Marriage and Othello

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Women in Shakespeare’s Othello
Othello is a play written by Shakespeare. This book shows the role of women in the Elizabethan England. Three women are used to portray how society perceived women in the 15th century. Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca are the chief female characters in this play. They are shown as being innocent and submissive to their husbands. They do what they are told and honor the commands of their husbands. Through these three characters, the role of women in Othello is revealed. The three have varying characteristics. Class, intelligence, and virtue are the three levels through which women in Othello are presented (Wright 89).

Desdemona is a virtuous and noble character who makes her own verdicts; Bianca is a low class woman presented as a strumpet, and Emilia is a maid, a middle class woman who is vulnerable to manipulation from Iago. She is loyal to Desdemona. In this book, Iago sees women as weak, absurd, and lazy characters whose main desires are physical pleasures. All through the play, Desdemona comes out as a helpless and innocent character. As we encounter her first in the book, she is described as a mature and focused lady. This is clearly depicted in the way she defends her love for Othello. When her father, Brabantio objects the love, she goes defensive and convinces him that Othello is the love of her heart. On several occasions, Iago confesses that Desdemona is cheating because he (Iago) is lying to Othello that she is committing infidelity with Cassio.

In Othello, women are perceived to be caring. Desdemona sympathizes with situations of other people, like Cassio. She is a close attention payer to other people’s problems. Othello becomes jealousy when Iago tells him that Casio and Desdemona were talking in privacy. Another character of Desdemona is that she is always pessimistic when she differs with people. This is one woman who is loyal to her husband both physically and mentally. She is depicted as a peacemaker. When...
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