The Role of Women in Othello: a Feminist Reading

The Role of Females in Othello: a Feminist Reading

The Function of Women in Othello: A Feminist Reading William Shakespeare’s “Othello” can be checked out from a feminist viewpoint. A feminist analysis of the play Othello allows us to evaluate the various social values and status of females in the Elizabethan society. Othello serves as an example to show the expectations of the Elizabethan patriarchal society, the practice of privileges in patriarchal marital relationships, and the suppression and restriction of womanhood. According to Elizabethan or Shakespeare’s society built on Renaissance beliefs, females were meant only to marry.

As their single occupation, marital relationship held huge duties of house management and kid rearing. Furthermore, ladies were expected to be silent, chaste, and obedient to their husbands, daddies, bros, and all men in basic. Patriarchal guideline justified ladies’s subordination as the natural order due to the fact that females were thought to be physiologically and mentally inferior to males. As we go through Othello we find that the women characters are presented according to this expectation of the Elizabethan society.

There are just three females in ‘Othello’: Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca. The manner in which these ladies behave and perform themselves is undoubtedly connected to the ideological expectations of Shakespeare’s Elizabethan society and to the patriarchal Venetian society that he produces. These notes will check out a few of the ways in which the female characters are presented in the play. Ladies as belongings Following his hearing of Brabantio’s complaint and Othello’s defence, the Duke eventually grants approval for Desdemona to accompany Othello to Cyprus.

Othello talks to his ensign Iago, ironically describing him as a guy of ‘honesty and trust’, informing the Duke that ‘To his conveyance I assign my other half’ (I. 3. 283). Desdemona, as Othello’s better half, is treated as his belongings: he implies that she is a commodity to be safeguarded and carried. This is, however, by no ways peculiar to Othello: the very first Senator, wanting Othello well, concludes by hoping that he will ‘utilize Desdemona well’ (I. 3. 288). The word ‘use’ seems to connote the expression ‘look after’, however also supports the Venetian expectation of women– that they are o acquiesce the wills of their other halves who might utilise them as they want. Furthermore, the function of women within marital relationship is likewise delineated by Othello’s ‘liking’ words to Desdemona in Act II: ‘Come, my dear love,/ The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue’ (II. 3. 8-9). Marital relationship is referred to as an act of ‘purchase’: a female is bought by her hubby, efficiently as a favour, and is anticipated to fulfil his libidos in return for the benefit. Iago’s desire for revenge on Othello is, in part, dictated by his view of females as belongings.

He thinks that ‘it is believed abroad that ‘twixt my sheets/He’s done my workplace’ (I. 3. 381-2), recommending that Othello has slept with his other half Emilia. It could be argued, however, that Iago exhibits little love for his spouse, insulting her in public and ultimately killing her himself. It is just the idea that ‘the lusty Moor/hath jumped into my seat’ (II. 1. 286-7) which drives him mad, the idea that Othello has utilized an ownership that comes from him.

Compounding this theory is the reality that Iago refers to his spouse metaphorically in these 2 instances: she is his ‘workplace’ and his ‘seat’; she is objectified and denied of her humanity. Moreover, in revenge for Othello’s expected act, Iago wants to be ‘evened with him, other half for wife’ (II. 1. 290). By sleeping with Desdemona, he thinks that they will then be equal. The sensations of Desdemona and Emilia are completely disregarded in his plotting. The women are merely objects to be used in order to advance his own desires.

Although Iago is a severe example, he nonetheless shows, through his thinking, the fact that females, in both Elizabethan and Venetian society, are viewed as belongings, secondary to the lofty strategies and desires of men. Females as submissive Some modern feminist critics see Desdemona as a hideous personification of the downtrodden woman. Whether this is in fact the case will be explored later on in these notes. Suffice it to say, there is a big body of proof to support this important position. Desdemona herself declares that ‘I am loyal’ (III. 3. 89), continuing to comply with Othello’s orders from the

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