Roles Of Women In Othello Essay

Roles Of Women In Othello Essay-43
It is clear that in the times that this play was set the woman's place in society was to obey their husbands, and be faithful and pure.

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It is also true to say that the women fall into one of two categories or stereotypes - the innocent saintly women and the whoreish seductress.

Bianca - the first of the women I will discuss in the essay, fits easily into the latter category.

Bianca is a prostitute and very fond of Cassio, who tends to ignore her and treat her badly. Prithee bear some charity to my wit; do not think it so unwholesome. ' He clearly does not love her or ever intend on marrying her and is using her only for sex, but it is obviouse that Bianca loves him as her distress at his absence shows - '...lovers' absent hours More tediouse than the dial eight score times? Middle He cruely shows her up in front of everyone(Act2 Scene1).

We get a clear picture of how Bianca is regarded by the men in the play when Cassio says to Iago about marrying her (act4 scence1) - 'I marry her? Iago's opinion of women is made blatantly obviouse when he says - 'You (women) rise to play, and go to bed to work.' Although Emilia married to this man must put up with this kind of abuse regularily she is by no means quiet or timid.

The first Senators phrase 'use Desdemona well' (I.3.288) may suggest he hopes Othello will look after Desdemona, but is more likely to support the the expectations Venetian women had in the 1600s.

They were meant to be wives and to obey their husbands.

Furthermore the act of marriage was described as a purchase, as seen in Act II when Othello says to Desdemona 'The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue' (II.3.8-9), A woman is purchased by her husband and in turn is expected to fulfill his desires as payment for the privilege of being married to him.

Iago who seeks revenge on Othello for his assumption that Emilia and Othello had an affair wishes to be 'evened with him, wife for wife' (II.1.290) The women are only objects to be used by Iago to further his desire for revenge and therefore perfectly demonstrates the idea that women are possessions inferior to men.

In both cases above the women's disobedience to their husbands resulted in their death.

Althoug we do not discover what becomes of Bianca it is safe to assume that she continues her life in the same fashion with a continued amount of disrespect from the male characters.


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