Othello provides females as the victims of guys
!.?.!? To what degree do you concur that in “Othello” Shakespeare provides ladies as the tragic victims of males? Throughout ‘Othello’, Shakespeare uses the control of the lead character, by the antagonist, Iago, to provide a play controlled by men. In such a male dominated society, Shakespeare presents the women in the play as tragic victims at the hands of their partners, in particular Desdemona and Emilia. Throughout this essay I will associate with the Aristotelian and Senecan descriptions of disaster to come to a conclusion of how in ‘Othello’ Shakespeare presents women as awful victims of males.
Firstly, throughout ‘Othello’ Shakespeare presents guys as the dominant characters of the play, whereas the females are represented as characters to always be suspicious of. No female character is offered as lots of lines in the play as any male character, in particular Iago. This is reflective of Iago’s dominance in ‘Othello’, for that reason meeting among the Senecan definitions of tragedy presenting women as awful victims of guys. Moreover Othello’s suspicious nature towards his other half, Desdemona, is false, and though the ladies are constantly thought of unfaithful, they never ever do.
In act 3 scene 4 of the play Desdemona claims that Othello is “real of mind”. The significant paradox of that statement once again indicates that Desdemona is a character who follows social conventions, yet her spouse’s incorrect allegations associate with the Aristotelian meaning of disaster in the Desdemona is pitied by the audience due to her pure sensations of love towards Othello. Using the adjective “true” additional shows Desdemona as an awful victim of Othello as she is uninformed of Othello’s beliefs that she is cheating on him with Cassio, which is false.
Though ladies might be portrayed as tragic victims in ‘Othello’, Emilia offers the audience factor to believe that women are far from terrible victims in the play. She challenges social convention because ladies ought to be passive to their spouses. In defiance of Iago’s “Be sensible, and get you home”, Emilia here opposes the design of a “good” spouse, who must be quiet and marginalised. Though Emilia is certainly eventually an awful victim of the play, she exposes how corrupted a male controlled society is when she clears Desdemona’s “track record”.
Her death opposes an unethical conviction against her sex, exonerating her part in the catastrophe. In act 4 scene 3 of the play, Emilia implies that she amounts to guys, which recommends to the reader further that she is a character who when again defies society’s expectations of ladies. Emilia criticises the way men behave, in which she asks “have we not affections/desires for sport-and frailty-as males have?” declaring that females’s requirements are just the same as males, although it is acceptable for guys to cheat on their wives.
This is supported previously in the play when Emilia likens men’s behaviour to that of belching, which itself is a repulsive activity. “they are all but stomachs, and we all but food/they eat us hungerly, and when they are full/they belch us” this corrupt truth is likewise reflective of how males treated women, and that it was okay for males to cheat on their wives, however had actually females done the same, it would have been thought about a sin. On the other hand, Emilia could be translated as an awful victim at the hands of males in ‘Othello’.
As oppose to Desdemona’s marriage to Othello, Emilia’s marital relationship to Iago has lost all signs of love and affection, and her victimisation could be interpreted through her satirical attitude towards males. Her death at the hands of Iago, her manipulator, shows that Iago was truly to blame for Othello’s murder of Desdemona, as it was him whom Emilia stole Desdemona’s handkerchief for. Her death is therefore her penalty, in addition making Emilia a terrible victim as she has passed away through no fault of her own.
Like Emilia, Desdemona is also an awful victim of the men in ‘Othello’. Her murder, like Emilia’s, is through no fault of her own is a result of Othello’s jealousy and Iago’s interference. What makes Desdemona even more terrible to the audience is the reality that even in death she tries to secure her spouse, informing Emilia that she has eliminated herself, “no one, I myself”, this more portrays to the audience that Desdemona is an excellent and pure character. Her dedication to her other half makes her a terrible victim in the play as she can not be blamed for her death.
Contextually it is necessary to understand how ladies are presented as terrible victims of males in ‘Othello’. Contemporary views of women were, according to Sir Thomas Elyot “to be mild, timorous, tractable, benign, of sure remembrance, and shamefast.” Alternatively men were seen to be “strong, strong in viewpoint, covetous of magnificence, desirous of knowledge, appetiting by generation to bring for his semblable.” Elyot’s views of the contemporary man, however much grander than those of ladies, might prove to be their downfall in ‘Othello’.
Shakespeare’s lead character’s downfall might be based upon the reality that he is desirous of knowledge, and Iago’s manipulation of Othello’s trustworthy nature recommends that not only are women the terrible victims of males, but it is guys who are likewise victims of males. Using negative language and coarse sexual imagery is utilized by Shakespeare to reveal the male character’s misogynistic mindsets towards females, and this is evident whenever Iago speaks of the opposite sex.
His lamenting of Desdemona, a character who is pure and great throughout the play, especially represents how women exist as terrible victims of males. He tells Brabantio that “a black ram is tupping your white ewe”, referencing Othello and Desdemona’s romance. The contrast of black and white suggests that Iago views Desdemona and ladies in general as guilty beings, which even more recommends to the audience that ladies are terrible victims of guys in ‘Othello’ as it is the males who are guilty, not the ladies.
Desdemona’s daddy, Brabantio, holds an extremely misogynistic view towards his child upon hearing of her love for Othello, when he responds to the concern “is she dead?” with “aye to me”. Iago likewise views ladies as objects- “seek to your house, your daughter and your bags”, his materialistic view of women, in which corresponding Desdemona to material great, recommends that Iago is a misogynist as he does not hold women in high regard at all.
In conclusion, ladies are certainly presented by Shakespeare as awful victims in ‘Othello’, nevertheless it is not totally at the hands of the male characters. Yes, both Emilia and Desdemona die at the hands of their hubbies, however it is through society’s expectations of females that they are killed, as well as Iago’s wicked control of The Moor. Desdemona dies through no fault of her own, this making her a terrible victim at the hands of Othello, as she has actually not dedicated any sin, and she is only murdered through Iago recommending to Othello that she had actually been cheating on Cassio.
Desdemona is likewise a tragic victim as not only has she done nothing wrong, however throughout the play she is depicted by Shakespeare as a truly excellent and pure character. Emilia is an awful victim as eventually she passes away from understanding that Desdemona’s murder was because of the actions of her hubby. Lastly it was the ladies who were terrible victims at the hands of a society where the male is judge, jury and executioner, along with manipulating them to satisfy their selfish needs.