This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Women´S Portrayal In Shakespeare´S Othello Essay

1779 words - 8 pages

The play Othello is presented as a male-dominated society where women are only recognized as property; objects to own and to bear children. Women in the Elizabethan society and in Shakespeare society were not seen as equal to men and were expected to be loyal to their husbands, be respectful, and to not go against their husbands judgements or actions. Shakespeare presents Desdemona, Emilia , and Bianca as women in the Elizabethan time where they were judged based on their class, mortality, and intelligence. Shakespeare makes his female characters act the way they would be expected to act in an Elizabethan society. The role of these women in Othello is crucial because they show how women were treated and how unhealthy their relationships between men really were in both Elizabethan and Shakespeare's society.
Desdemona is portrayed as the highest class a female could accomplish. She is elegant, honest and loyal to her husband as any other good Elizabethan married woman would be. She is presented as the ideal woman. Desdemona symbolizes innocence and helplessness against men. Shakespeare presents Desdemona as a mature and knowledgeable woman for her age as she defends her love for Othello to her father, Brabantio. However this is seen differently in the eye's of the society. Brabantio declares her as "Against all rules of nature"(scene.. line...). This statement reveals what the society believes what is natural and what is unnatural. To the society, "natural" is when a women complies to their husbands and fathers wishes, but it's unnatural for a women to do anything else. Women are referred to as property, clearly stated when Desdemona's father angrily calls Othello a "theif" (scene...line..). Here, Brabantio addresses Desdemona as property, as she is something to own and something that can be stolen. Othello addresses her a purchase in act two, further proving how women were seen as objects that can be bought, sold or be stolen. Desdemona is a soft, sympathetic person who always wants peace in every situation. This is why she agrees to help Cassio try to get his job as lieutenant back. Women were never to associate with violence because they were seen as gentle loving beings to own. Iago uses this to his advantage when he makes what is an innocent act of helping someone into a crime of adultery. A married women who is seen being too friendly to another man was seen as a crime, so it was not surprising when Othello accused her of adultery. The way Othello never confides to Desdemona about his feelings or how he never listens to her when she tries to speak, proves that women were not seen as equals. Two people who love one another and who respect each other wouldn't treat the other the way Othello treated Desdemona. Desdemona is one to follow the rules. She believes what she was told; women should never argue with their husbands. This explains why she hides her true self and does not defend herself as well as she should to Othello when he...

Find Another Essay On Women´s Portrayal in Shakespeare´s Othello

Reputation and Image in William Shakespeare´s Othello

1056 words - 4 pages referred to as “the Moor” and is called an abundance of racial slurs by the Venice born natives. Although Othello never voices his internal struggle to feel accepted by the people around him, his image and physical appearance are some of major issues he faces. Even in the moments before he stabs himself, Othello is more concerned with the legacy he is leaving behind than with the death of his wife, Desdemona. Shakespeare uses Othello’s

Adapting Shakespeare´s Othello to Present Time

976 words - 4 pages It’s nearly impossible for the culture that was common in the 1600’s to be the same as it is now in 2014. We all know that the world has changed and adapted since the 1600’s. Isn’t it obvious? The Tragedy of Othello, a play by William Shakespeare, was written in the early 1600’s. If it were written in 21st century America, the issue of apparent racism would change due to cultural adaptations and history that America has gone through. The U.S

The Role of Women in Shakespeare’s Othello, Ibsen`s Doll House and Bok`s El Santo Americano

813 words - 4 pages their proper conduct as portrayed by William Shakespeare’s Othello, Henrik Ibsen`s Doll House and Edward Bok`s El Santo Americano. William Shakespeare`s Othello is a tragedy written in the 17th century. The play is about a Venetian army general whose life and matrimonial union was destroyed by his cunning and envious soldier. The two main female characters in Othello are Desdemona, Othello’s wife and Emilia, Iagos wife. Women are important in

Women´s Suffrage in Britain

967 words - 4 pages rights because she had everything she wanted. The greatest victory was women gaining the right to vote because it was just so unheard of at the time. However after proving themselves multiple times they have gained rights and even an amendment. Women have been around just as long as men have and clearly have worked just has hard, but in different ways. Weather it was working hard in a factoring making things for the war or just being a figure of inspiration to both men and women, women have never backed down because they knew with time and effort they would soon get what they were after: equality. s, prompting a more progressive women's movement worldwide.

Women in the 1990's

857 words - 3 pages Women in the 1990's In today’s technological society it is hard to imagine that trivial things from the past like discrimination or prejudice are still present, but they are. Yes we still have racism, but for the most part this is only a problem of the less educated and vocal minority. There is a different prejudice that is deep rooted in this land of freedom and prosperity. This prejudice is sexism. The basic definition of sexism is

Death Theme in Shakespeare´s Plays

1409 words - 6 pages How did Shakespeare use death in his plays in this part of the Elizabethan Era? Shakespeare uses ways of death in his plays by suicide, murder, and the most in the old age combat. Murder and combat were the most common types of death because of the old age, there were a lot of wars so people were mostly killed in combat and murder was just another way of saying ”I am going to kill you!”. Shakespeare uses suicide in many of his plays by showing

Challenged Gender Roles in Shakespeare´s Macbeth

896 words - 4 pages The Elizabethan era was a time that had very strict expectations of what it means to be a man or a woman. However, these expectations are not followed in Macbeth. In Macbeth, Shakespeare investigates and challenges the common gender roles of the time. Through defying the natural gender roles, he shows how people can accomplish their goals. He challenges the stereotypical Elizabethan woman through Lady Macbeth and the Weïrd Sisters, and

The Republic in Shakespeare´s Julius Caesar

1467 words - 6 pages the greater good of the people highest above all other matters. It favoured a form of government where civic liberty and equality was preferred over having an outright ruler. The paramount republican value is political liberty, understood as non-domination or independence from arbitrary power. It is this ideal that finds extensive portrayal in Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar is immortal in the field of literature, with Shakespeare

Revenge in William Shakespeare´s Hamlet

1221 words - 5 pages Most of the plays of Shakespeare are said to be written based on the desires of his contemporary audience, especially the revenge tragedies. Revenge creates anger and compels a man to take actions without considering any logic. In historical revenge plays, revenge does not only mean punishing the person(s) liable for a past incident, but it is also aimed to capture the throne. From this point of view, Hamlet is not completely a revenge tragedy

Ophelia's Madness in Shakespeare´s Hamlet

780 words - 3 pages pregnancy or unborn child (Bate and Rasmussen 70). With Laertes in Paris and Polonius dead, the faithful guardians of Ophelia’s “chaste treasure” (1.3.33) are unable to protect Ophelia’s virginity (Bate and Rasmussen 20). Singing “Saint Valentine’s day” Ophelia reveals: Then up he rose, and donned his clothes, And dupped the chamber door: Let in the maid, that out a maid Never departed more (4.4.52-55). Shakespeare, playing on words, uses

Shakespeare?s 10 things

1185 words - 5 pages this guise, provides protection from the mentally deteriorating Lear. In Midsummer Night?s Dream, Shakespeare explores the idea of exterior and form versus actuality and truth, made clear through the intermingling of characters. The fairies manipulate appearance and reality for their prankish pleasure planned primarily by Puck. Puck sprinkles love around loosely, turning lovers to loathers and vice versa. Reality is masked by deception. The

Similar Essays

Religion As Depicted In Shakespeare´S Othello

994 words - 4 pages During the 1600’s (Elizabethan), in which Othello was published, the philosophies of religion were a dominant feature in literature. Religion was also a highly domineering facet of Elizabethan Literature, due to the influence of the protestant church and reigning monarch at the time. Religion is arguably explored as being painful and harrowing, which is debatably exemplified in Othello during his tribulations. Furthermore “The Monk”, being

The Protagonist In Willima Shakespeare´S Othello

1045 words - 5 pages The central character, or protagonist, in William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello, The Moor of Venice is Othello. Aristotle defined the concept of a tragic hero as the destruction of a noble person, usually with a personal flaw, and this flaw determines their fate. Othello is a tragic hero with a tragic flaw in one of Shakespeare’s most known tragedies. Shakespeare so prominently exhibits the tragic flaw Othello obtains, allowing implications and

Tragic Deaths In Shakespeare´S Othello Essay

2319 words - 9 pages In the play Othello by William Shakespeare, there are three tragic heroes’ deaths that were plagued by betrayal and jealously. The three major characters are killed by their own blindness of truth. The characters are killed by the ones they love and trust, the characters cannot fathom that the people they love will be the one that ends their lives. Othello is a noble Moor and a highly respected general of the state of Venice. His successful

Shakespeare´S Portrayal Of Beatrice Essay

1321 words - 5 pages Beatrice’s comical nature and extrovert personality allows Shakespeare to illustrate a persona to which the Elizabethan audience would not have been able to relate. Hamada states that ‘…imposed on women three virtues-obedience, silence, and chastity’. Beatrice is a character who rebels from these expectations. Contemporary audiences would have been shocked and humoured by the fact that Shakespeare allows a female character to be so vocal in the