Othello by William Shakespeare

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A strong female is defined as one who can stand firm with the ability to do what is right in any given situation. The protagonist Desdemona in Shakespeare’s Othello portrays the stronger feminine figure unlike many other women. Although how strong a person is can be referred to by the muscular strength, Desdemona exhibits mental strength which is a far superior form of strength. Desdemona is a female character in the novel whose opinions are profound and direct; since the beginning of the novel, there has been numerous aspects involving other characters that can characterize Desdemona’s strength. Throughout the novel, Desdemona’s serenity towards extreme situations and her assertiveness towards men prove Desdemona’s strength. Although Desdemona may be considered a weak woman due to her being passive at times, Desdemona has the ability to stick up for herself and she fearlessly speaks her mind, which makes Desdemona a strong female figure. Desdemona can stand against society’s formidable rules and regulations, which shows that she is a strong female. Sexism is evident in Act 2 scene 1 due to Iago degrading women countless times. When Iago is insulting women, Desdemona takes offence due to Iago sharing his negative input about women and his wife in an ignorant matter. Therefore, Desdemona stands up for Emilia, Iago’s wife, and herself upon arriving to Cyprus. Desdemona assists Emilia and disapprovingly proclaims, “Do not learn of / him, Emilia, though he be thy husband … Is he not a / most profane and liberal counselor?” (2.1.158-161). This shows that Desdemona conjures up her boldness to defend Emilia. The opposition Desdemona takes on against Iago is rare because the majority of women during the Venetian society would never think... ... middle of paper ... ...fact that she does not retaliate with any form of anger manifests her ability to contain her emotions in a stressful environment. This displays that Desdemona demonstrates strength, not weakness. Since Desdemona knows how to defend herself in the right ways, Desdemona is strong in the sense that she is not muscular or can lift heavy weights from the ground; she is a female who is strong emotionally and mentally. If Desdemona slapped Othello back, Othello’s rage may have made the scene much more physical and violent. This connects to the idea that just as a mother understands her baby’s bad temper, Desdemona treats Othello like a child and does not demand vengeance. This justifies that she handled her predicament in a mature manner, and acted on what is right. Desdemona asserts control over her emotions, and this is the stronger way of handling an adverse situation.

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