The Feminine Perspective in Othello Essay

The Feminine Perspective in Othello Essay

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The Feminine Perspective in Othello  

 
    Just how do women see things in William Shakespeare’s tragic drama Othello? What is their perspective on narrative developments? Let’s analyze the feminine point of view in this essay.

 

It was Emilia’s gift of the decorated kerchief to her husband that set up Desdemona for murder. Helen Gardner in “Othello: A Tragedy of Beauty and Fortune” talks of Emilia’s outlook on things:

 

Emilia’s silence while her mistress lived is fully explicable in terms of her character. She shares with her husband the generalizing trick and is well used to domestic scenes. The jealous, she knows,

 

are not ever jealous for the cause

But jealous for they are jealous.

 

If it was not the handkerchief it would be something else. Why disobey her husband and risk his fury? It would not do any good. This is what men are like. But Desdemona dead sweeps away all such generalities and all caution. At this sight, Emilia though ‘the world is a huge thing’ finds that there is a thing she will not do for it. By her heroic disregard for death she gives the only ‘proof’ there can be of Desdemona’s innocence: the testimony of faith. For falseness can be proved, innocence can only be believed. Faith, not evidence, begets faith. (145)

 

At the outset of the play only the male perspective is given: Iago persuades the rejected suitor of Desdemona, Roderigo, to accompany him to the home of Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, in the middle of the night. Once there the two awaken the senator with loud shouts about his daughter’s elopement with Othello. In response to the noise and Iago’s vulgar descriptions of Desdemona’s involvement with the general, Brabantio arises from bed. With ...


... middle of paper ...


...ief-stricken by remorse for the tragic mistake he has made, stabs himself and dies on the bed next to his wife.

 

The feminine perspective is varied and inconsistent, but enables the truth to come out and goodness to triumph in the end.

 

WORKS CITED

 

Di Yanni, Robert. “Character Revealed Through Dialogue.” Readings on The Tragedies. Ed. Clarice Swisher. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1996. Reprint from Literature. N. p.: Random House, 1986.

 

Gardner, Helen. “Othello: A Tragedy of Beauty and Fortune.” Readings on The Tragedies. Ed. Clarice Swisher. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1996. Reprint from “The Noble Moor.” British Academy Lectures, no. 9, 1955.

 

Shakespeare, William. Othello. In The Electric Shakespeare. Princeton University. 1996. http://www.eiu.edu/~multilit/studyabroad/othello/othello_all.html No line nos.

 

 

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