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The Feminist And Women In Shakespeare's Othello

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The Feminist and the Conservative

Desdemona and Emilia are two of the main characters in William Shakespeare’s Othello. While one of them is the overly virtuous wife of the play’s protagonist and tragic hero, the other one is wife to one of the most clever and maquiavelic everlasting villains. Throughout the play, the sweet and old-fashioned Desdemona reveals to be a satisfying wife and a great friend, and she also denotes unquestionable ignorance to her surroundings. On the other hand, the open minded and slightly cynical Emilia supplies a huge contrast to her mistresses’ persona; a feminist way ahead of her time. Despite coming from different social backgrounds and having different personalities, both women find the same faith by dying at
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The naive Desdemona unconsciously follows along Iago’s Masterplan when she concedes herself to be spotted with Cassio in Act III, sc iii confirming Iago’s statement to Othello of Desdemona’s disloyalty. She is unaware of honest Iago’s true personality as she says, “I never knew/ A Florentine more kind and honest”. The same way Othello thinks of Iago as an honourable and honest man, Desdemona has that perspective of her husband’s ensign, and would never suspect of his multiple malicious…show more content…
Emilia, still worried about how Desdemona might feel, hands the handkerchief to Iago:
If it not be for some purpose of import,/ Give’t me again. Poor lady, she’ll run mad/ When she shall lack it. (III, iii. 73)
Emilia’s ignorance blossoms in this scene as she gives her husband’s the object that will make his plan fall in place. Desdemona lying about the missing state of her handkerchief and Emilia giving said handkerchief to Iago demonstrates their lack of awareness of what is happening around them. Two honest women doing what they think is right would never imagine that they are puppets in Iago’s show. In the same way they show to be ignorant of their surroundings, both Emilia and Desdemona show they can brave and speak up their minds.

Desdemona shows genuine courage when she stands up against her father, who does not approve of her marriage to Othello. When Brabantio finds out that his sweet Desdemona is now married, he accuses Othello of being a foul thief and taking his daughter away from him. When accusations are raised against Othello by Brabantio, she is quick to be audacious enough to stand up against her father to defend her