Throughout Othello and Shakespeare’s Sonnets, there are a plethora of misogynistic themes and language. However, it is not fair to assume that these are misogynistic works. The misogyny observed in the texts is conscience on the part of the author and is not meant to be emulated. Shakespeare is making artistic and social statements in every instance of misogyny.
The dominant attitude of the men observed in Othello is that women are fickle, disloyal, and flawed in character. Ironically, the only individuals we see with these characteristics in Othello are men. Iago is by far the most misogynistic (“[Women] rise to play and go to bed to work .) and traitorous character, and accordingly, is the villain. If Othello was truly meant to be a misogynistic text, it is unlikely that Iago would be the antagonist and Desdemona would be one of the few trustworthy characters. The feelings Othello harbors related to misogyny are side effects of a deeper, underlying issue with his race. He is easily swayed by Iago because he already had a seed of doubt about his relationship with Desdemona; all Iago had to do was water it (“…Not to affect many proposed matches of her own clime, complexion, and degree, whereto we see in all things nature tends ”). Since Othello has no confidence in himself, it is easy for him to assume that Desdemona would have an affair.
Trusting Iago led Othello to agree with Iago’s beliefs, that women are “whores” and cannot be trusted. It is obvious that
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The society in which Othello takes place is a patriarchal one, where men had complete control over women. They were seen as possessions rather than being just as equally human and capable of duties performed by men. All women of the Elizabethan were to obey all men, fathers, brothers, husbands, etc. Which leads me to the most reliable and trustworthy character of Desdemona, whom goes through many trials just to satisfy her love. Shakespeare brings the thought of Desdemona into the play by Barbantio, her father, “It is too true an evil. Gone she is.\...Oh, she deceives me\ Past thought! …” (1.1.163)(1.1.168-169), whom has just found she has taken off with Othello and firstly suspects they have been hitched. Shakespeare gives reader the
Shakespeare’s play Othello is based on tragedy of Othello’s jealousy, which ironically leads Othello to kill Desdemona, his beloved (wife). Evil Iago is above all Shakespeare’s villains. Iago is a person with evil emotions, and as a result he deceives everybody, he also is exceptionally influential character who has taken in everyone, above all his own wife Emilia. His public face of bravery and honesty conceals a satanic delight in manipulation and destruction, and he will stop at nothing. Iago’s opinion on women is that he detests women in all kinds and shapes, and finds faults even when they have little or no faults.
Othello is an easy target in this drama, because Iago already knows that he is a very insecure person. With that stated, it will be easy for Iago to use Othello’s jealousy to trick him into thinking that Desdemona is an unfaithful wife. Iago will manipulate the way Othello sees things in order to convince him that what he sees is innocent acts between Desdemona and Casillo. Iago’s starts to plant the idea in Othello’s head of an affair after Othello sees Casillo rush leaving Desdemona in a manner that looked as though he is guilty (1223). Alone with Othello, Iago begins to make Othello feel threatened by Casillo and Desdemona’s apparent relationship by bringing up the fact that Casillo served as Desdemona’s and Othello’s go-between during the time of their courtship. The conversation ends with Iago asking Othello to watch carefully of Desdemona and Casillo, and Iago exits giving Othello time to question the accusation of Iago (1225-1228).
Starting off, Othello allows Iago to tamper with his mind and does nothing to stop it. Othello puts all of his trust in him, but Iago is just hiding behind a mask and only wishes to torment Othello. Othello is not aware of his surroundings and the people there, making him vulnerable. If he paid more attention to Desdemona and not Iago than he would not have thought to kill his loyal wife. Othello jumps to conclusions too quickly
Othello is set during the Elizabethan era, where men were considered to be the leaders and women their inferiors. Women were often regarded as the ‘weaker sex’. This patriarchal society and theme of male superiority is portrayed throughout the play. These themes are depicted through the relationships between the characters. Brabantio and Desdemona’s relationship shows how he believed the traditional Elizabethan view, that men were to control and dominate their wife’s or daughters. He is furious at Othello for stealing his daughter from him. Also, Othello’s masculinity is destroyed through the poisoning of his mind against Desdemona, his wife. Iago also treats his wife
Some critics and other readers of Shakespeare's plays argue that he treats women with disrespect. However, he actually treats them with a great amount of respect. Shakespeare has been criticized by many modern writers for his portrayal of women.
Iago seems sincere enough, and he makes a concerted effort to ensure that he remains aces in everyone's book. So when Iago begins to plant the seeds of doubt into Othello's mind, Othello has no cause to doubt him. Desdemona is his wife, the woman that he loves with all his heart. Yet, see how quickly he is dissuaded, and how he disparages her. "Ay, let her rot, and perish, and be damn'd tonight, for she shall not live. No, me heart is turn'd to stone, I strike it, and it hurts my hand?I will chop her into messes. Cuckold me!" (1167). But Othello never thinks to disbelieve Iago. He believes Iago to be an honest man, wise and simply trying to help. So he doesn't stop to think that maybe he should talk this over with his wife before he launches himself into a state of panic.
Othello is the character with whom most of Iago's methods have success. His weakness as a jealous lover is apparent early on, but only after Iago’s has planted the seeds of doubt within his mind. Such is Othello’s trust for Iago that he uses the misnomer of describing Iago as ‘honest Iago’ and irony considering the action held within the play. The trust is obvious and implicit and thoroughly entrenched within the language. Othello surmises on the aforementioned doubts during the last act of the play when he says;
Othello, by William Shakespeare is well known for its richness in literary content and elements pertinent to societal ideas. Moreover, women are portrayed in Othello in ways that confirm, but also contradict their treatment in Shakespeare’s time. Both female action and language represent these ideas such as expectations for a wife and expectations for how a woman is to act. That said, there are many other lines spoken by these characters that defy the expectations placed on women at time. Overall, the feminist critical lens allows a reader to understand Othello and the manner in which it is slightly sexist and controversial. This lens allows the reader to observe both discrepancies of how women are treated, and common characteristics found
Throughout the length of Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello there is a steady undercurrent of sexism. It is originating from not one, but rather various male characters in the play, who manifest prejudicial, discriminatory attitudes toward women.
In “Historical Differences: Misogyny and Othello” Valerie Wayne implicates Iago in sexism. He is one who is almost incapable of any other perspective on women than a sexist one:
In William Shakespeare’s tragic play Othello there are numerous instances of obvious sexism aimed at the three women in the drama -- Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca – and aimed at womankind generally. Let us delve into this subject in this paper.
Women, especially Desdemona but Emilia as well, are obviously targets of male violence in Othello. For some reason Shakespeare’s play often put the emphasis on the role of the female characters and their influence on the main male characters. For instance, the result of the passionate love of Romeo for Juliet, the effect of Ophelia’s insanity had on hamlet, and so on. In Othello, Shakespeare made Desdemona and the other women in the play no different; Othello’s jalousie and love made the play a tragedy. Shakespeare made Desdemona the faithful wife of Othello. She was such a kindhearted and wished to make everything work even when the situation where she lost her handkerchief she tried to fix the situation and calming Othello. However, her innocent sympathy towards Cassio made lago’s lies more credible. Overall, one can say that her naïve nature causes her to become a target for the men in the play.
In the play Othello , Othello strongly represents feminist criticism because he cares so much about their relationship that he couldn’t handle the thought of her cheating on him. He played a big role in the play from being a powerful governor along with being a deep lover. Othello and Desdemona, the daughter of A senator from Venice, fell for each other and are married behind her father’s back. The father, Brabantio, finds out and says that Othello used his magic on her, but yet he still sent the two to Cyprus together. Othello captured Desdemona with his stories about his past and Desdemona quickly falls in love with him. Even though the love of the two is strong Othello lets his ensign Iago draw him into his lies about his woman showing
The male characters of the play view women in varied ways. Cassio often idealizes Desdemona, praising her positive characteristics, even believing that she is "perfection" (2.3.25). Iago's attitude towards women is largely critical and negative. He tells Emilia that women are "pictures out of doors, Bells in your parlors, wildcats in your kitchens, Saints in your injuries, devils being offended, Players in your huswifery, and huswives in your beds" (2.1.111-114), meaning that women are often deceptive. He later says, "She never yet was foolish that was fair, For even her folly helped her to an heir" (2.1.137-138). Iago's cynical attitude towards women continues throughout the play, as he talks of women as being foolish and unfaithful creatures. Othello's views on women are more complex than Iago's. Othello loves and praises Desdemona often in the play. He tells Iago, "But that I love the gentle Desdemona, I would not my unhoused free condition Put into circumscription and