Gender Stereotypes In Shakespeare's Othello

analytical Essay
917 words
917 words

In Shakespeare’s time, being an independent and strong women was unthinkable. In this book Othello, Iago and Othello constantly dishonor their wives, Desdemona and Emilia, and also women in general. They speak of women rudely and claim ownership of their partners, and Iago goes a step further with this by imposing gender stereotypes on Emilia and Othello. Desdemona gives into this kind of thinking and her role in society over the course of the play, acting as a obedient and lesser than her husband. Sexism in Othello is exposed by the consistent degrading of women, the enforcement of gender stereotypes and the women’s acceptance of roles in society, all implying that women are inferior to men. Iago and Othello make harsh and degrading comments …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how iago and othello dishonor their wives, desdemona and emilia, and claim ownership of their partners. sexism is exposed by the consistent degrading of women and the enforcement of gender stereotypes.
  • Analyzes how iago and othello make harsh and degrading comments about women, saying how they should act and be the property of their husbands.
  • Analyzes how iago's anti-feminist comments towards othello and emilia reveal an underlying theme of sexism and agreement with gender stereotypes.
  • Analyzes how desdemona gives in to her demeaning role in society as a woman.
  • Analyzes how othello degrades his wife by treating her as his possession, and iago hurts women in general by stereotyping women as simple-minded and weak compared to men. desdemona fulfills her role in society through her unbending obedience.

When Desdemona is first introduced, she is brought in to attest that she is married to Othello in front of her disapproving father. She tries to make peace with him by saying “So much duty as my mother showed to you...I may profess due to the Moor my lord,” (1:3, 186-188). She follows in the footsteps of obedient women such as her mother, continuing the cycle of passive females letting men control their thoughts and actions. She calls Othello “my lord”, letting him hold power and status over her as a husband and as a man. At the end of the play, Desdemona is on her deathbed after being wrongly accused of cheating on Othello who suffocated her after hearing about it. Desdemona says, as her final words, that the person who killed her was “Nobody-I myself...Commend me to my kind lord,” (5:2,126-126). Even though it was Othello who wrongly assumed that she cheated, she takes the blame on herself and assumes that she must have wronged him. She ignores the fact that her husband could have made a destructive and unfair choice, refusing to believe that he has a weakness as a man. She also calls him “my kind lord”, showing her complete obedience to her husband even after he wrongly accused, abused, and murdered her. Throughout the play as shown by Desdemona, women are degraded, stereotyped, and forced to fulfill gender

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