Shakespeare’s “Othello” Women’s Function
Desdemona and Emilia are both married to profession military soldiers. Newly wedded Desdemona is inexperienced (innocent) in the “real world” despite being raised by a prominent Venetian Senator. In contrast, Emilia appears to have been married for some time. She is educated to the ways of a soldier, yet only thinks a part of what her hubby tells her. Although Emilia has been Desdemona’s attendant because the play’s start (perhaps much earlier), we really do not get an intimate view of their relationship up until Act 4, Scene 3. Throughout this scene, Emilia is truly concerned for Desdemona and her problems with Othello.
Desdemona tells her, “Even his stubbornness, his checks, his frowns? prithee, unpin me- have grace and favor in them (line 21).” She also tells Emilia if she should pass away before her to cover her body utilizing the sheets on the bed. At first, Emilia thinks this is only “talk”, but Desdemona begins to tell her about the song she gained from her mother’s housemaid (Barbary). This becomes an intimate moment between the two, as Emilia is unpinning Desdemona’s hair and preparing her for bed (like a mother helping her young daughter). This showing of love is strictly amongst the women of this play.
The men are the ones who are devoting all the violence and most of the distrust. This discussion continues totally throughout the remainder of the scene, however heightens when Desdemona states, “O these men, these men (line 67)!” She can’t think women cheat on their partners, and asks Emilia if she would cheat on Iago.
Emilia tries to soften her response, and realizes Desdemona’s view of love is “pure romance” and taken seriously. Act 4 ends with Emilia requesting equality between both sexes (this style likewise appears in the other plays we check out).
If women don’t receive respect and fidelity from their other halves, they aren’t required to be obedient and faithful. Although Emilia requests for equivalent treatment amongst the sexes, she is completely aware this will not likely take place. All they can do is confide in each other. Unfortunately, Bianca does not have this high-end. Bianca is a lady who took a trip from Venice to Cyprus (the like Emilia and Desdemona) to be with Cassio.
Like Emilia, she appears worldly and enjoys her partner with no reservations, however fully knowledgeable about her place in a male-dominated society.
After Iago eliminates Roderigo in Act 5, he attempts to blame Bianca for Cassio’s attack. Bianca is clearly distressed by Cassio’s injuries, but immediately responds to being called a strumpet. “I am no strumpet, but of life as sincere as you thus abuse me (line 142).” Bianca is more truthful than Emilia (who lied about the scarf that ultimately costs Desdemona her life), and Iago (who implicated her of being involved in Cassio’s attack). How can our company believe any of Iago’s declarations concerning Bianca when he is undependable throughout the play? Bianca also seems to be completely aware of her relationship with Cassio.
They are both uncommitted to each other, and Bianca understands nothing will ever evolve.
Cassio never ever talks with her about his demotion from Lieutenant, something you would confide in with your partner. Bianca also appears to break off her relationship with Cassio when returning the scarf to him (Act 4, Scene 1, line 177). * One thing that might shed some light on the lots of references to Bianca prostitution (despite the fact that there is no genuine proof in this play that she is one) is at the start of Act 1, lines 20-22. “One Michael Cassio, a Florentine, a fellow nearly damned in a fair other half.
This is the only recommendation to Cassio’s partner. Possibly he is an unfaithful husband. This might be the reason Bianca is deemed a woman of the street, a home wrecker.
This would likewise explain why they have an uncommitted relationship. The 3 ladies of “Othello” are similar to other female characters in Shakespeare’s plays. They look for (or pursue) respect and equality between both sexes, and fall short in a male-dominated society. Once again, Shakespeare permits us to view women as they did during the Elizabethan period. With this in mind, it isn’t surprising our 3 ladies face a grim future by play’s end: two die, and the other will be forgotten.