Women vs. Men in Othello
Whether intentional or non. William Shakespeare’s Othello can be viewed ( aid ) from a feminist position. Many bookmans continually argue that Othello consists of a male dominated society in which the adult females play an undistinguished function. While this statement proves largely accurate in the political kingdom. adult females control society and love in ways that overwhelm the strengths of work forces. finally taking to the scandalous ruins of work forces. In Venetian society at this peculiar clip in history. adult females are perceived as weak. subsidiary. and even cocottes. Shakespeare presents the reader with three chief adult females characters: Desdemona. Emilia. and Bianca. The work forces of this society position adult females as ownerships. For illustration. Iago seems to believe that “it is thought abroad that ‘twixt my sheets/He’s done my office” ( I. 3. 381-2 ) . This suggests that Othello has slept with his married woman ; nevertheless in world. Iago displays small fondness towards her. Just the idea that “the lustful Moor/hath leaped into [ his ] seat” thrusts Iago to insanity ( II. 1. 286-7 ) . With this point of position. Emilia is stripped of her humanity as her hubby metaphorically describes her as his “office” and “seat. ”
The adult females are obviously used by the work forces to carry through their desire. but this turns against them as strong adult females begin to defy the demands of this patriarchal society. A limited figure of people. such as Carol Thomas Neely. present the thought that Desdemona “is helpless because her nature is boundlessly sweet and her love absolute” ( Neely ) . However. while professing her love for Othello “before the senators. she answers her father’s charges forcefully and persuasively. without shyness or reticence” ( Garner ) . Desdemona proves to be a strong adult female. who knows her desires and the methods in which she will utilize to accomplish them. The adult females of this drama fail to follow with the well-known societal norms of their gender function. Emilia “combines sharp-tongue honestness with warm affection” ( Neely ) . With her apprehension of human outlook. Emilia does non neglect “to discern her husband’s true nature. ” as some bookmans believe. but really becomes leery of his actions. ne’er forbearing from uncovering his programs ( ) . It is apparent that Bianca allows her “jealousy over Cassio [ motivate ] her every word and action. ” but she remains true to her love and does non allow her function in society dictate her love affair ( Godfrey ) .
These adult females overcome the gender stereotypes through their abiding audaciousness. predominating cognition. and realistic stance on relationships. Beneath the masculine frontage of Othello. lies a powerful matriarchal presence. Male bonds and their power are eradicated by romantic love. John Alexander Allen wrote about how “Shakespeare’s adult females use and control gender. while his work forces can non ” ( Allen ) . The work forces of Othello allow their emotions to be warped doing their ignorance and confusion throughout most of the drama. On the other manus. the adult females maintain their confidence in love. In a “male-oriented universe. ” many “dangers. inequalities. defeats and limitations” exist. therefore the adult females adapt by maintaining a rational head in their relationships ( Allen ) . Most critics seem largely interested in the relationship between Othello and Iago ( Garner ) . Yet. as one takes a deeper expression into Othello’s head. one will detect the huge power his married woman. Desdemona. holds over him. Desdemona’s alleged matter foliages Othello weakened by grief. Many portray the work forces of this drama as the “embodiment of bravery. award and power. ” but Othello’s strength is threatened by allowing his emotions get the better of his senses ( Allen ) .
Garner accepts the thought that “as shortly as Othello’s green-eyed monster and fury Begin to attest themselves. Desdemona’s candor and bravery starts to abandon her” ( Garner ) . However. even in the thick of her slaying. Desdemona reveals virtuousness and honestness as she continues to continue her matrimonial promises. The loyal Emilia uses her penetration to destruct Iago’s bond with Othello ( Neely ) . This is an illustration of female intuition and logic prevailing over men’s misconception of passion. Each adult male suffers for his errors in changing ways. but each effect leads back to women’s romantic high quality. The covetous behaviour of the work forces in Othello differs wholly from the trusty adult females. Carol Thomas Neely skilfully proves this point by stand foring the adult females as “free of amour propre. green-eyed monster. and competitiveness” ( Neely ) . Women. particularly Bianca and Desdemona. love strictly. and esteem their spouses while besides keeping their moral criterions.
Throughout the drama. work forces become obsessional over the thought of repute ; they lose sight of their saneness. The work forces frequently blame those inferior to them for their ain actions ( Neely ) . However. the adult females “lack… the category consciousness” that seems to rule the heads of the work forces. Unlike the work forces. the adult females have faith in each other despite of their single functions in society. ne’er neglecting to support their fellow adult females. Regardless of the actions of these powerful adult females. it is difficult to reason with the fact that work forces dominate the political and military portion of this Venetian society. Some bookmans suggest that Othello and Iago “assert their authorization by turn toing state of affairss from a place of hidden power” ( Zott ) . The work forces are at the top of their society and households. Their cognition. such as Othello’s eloquent talking accomplishments. is unachievable by the uneducated adult females who serve as simply objects in the eyes of work forces ( Zott ) . The critics who defend this traditional attitude frequently “implicitly demean Desdemona. ” every bit good as the other adult females of the drama ( Neely ) .