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Othello Female Characters

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During the late sixteenth century, Venice was a male-dominated society while women struggled to be heard. Desdemona, Bianca, and Emilia are all victims of this society throughout Shakespeare’s Othello.
Desdemona is a young, rich, white girl raised Brabantio. Brabantio looks at Desdemona as a pure, innocent girl and feels that she is a victim to Othello’s black magic when he finds out that Desdemona is married to Othello. Desdemona admits her love to Othello to her father and defies everything that her father believes. At the time, interracial relationships weren’t accepted yet Desdemona was faithful and honest to Othello.
Emilia is an older and is in a troubling relationship with a man who verbally abuses all women. Emilia seems to look for a more sensitive, affectionate and loving side to Iago by doing what he tells her to do. Emilia seems to be good friends with Desdemona but seems to betray her when she gives the handkerchief to her husband rather than Desdemona. Her longing to be complimented as opposed to the norm of being slandered pushes her to betray a good friend.
Bianca is Cassio’s lover. When Cassio has the handkerchief, he asks Bianca to make a copy of it. Biance believes that Cassio obtained the handkerchief from another woman and becomes jealous. Othello saw how jealous Bianca got over the handkerchief and this confirmed to Othello that Cassio and Desdemona were having an affair.

All three of these women seem to just be wanted and loved by their men. They are all in a relationship where they want to feel needed and fall victims of men. Desdemona was faithful throughout their entire relationship and is killed. Emilia just wants to be loved and did as her husband said but is killed by him as well. Cassio doesn’t seem committed to Bianca although Bianca wants to be committed to him. He only flattered Bianca when he wanted something done, for example, when he wanted a copy of the handkerchief. All these women fall victims to Iago’s slander. |

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