Othello

Topics: Othello, Gender role, Gender Pages: 14 (4999 words) Published: October 12, 2013
Ugly black twisted tree in the middle of a green field and a butterfly is chained next to it RACE and GENDER
MANIPULATION:
Iago manipulates Brabantio into believing Desdemona ran off with Othello in a negative way Iago manipulates Cassio in drinking and starting a fight
Iago manipulates Othello into thinking Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair GENDER ROLE:
Iago’s depiction of female- his treatment and rude comments about Emilia and Bianca Iago’s telling Roderigo women only wanted sex
Focus on Emilia
When the name William Shakespeare is mentioned, what do you immediately think of? Is it a love story about two unfortunate star-crossed lovers? Do you think of a powerful tragedy about a man who chooses evil to fulfil his ambition of becoming King? So when the name William Shakespeare is mentioned, we think about his plays. Why? What makes Shakespeare’s plays so influential and memorable? Maybe some of us feel like we have to read Shakespeare because it’s compulsory at school, but have you ever stopped to consider how relatable his plays are to our lives? Shakespeare’s great genius was in unravelling and explaining human nature- you know, love, ambition, greed, self-pity, all those themes he plays on when he analyses people in power. In “Othello”, Shakespeare uses poetic and dramatic techniques to explore the theme of manipulation and gender I will argue that the tragedy occurs as a result of the protagonists� overwhelming adherence to their society�s stereotyped gender roles and that Iago further encourages and manipulates these gender roles to his own ends. Gender relations are pretty antagonistic in Othello. Unmarried women are regarded as their fathers' property and the play's two marriages are marked by male jealousy and cruelty (both wives are murdered by their own husbands). Most male characters in Othello assume that all Venetian women are inherently promiscuous, which explains why female sexuality is a huge threat to men in the play. Othello is easily convinced his wife is cheating on him and feels emasculated and humiliated as a result. Awake! what, ho, Brabantio! thieves! thieves! thieves!

Look to your house, your daughter and your bags!
Thieves! thieves! (1.1.7)
Iago's looking to stir up trouble for Othello when he awakens Brabantio with the news that Othello has eloped with Desdemona. But why does he say "thieves" are the problem? As Brabantio's unmarried daughter, Desdemona is basically considered her father's property. Since she's married Othello without dad's permission, Iago suggests that Othello has stolen her from Brabantio. Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see:

She has deceived her father, and may thee. (1.3.10)
Brabantio perpetuates a pretty unfair stereotype of young women in these lines – he suggests that since Desdemona has "deceived her father" by running off to elope with Othello, she'll probably "deceive" her new husband too. The idea is that an unruly daughter will make an unruly and promiscuous wife. Compare this to 3.3.17, below.

Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio;
Wear your eye thus, not jealous nor secure:
I would not have your free and noble nature,
Out of self-bounty, be abused; look to't:
I know our country disposition well;
In Venice they do let heaven see the pranks
They dare not show their husbands; their best conscience
Is not to leave't undone, but keep't unknown. (3.3.17)
Iago claims that Venetian women can't be trusted because they all deceive their husbands with their secret "pranks." This seems to be the dominant attitude in the play, wouldn't you say? Just about every male character in the play assumes that women are promiscuous and disloyal. Perhaps this is the reason why Iago is able to manipulate Othello into believing that Desdemona is unfaithful. Now will I question Cassio of Bianca,

A huswife that by selling her desires
Buys herself bread and clothes: it is a creature
That dotes on Cassio; as 'tis the strumpet's plague
To...
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