Loyalty and Ignorance of Emilia In Shakespeare's Othello

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Emilia is a minor but necessary character in Shakespeare’s Othello. She battles playing the role of a loyal wife and caretaker, while possessing inner strength to rebel against society and man’s invisible reign on woman. Emilia is a wife to Iago, a caretaker to Desdemona but most importantly she is a lady of potency and character. Through these qualities Emilia unwillingly follows her wifely obligations to Iago, but additionally develops a strong relationship with Desdemona. This connection between the two women, allows Emilia to hold Shakespeare’s key to the entire tragic plot. For she is the only character who possesses the knowledge of the surrounding events. This ignorant yet known knowledge results in the catastrophic ending of the play where Emilia defends Desdemona by demanding justice and truth over her husbands deceiving lies. “Honest Iago” then shows the true villain that he is and tragically ends his wife’s life. By which then placing truth on what Emilia had so long believed, that men are vulgar, immoral and corrupt and that her intuition through out the play was then proven just.

The act of loyalty from a woman to a man in Othello includes the two utter most important terms of being silent and obedient. Emilia chooses to practice these traits with her husband in hopes of gaining admiration and affection from a man completely incompatible for her but regrettably bound to her by marriage. Readers are first introduced to Emilia in Cyprus when Iago speaks poorly of her to Cassio, by declaring, “Sir, would she give you so much of her lips as of her tongue she oft bestows on me, You would have enough”, which can also be interpreted that he takes no appreciation in his wife’s wisdom and wishes her more to be a mute than to...

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...nstead displays ever so respected strong characteristics that readers throughout centuries can continue to be captivated by. When Emilia decides to deny herself to conforming to social norms, she boastfully follows her beliefs that Desdemona is innocent, irregardless that there are indeed some women, including herself, who are not pure but only because it is their husbands faults that cause women to commit adultery. Today, vast amounts of individuals admire the woman that Emilia exemplifies in her last tragic moments on earth. For it is here that she blesses women in society for ages and ages to come the utter most essential qualities of strength and bravery.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Othello, The Moor of Venice. Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, poetry and Drama. Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York: Longman, 2006. 661-770
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