Is The Fear Of Marriage In Tobias Wolff's Othello And Much Ado About Nothing?

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It is not unusual for one to feel apprehensive about marriage; to marry is to commit, which can be quite frightening for many people. One of the most significant hesitations people have about marriage is the fear of being controlled by another person. Likewise, the trepidation of marrying someone who is the opposite of how they first appeared is a very prevalent feeling, especially in literature. These concerns are portrayed by the characters in William Shakespeare’s Othello and Much Ado About Nothing. Correspondingly, the characters described in Tobias Wolff’s “Say Yes” as well as Robert Browning’s “Porphyria's Lover” depict similar emotions and apprehensions to those in Shakespeare’s plays. The fear of being controlled and the fear of choosing the wrong person can both have drastic effects on a marriage, as well as one’s identity as a whole. Sacrificing freedom and being controlled by one’s spouse is a very prominent feeling for many when entering a marriage. This is especially true in William Shakespeare’s, Othello, which takes place during the Elizabethan era; a time when women were condemned for speaking out, especially against their husbands. In a private conversation with Desdemona, Emilia reveals her belief that “it is their husbands' faults/If wives do fall. Say that they slack their duties,/And pour our treasures into foreign laps;/Or else break out in peevish jealousies,/Throwing restraint upon us. Or say they strike us,/Or scant our former having in

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