Twenty First Century Morals Make William Shakespeare's Othello Outdated

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Twenty First Century Morals Make William Shakespeare's Othello Outdated I will be exploring the different views held by both Emilia and Desdemona on the subject of men and women’s moral and social status. Ideas of the contrast between men and women run throughout ‘Othello’ by William Shakespeare and analysing the two leading female characters will enable us to understand this to a greater extent. I shall analyse and compare these two characters in order to make a conclusion about whether or not this play is outdated. Emilia represents women’s rights in the play and is a character that often expresses her opinions without a thought of the consequences. This is a good character for the play to uphold as she is able to represent the truthful but hidden opinions of many women in the 17th century. Women were powerless in Shakespeare’s times and were expected to be merely accessories of men and to do as their husbands pleased. Emilia believes that women should be entitled to all the things which men have, “Have not we affections, desires for sport and frailty, as Men have?” This shows a very brave attitude and a somewhat unique opinion as women often thought nothing more of the fact that men were always the leaders and were superior. The character gathers much interest from the audience due to these views, which on Shakespeare’s part, show a fascinating insight and understanding of women’s potential beyond 17th century tradition. Emilia also begins to undermine her husband, Iago, and disgraces him in comparison with herself: “, what should such a fool Do with so good a wife?” This shows, amongst other things, th... ... middle of paper ... of the status and roles of women of his time. He has shown us different examples of women with multiple different classes and the relationships between the levels of expectations from women and their attitude towards their personal roles. From a modern perspective it is difficult to see why people accepted living in such a land of great bias and why men felt so superior to all others. Many take for granted the fact that we live in a world of equality and opportunity for all, but it is attributable to men such as Shakespeare for introducing such proposals, that ideas of equality were extended to form the complexity of modern society as we know it. “Let husbands know Their wives have sense like them; they see and smell, And have their palates both for sweet and sour As husbands have. What is it they do,"

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