Additionally, she is obsequious towards Iago because of her female role and responsibility as a wife. As a result of being so obedient, she later steals the highly valued handkerchief because her husband desired it. Shakespeare utilizes Emilia to portray his negative position on marriage and the modest duty of a wife in bed, and nothing more; while developing the submissive character of Desdemona. The foil of Emilia and Desdemona, as a result of their opposing views on marriage and physiognomies of women, helps Shakespeare portray his message of women and marriage. Emilia and Iago’s position on marriage can frequently be uncovered though their reflections on both men and women.
Helen Gardner in “Othello: A Tragedy of Beauty and Fortune” considers Iago’s wife Emilia to be a true hero of the play because of her fearless outlook on death itself: Emilia’s silence while her mistress lived is fully explicable in terms of her character. She shares with her husband the generalizing trick and is well used to domestic scenes. The jealous, she knows, are not ever jealous for the cause But jealous for they are jealous. If it was not the handkerchief it would be something else. Why disobey her husband and risk his fury?
She remains subservient to Iago until her duty to him causes her to betray the one she has to her friend and mistress, Desdemona. After becoming cognizant of her involvement in Iago’s villainy, Emilia abandons all loyalty she previously held to patriarchal forces and is motivated exclusively by morality and dedication to Desdemona. In many instances, Emilia and Iago’s relationship serves as a reflection of the misogyny of the play and the time period in which it was written. Throughout the play, the conduct of Iago and the rest of the male characters suggest they hold relatively strong antifeminist beliefs. Iago is especially expressive in his discrimination, frequently condemning the entirety of the gender as weak, useless, and sexually indiscriminate.
The Character of Ophelia in Hamlet Ophelia is a beautiful and simple-minded woman, easily molded by the more powerful opinions and desires of others. The thoughts of her father and her brother influenced her the most. The love letters from Hamlet also swayed her opinions and confused her mind. Ophelia wasn't able to realize herself because of all the pressures exerted on her to be something she's not. That weakness of mind and will, which permitted her obedience to her father and thus destroyed her hope for Hamlet's love, finally resulted in her insanity and death.
In other words, she is grateful to her father for what he has given to her but will stand by the side of her husband, as any women should. Even while Othello is accusing her of having an affair with Cassio, and insulting her calling her a whore, her responsibility of standing by her man and trying to understand him still remains. As angered as she may be with what he just called her, she questions him politely, as to why he is saying ... ... middle of paper ... ... The role these women had to take on in this play, was probably not to far from the way it really was for women during that time, and for some couples, the way it is today. I would hate to think that men can still have this philosophy, but I know it still exists.
Shakespeare wisely makes her, like the other characters, ignorant of Iago’s character. She knows that she has lost his love, and her unhappy marriage drives her to cynicism about sex; but she tries to win back her husband’s affections by carrying out his wishes, even when this involves betrayal of the mistress she loves. (41) A.C. Bradley, in his book of literary criticism, Shakespearean Tragedy, defines the character of the ancient’s wife: Few of Shakespeare’s minor characters are more distinct than Emilia, and towards few do our feelings change so much within the course of the play. Till close to the end she frequently sets one’s tooth on edge; and at the end one is ready to worship her. She nowhere shows any sign of having a bad heart; but she is common, sometimes vulgar, in minor matters far from scrupulous, blunt in perception and feeling, and quite destitute of imagination.
Throughout the tragedy of Othello Shakespeare does an impressive job of quickly introducing and manipulating his main characters. His talents are no less when it comes to the creation and development of Emilia. Though it appears that Emilia is both a loyal and obedient wife, her actions speak much louder than her words. When Emilia betrays the sisterhood within the play of Othello much is revealed to the reader regarding her character. Through close reading and interpretation the reader may come to the realization that Emilia possessed a dangerously low self-esteem, never honestly loved someone wholeheartedly, and ultimately, acted out of jealousy of Desdemona.
One of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, Othello, lends itself to the tragic telling of Desdemona’s death by her beloved husband. Othello requires certain seemingly inconspicuous characters, such as Emilia, to carry the weight of the play forward. Emilia holds the role of Iago’s wife and notably Desdemona’s maid. She is a woman of practical intelligence in her roles Shakespeare cast her. The time of casting has a level of requirement from a woman in terms of her duty to her husband.
Emilia’s husband is the villain she hates, but giving him the one item he needs dooms everyone. Othello falls into Iago’s plan as soon as his fatal flaw of jealousy comes into play. In the tragic play Othello, by William Shakespeare, the innocent characters Desdemona, Emilia, and Othello are lead to their demise because they are manipulated into trusting Iago. Desdemona is loyal and caring, which blinds her from Iago’s manipulation. Desdemona’s loyalty and care helps build Iago’s scheme.