A Comparison of Othello and The Great Gatsby

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Throughout history, women’s place and role in society has changed. Women are often seen as a lower status and have a need to be taken care of by men. There are conflicts with the idealization of women as they are often overlooked and viewed as secondary characters. This idealization is well established in the characters of Desdemona in Othello and Daisy in The Great Gatsby. In F.Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby and Shakespeare‘s play Othello, Desdemona and Daisy are both responsible for their tragedies due to the manipulation and impact of the outsiders, their loss of innocence, and their vulnerability as women.
The outsiders, Tom and Iago become influential puppeteers, as Daisy and Desdemona are their puppets. Their influences on each of the female protagonists, results in inevitable tragedy. In Othello, the antagonist Iago has a strong bitter hatred towards Othello. He envies that fact that Cassio is chosen to be lieutenant over him. In response, he resorts to manipulation and trickery to make Othello regret his decision. Desdemona is immensely affected by Iago’s plan because this leads to her tragic death. Iago manipulates Desdemona through other characters. An example of this can be seen through his wife, Emilia. Iago believes women “are pictures out of doors” (Shakespeare.2.1.121) and are more like workers than wives. Emilia is part of Iago’s scheme, as she is one of the closest people to Desdemona. Emilia has no idea what Iago is plotting until the very end. She is oblivious to Iago’s plan and it results in Desdemona’s death. Like Desdemona and Emilia, Daisy is also heavily influenced through other characters as well. Tom uses other characters to make an impact on Daisy and this can be seen through his altercation...

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... perfect exemplars of how an ideal innocent women, can face undoubtedly tragic fates. Despite much strength in their characters, both Daisy and Desdemona exhibit the vulnerability of their innocence, the ability for others to take advantage of them, and glaring weaknesses. They are unaware of their surroundings, which lead to questionable actions. Their inevitable tragedies occur because of how each character dealt with these situations placed in front of them. All in all, Daisy and Desdemona are responsible for their tragedies because they are women placed in unfamiliar positions and are unable to deal with situations placed in front of them.

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Charles Scribner’s Sons: New York, 1925. Print.
Shakespeare, William. Othello. Ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2009. Print
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