Misogynistic Themes and Language used by Shakespeare

Good Essays

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 [31].) 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 [60]”). 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

Get Access
Get Access