Webster's First New Intergalactic Wickedary of the English Language. Boston: Beacon Press, 1987 Dash, Irene. Wooing, Wedding, and Power: Women in Shakespeare's Plays. New York: Columbia University Press, 1981 McLuskie, Kathleen. "The Patriarchal Bard: Feminist Criticism and Shakespeare."
His insufficiency is more surprising because elsewhere in the play Iago appears as a master rhetorician, but as Bloch explains, ‘the misogynistic writer uses rhetoric as a means of renouncing it, and, by extension, woman.’ (163) Even the noble general yielded to the sexist remarks and insinuations of his ancient, thus developing a reprehensible attitude toward his lovely and faithful wife. Angela Pitt in “Women in Shakespeare’s Tragedies” comments on the Moor’s sexist treatment of Desdemona: Desdemona has, therefore, some quite serious faults as a wife, including a will of her own, which was evident even before she was married. This does not mean that she merits the terrible accusations flung at her by Othello, nor does she in any way deserve her death, but she is partly responsible for the tragic action of the play. Othello’s behavior and mounting jealousy are made more comprehensible if we remember what Elizabethan husbands might expect of their wives. (45) In the opening scene, while Iago is expressing his hatred for the general Othello for his selection... ... middle of paper ... ...reason to the same extent, or even greater than, men; and that men are passion-driven moreso than are women.
Gender Bias in Othello Shakespeare’s tragic play Othello is an unfortunate example of gender bias, of sexism which takes advantage of women. The three women characters in the drama are all, in their own ways, victims of men’s skewed attitudes regarding women. Let us delve into this topic in this essay. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine comment in the Introduction to Shakespeare: Othello that sexism is a big factor in the play: At this point in our civilization the play’s fascination and its horror may be greater than ever before because we have been made so very sensitive to the issues of race, class, and gender that are woven into the texture of Othello. [.
How does Shakespeare reconcile women in what The Norton Shakespeare terms a romance play? Given the tragic outcomes of certain female characters (i.e., Desdemona and Juliet), sexuality must be promptly considered. Desdemona’s “jeopardized” fidelity ignites Othello’s murdering hands. Her sexuality controls him. In the same way, it might be argued that severe sexuality is the compulsion of Romeo and Juliet.
This view was not uncommon in Shakespeare’s time and heavily influenced Shakespeare to present women the way he does in Hamlet. In a critical essay, Judith Cook noted that in many of Shakespeare’s plays major women characters ‘die because of direct association with the fate of a tragic hero’. This could be seen as Shakespeare trying to convey women’s fate being a ‘by-product’ of the fate of men- men are superior. On the other hand, Ophelia is crucial in understanding Hamlet as a character and gives an insight into different motifs of the play. Some may argue that Ophelia is one of the causes of Hamlet’s ‘madness’ and his recoil from love.
[. . .] The issue of gender is especially noticeable in the final scenes of the play – with the attacks on Bianca, Emilia, and Desdemona – which are vivid reminders of how terrible the power traditionally exerted by men over women can be. (xiii-xiv) Even the noble general yielded to the sexist remarks and insinuations of his ancient, thus developing a reprehensible attitude toward h... ... middle of paper ... ... Mowat, Barbara A. and Paul Werstine, ed.
Euripides Support of Women’s Rights One can hardly deny that in Euripides’ plays women are often portrayed as weak, uncertain, and torn between what they must do and what they can bring themselves to do. Other women appear to be the root of grave evils, or simply perpetrators of heinous crimes. In a day when analysis of characters and plot had yet to be invented, it is easy to see why he might have been thought to be very much against women. However, when looking back with current understanding of what Euripides was doing at the time, armed with knowledge of plot devices and Socratic philosophy, this argument simply does not hold up. In fact, a very strong argument can be made to the opposite, that Euripides was in fact very much in support of women’s rights, and thought they were treated unfairly.
In their article and revisions, “Representing Ophelia: Women, Madness, and the Responsibilities of Feminist Criticism,” from Shakespeare and the Question of Theory, edited by Patricia Parker and Geoffrey Hartman, the authors, being feminist critics, defend Ophelia and criticize the way she is treated and undermined as a minor character. The role of Ophelia in the play Hamlet is underappreciated and over criticized due to her developed psychosis following her rejection by Hamlet. However, Ophelia’s role is more than just a sexual arousal for Hamlet and psychosis for psychiatrist and specifically male critics to examine. Scholars and critics throughout history have turned Ophelia into “an insignificant minor character” (Elaine Showalter). She lives in the shadow of Hamlet.
Kathleen McLuskie. "The patriarchal bard: feminist criticism and Shakespeare: King Lear and Measure for Measure" in Political Shakespeare: New Essays in Cultural Materialism, ed. Jonathan Dollimor and Alan Sinfield. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1985, 88-108. Graham Nicholls.
Boston: Beacon Press, 1987. McLuskie, Kathleen. "The Patriarchal Bard: Feminist Criticism and Shakespeare." Political Shakespeare: New Essays in Cultural Materialism. Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield, editors.