Othello Literary Essay

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  • Topic: Iago, Othello, Michael Cassio
  • Pages : 3 (922 words )
  • Download(s) : 358
  • Published : January 24, 2012
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Othello Literary Essay

Although Emilia is not the protagonist of the play, her role is very important in Othello. Through her conversations with Desdemona and Iago, we develop a finer understanding of their characters. She plays as a catalyst when stealing Desdemona's handkerchief, and exploits Iago's villainy.

Through Emilia, we see Iago's personality better. Iago's sneering attitude towards his wife and women in general shows the lack of respect and low opinion he has for them. When he says "Come on, come on. You are pictures out of doors, bells in your parlours, wildcats in your kitchens, saints in your injuries, devils being offended, players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds" (2.1.109-112) Iago is stating that Emilia is a whore who inflicts injuries on others, but puts on an appearance of innocence. In response of learning Iago's view of women, we learn that Emilia's cynical view of men is they "are all but stomachs, and we are all but food. They eat us hungrily, and when they are full, the belch us" (3.4.100-101). By this quote, we see how Emilia perceives men to use women for their own needs and then get rid of them. She openly admits to Desdemona in act 4, scene 3, that women should be equal to men, instead of seen as possessions and objects under their control. From her close relationship with Desdemona, we learn that she is really the honest and sweet woman she known to be. This helps us know that what Iago says to Othello are lies and makes her death even more tragic. Her loveless marriage with Iago is the mirror image of Desdemona and Othello's relationship. Therefore, it enhances the love and intimacy in their marriage.

Emilia's major contribution in Othello is when she steals the handkerchief for her husband, Iago. When Emilia sees the handkerchief fall, she immediately picks it up, which is a major development, in not only Iago's plot, but also the plot of the play, and says "My wayward husband hath a hundred times woo'd me...
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