Women´s Portrayal in Shakespeare´s Othello

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The play Othello is presented as a male-dominated society where women are only recognized as property; objects to own and to bear children. Women in the Elizabethan society and in Shakespeare society were not seen as equal to men and were expected to be loyal to their husbands, be respectful, and to not go against their husbands judgements or actions. Shakespeare presents Desdemona, Emilia , and Bianca as women in the Elizabethan time where they were judged based on their class, mortality, and intelligence. Shakespeare makes his female characters act the way they would be expected to act in an Elizabethan society. The role of these women in Othello is crucial because they show how women were treated and how unhealthy their relationships between men really were in both Elizabethan and Shakespeare's society. Desdemona is portrayed as the highest class a female could accomplish. She is elegant, honest and loyal to her husband as any other good Elizabethan married woman would be. She is presented as the ideal woman. Desdemona symbolizes innocence and helplessness against men. Shakespeare presents Desdemona as a mature and knowledgeable woman for her age as she defends her love for Othello to her father, Brabantio. However this is seen differently in the eye's of the society. Brabantio declares her as "Against all rules of nature"(scene.. line...). This statement reveals what the society believes what is natural and what is unnatural. To the society, "natural" is when a women complies to their husbands and fathers wishes, but it's unnatural for a women to do anything else. Women are referred to as property, clearly stated when Desdemona's father angrily calls Othello a "theif" (scene...line..). Here, Brabantio addresses Desde... ... middle of paper ... ...es not see her as a wife material and this explains why he shows no commitment towards her. Bianca knows she deserves much better than the way Cassio treats her and this is prove when she leaves him. Bianca is a little bit like Emilia in a sense where she stands up for something and in this case it's for herself, " I am no strumpet, but a life as honest as you thus abuse me." (scene 5, lines 142). With this character Shakespeare shows that the lower class women know they deserve better but they lack the power to be heard because they are considered as nobodies. Bianca would be Emilia's follower is Emilia made a move to fight for women's rights. However even Emilia treats Bianca poorly because she believes what men say about her. Men have so much control in this society and Shakespeare has a little bit of a change in the women in his play. Works Cited Othello
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