In this paper I have tried to analyse the female characters of Shakespeare’s Othello in the light of Elizabethan Era, and status of women in 12th century, the age from which the character of Othello is taken. I have also discussed the status of woman in Christianity in Shakespearean times. The main purpose of this research article in the analyse the female characters of Othello that they were not different from the real life of Shakespearean times nor alien from the women of 12th Century.
Othello a black Moor, a warrior, won many battles, becomes a victim of jealousy and conspiracy of Roderigo. Who hates Othello not due to racial prejudice but rather jealousy that Othello has won fair Desdemona (1-1)
Shakespeare’s primary source for Othello was Un Capitano moro, (A Moorish Captain), one of the One hundred short stories in the collection. Gli Hecatommithi published by the Italian, Cinthio (web) (1566-Venice). Cinthio’s story provides the backbone for Shakespeare’s plot although he changed and introduced some minor characters e.g; Brabantio and Roderigo. In Cinthio’s episode Iago’s motive for revenge against Othello was that he loved Desdemona, who out rightly rejected his proposal.
The tragedy of Othello takes place in Venice and Cypress, Iago uses Desdemona through Emilia and inflames a good man with jealousy. In the beginning of the play the seed of conflict are sown when Roderigo shouts in dark at Brabantio’s house, the news of Desdemona’s elopement that she: hath made a gross revolt,
Tying her duty, beauty wit and fortunes.
In an extravagant and wheeling stranger
Of here and everywhere”
Brabontio thinks that it was due to some black magic that was used by Othello, the black moor, we see that there are hints of hostility within the play about Othello’s Moorish origin and his differences in religion and culture when Othello relates his story of love before the Duke in the Venation Senate and he convinces all of them that he never used magic or drugs. Barbantio demands that Desdemona should testify, she affirms her duty to her father (I. iii) (179-180). Who gave her life and education, but asserts she has a higher duty than this to Othello, as he is her husband. My Noble Father
I also perceive here a divided duty;
To you I am bound for life and education;
My life and education both do learn me
How to respect you; your are the lord of duty;
I am therefore your daughter; but here is my husband. (I. iii. 180-185) Desdemona is presented as a true Christian character possessing all the virtues of honourable woman. She respects her father, admits his love and vows to obey her husband. She suffers more than any other character of the play.
Othello also loves Desdemona from his heart in the beginning and utters it as: But that I have the gentle Desdemona,
I would not my unhoused free condition
Put into circumscription and confine
For the sea’s worth
(I. ii. 25-28)
The love of Othello is corrupted by Iago’s conspiracy and Othello is trapped in his jealousy inflamed by handkerchief plot. His loves turns him mad and he uses the weapon of violence against the fair Desdemona. His hate is so much for Desdemona that he says to Lodovico: Ay; you did wish that I would make her turns.
Sir, she turns, and turns and yet go on,
And turn again; and she can weep, sir, weep;
And she is obedient, as you say obedient,
(IV. iii 252-257) Thus Othello implies that Desdemona is available to Lodovico or to any one else, also, because she is as obedient that she can obey any one. What is the significance of handkerchief of Othello?
In Othello there are...