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The Idealization Of Women Is Responsible For Tragic Endings

1021 words - 5 pages

Throughout history, women’s place and role in society has changed. Women are often seen as a lower status and have a need to be taken care of by men. There are conflicts with the idealization of women as they are often overlooked and viewed as secondary characters. This idealization is well established in the characters of Desdemona in Othello and Daisy in The Great Gatsby. In F.Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby and Shakespeare‘s play Othello, Desdemona and Daisy are both responsible for their tragedies due to the manipulation and impact of the outsiders, their loss of innocence, and their vulnerability as women.
The outsiders, Tom and Iago become influential puppeteers, as Daisy and Desdemona are their puppets. Their influences on each of the female protagonists, results in inevitable tragedy. In Othello, the antagonist Iago has a strong bitter hatred towards Othello. He envies that fact that Cassio is chosen to be lieutenant over him. In response, he resorts to manipulation and trickery to make Othello regret his decision. Desdemona is immensely affected by Iago’s plan because this leads to her tragic death. Iago manipulates Desdemona through other characters. An example of this can be seen through his wife, Emilia. Iago believes women “are pictures out of doors” (Shakespeare.2.1.121) and are more like workers than wives. Emilia is part of Iago’s scheme, as she is one of the closest people to Desdemona. Emilia has no idea what Iago is plotting until the very end. She is oblivious to Iago’s plan and it results in Desdemona’s death. Like Desdemona and Emilia, Daisy is also heavily influenced through other characters as well. Tom uses other characters to make an impact on Daisy and this can be seen through his altercations with Gatsby. Tom tries to explain to Daisy that Gatsby is a bootlegger. He says this to Daisy, only because he is afraid of losing her. Daisy does not know what is happening between Tom and Gatsby. She becomes confused and exclaims that Gatsby and Tom “want too much!” (Fitzgerald.132) from her. This leads to Daisy losing control of her emotions, and the death of Gatsby. Tom cleverly manipulates his way through others to get Gatsby killed, leading to Daisy’s tragedy. Both of the female protagonists are prone to being manipulated and influenced by other characters, and the tricky puppeteers Tom and Iago, accomplish all this.
Desdemona and Daisy have reacted differently to events in which it has led to them to a loss of innocence. The way Desdemona and Daisy dealt with their situations changes the way others view them. Desdemona is given a handkerchief by Othello as a love token. This handkerchief afterwards, becomes missing and she starts to feel guilt. She believed that “as jealous creatures are” it may be enough to put Othello’s mind into “ill thinking” (Shakespeare.3.4.29). Indeed, Othello is irritated and exclaims to Desdemona that she needs to reveal the handkerchief to him. She lies about the whereabouts of the...

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