The Role of Women in Othello: a Feminist Reading

The Role of Females in Othello: a Feminist Reading

The Role of Women in Othello: A Feminist Reading William Shakespeare’s “Othello” can be read from a feminist perspective. A feminist analysis of the play Othello enables us to evaluate the various social values and status of ladies in the Elizabethan society. Othello works as an example to show the expectations of the Elizabethan patriarchal society, the practice of benefits in patriarchal marriages, and the suppression and constraint of womanhood. According to Elizabethan or Shakespeare’s society built on Renaissance beliefs, women were implied just to marry.

As their single profession, marital relationship held enormous duties of house management and kid rearing. Additionally, ladies were anticipated to be quiet, chaste, and obedient to their other halves, daddies, bros, and all guys in general. Patriarchal rule warranted females’s subordination as the natural order due to the fact that ladies were thought to be physiologically and mentally inferior to guys. As we go through Othello we discover that the women characters exist according to this expectation of the Elizabethan society.

There are only three females in ‘Othello’: Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca. The manner in which these women act and perform themselves is unquestionably linked to the ideological expectations of Shakespeare’s Elizabethan society and to the patriarchal Venetian society that he creates. These notes will check out some of the methods which the female characters are presented in the play. Ladies as possessions Following his hearing of Brabantio’s grievance and Othello’s defence, the Duke eventually grants consent for Desdemona to accompany Othello to Cyprus.

Othello speaks to his ensign Iago, paradoxically describing him as a guy of ‘honesty and trust’, informing the Duke that ‘To his conveyance I designate my spouse’ (I. 3. 283). Desdemona, as Othello’s better half, is treated as his belongings: he suggests that she is a product to be secured and transferred. This is, nevertheless, by no methods peculiar to Othello: the very first Senator, wanting Othello well, concludes by hoping that he will ‘use Desdemona well’ (I. 3. 288). The word ‘utilize’ appears to connote the phrase ‘care for’, however also supports the Venetian expectation of women– that they are o acquiesce the wills of their other halves who may use them as they wish. Moreover, the function of females within marital relationship is also marked by Othello’s ‘enjoying’ words to Desdemona in Act II: ‘Come, my dear love,/ The purchase made, the fruits are to occur’ (II. 3. 8-9). Marital relationship is referred to as an act of ‘purchase’: a woman is bought by her partner, efficiently as a favour, and is anticipated to fulfil his sexual desires in return for the benefit. Iago’s desire for revenge on Othello is, in part, determined by his view of women as ownerships.

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

Compounding this theory is the fact that Iago describes his wife metaphorically in these two circumstances: she is his ‘office’ and his ‘seat’; she is objectified and deprived of her mankind. Moreover, in revenge for Othello’s supposed act, Iago wants to be ‘evened with him, partner for wife’ (II. 1. 290). By sleeping with Desdemona, he believes that they will then be equal. The feelings of Desdemona and Emilia are completely overlooked in his outlining. The females are simply challenge be utilized in order to further his own desires.

Although Iago is a severe example, he however demonstrates, through his thinking, the truth that women, in both Elizabethan and Venetian society, are perceived as possessions, secondary to the lofty strategies and desires of guys. Women as submissive Some modern-day feminist critics see Desdemona as a horrible personification of the downtrodden lady. Whether this is in fact the case will be checked out later on in these notes. Suffice it to state, there is a big body of proof to support this critical stance. Desdemona herself states that ‘I am loyal’ (III. 3. 89), continuing to comply with Othello’s orders from the