Iago uses the implications of gender roles throughout the play. He creates doubt about Othello’s masculinity, and feeds off of the anxiety these observations create. Iago is not immune to the negative impact of gender standards that cannot be fulfilled. Mark Breitenberg describes these feelings as “…male, heterosexual jealousy – the anxiety and violence engendered in men by a patriarchal economy that constructs masculine identity” and explains these anxieties are “…dependent on the coercive and symbolic regulation of women’s sexuality” (377). Iago’s hatred of Othello is due to the insecurity he feels about his own masculinity and it causes him to feel jealousy towards Othello. As Karen Newman opines, “Othello both figures monstrosity and at the same time represents the white male norms the play encodes through Iago” (153). He is as a brutish, savage monster, but these negative traits can be warped into desirable ones by means of masculine stereotypes. Othello is large, strong, and a warrior. ...
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...s entirely the tragic events portrayed in this play would not have occurred.
Breitenberg, Mark. "Anxious Masculinity: Sexual Jealousy in
Early Modern English." Feminist Studies 19.2 (1993): 377+. JSTOR. Feminist Studies Inc.,. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.
Marchitello, Howard. "Vesalius' "Fabrica" and Shakespeare's "Othello": Anatomy,
Gender and the Narrative Production of Meaning." Wayne State University Press
(1993): 529-59. Jstor. ITHAKA. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.
Newman, Karen. "And Wash the Ethiop White" : Femininity and the Monstrous in
Othello." Shakespeare Reproduced: The Text in History and Ideology. By
Elizabeth Howard and Marion F. O'Connor. New York: Routledge, 1990. 143-54.
Shakespeare, William. "Othello, The Moore of Venice." William Shakespeare:
Complete Works Illustrated. Ann Arbor, M.I.: Edwards Brothers, 2009.
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