such as this and adult females are incapacitated to alter their destiny, no affair how much they try to assist other people.
Although work forces dominate adult females in Othello I do non believe this is because work forces are superior to adult females. I think Shakespeare wanted to reflect his society ‘s positions on adult females in Othello and possibly wanted to alter the mentality people had of them. It is possible that Shakespeare is seeking to promote the audience to sympathize with the female characters so that we can try to understand how they were treated. I think Shakespeare does this in a manner that does non state adult females are superior to work forces or frailty verser, but says adult females should be treated as peers and merit to be respected.