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Free Othello Essay: The Disobedient Wife

An Outspoken Wife as the Penalty for Dishonesty in Othello

In William Shakespeare’s Othello, the loyalty of a woman to a man includes being silent and obedient. Emilia clearly follows these guidelines of silence and obedience until her epiphany in which she learns of Iago’s dishonesty. Shakespeare implies that the penalty for a man’s dishonesty is an outspoken, disobedient wife.

Emilia literally causes Iago’s downfall, which is brought on due to Iago’s overestimation of Emilia’s loyalty.

“‘Tis proper I obey him, but not now” (5.2.203).

Because Emilia remains loyal to Iago throughout the play, Iago relies totally on the belief that Emilia will remain obedient to him. Emilia proves her loyalty to Iago by stealing the handkerchief that Othello gave Desdemona:

My wayward husband hath a hundred times

Wooed me to steal it, but she so loves the token–


I’ll have the work ta’en out,

And give ‘t Iago

I nothing but to please his fancy. (3.3.308-309, 312-313, 315)

In taking the ch…

The Nymph Rejects the Shepherd

The Nymph Rejects the Shepherd

“The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” is Sir Walter Raleigh’s poem of compassionate rejection in response to Christopher Marlowe’s poem “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.” The reasons the nymph gives for her rejection are just excuses; her real reason for turning the shepherd down is her lack of love for him.

The nymph responds to the shepherd’s proposal to “come live with me and be my love” (1) by saying all of the things he wants to give her will fade, whither, and be forgotten; therefore, she cannot accept his offer. The shepherd lists in his poem many beautiful things he will give the nymph and all of the wonderful things they will do together. “And we will sit upon the rocks, / Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks…And I will make thee …

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