Analysis Of ' Othello ' By William Shakespeare

1572 Words Oct 24th, 2016 7 Pages
In examining the character of Othello’s Emilia as constituting the definition of feminist or even proto-feminist, a few challenges present themselves. Few things are quite as difficult, arguably even impossible; to discern as the mind of an author when all one has to interpret their thinking is a piece of artistic work. When this difficulty is compounded by hundreds of years of distance from the author’s time of existence, it easy to transmit ones desired meanings and intentions on an aspect of a work that the author had not even an inkling of desire to put forth. Nevertheless, arguments can be made, tested, and broken with what little knowledge one possesses. Shakespeare no doubt had little conception of what “Feminism” in any modern or even outdated sense is. However, in presenting some of his morality through the character of Emilia and her interactions with the men in her life he may have foresaw some of its patterns if not it’s resolutions. Emilia’s first scene introduces her alongside her husband Iago. After Cassio shows her courtesy by kissing her, Iago reacts by implying that she is unworthy of such courtesy as she is too talkative for a proper lady. This could be interpreted as an expression of jealousy, of claiming Emilia’s inferiority while asserting ownership of her. Emilia objects with Desdemona showing some solidarity and Iago responds by emphatically insisting on her duplicity of nature and crudely referencing her sexuality. Iago then lapses into what…
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