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In Shakespeare’s Othello relationships are manipulated and the concept of love is fragmented. Throughout the course of the book, the relationship of Emilia and Iago take an interesting route in which defines the role of women and more importantly Emilia’s imperfections. During the Shakespearean era women were expected to be obedient and self-sacrificing. This is portrayed in the character of Emilia; although she is emotionally abused by her husband she continues to love him unconditionally. Emotions and the meaning of love are neglected and abused. Shakespeare uses Emilia to demonstrate how women in abusive relationships retreat into themselves rather than retaliate. Shakespeare demonstrates how Emilia represses her emotions in order to give in to her husband’s desires. Although Iago constantly shows signs of disrespect and mockery towards Emilia, she disregards his flaws and constantly seems eager to please her emotionally abusive husband. She steals Desdemona's handkerchief in the hope that Iago will appreciate her for once, "I nothing but to please his fantasy" (3.3). Despite Emilia’s submissiveness, she demonstrates signs of audacity and retaliation when talking to Desdemona about men in general. When Desdemona questions fidelity in a relationship, Emilia claims she would cheat on her husband to better his life, to make him king (4.3.60). However, in doing so she is retreating into herself and detaching herself from her dignity. Through the contrast of lighting, Shakespeare demonstrates the two women’s viewpoint. Emilia claims that she would not commit such a sin “by this heavenly light” but rather do ’t as well i' th' dark” (4.3.52-53). The fact that Emilia would disregard her morals and commit the sin in the “dark” demonstrates how she would veil her identity, thus departing from her emotions by concealing them. Again, Emilia is not considering the implications of her actions upon her own self and justifies the quality of her action that “It is a great...
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