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Role of Women in Shakespeare’s Othello

Role of Women in Othello

Throughout history the role of women has been heavily debated. Women have had to struggle for the rights they have today, even if some of us may still question if women really do have the same rights as a man. Whether it was getting the right to vote or even being able to join the work force, women have earned their place in society today.

There are many avenues that you could take to see and understand the role of women throughout history. For this essay, we will look at William Shakespeare’s Othello to see how he interputs women. There are three women in this play we can focus on. They are Desdemona, Bianca, and Emilia. As the story unfolds the roles of these women are set forth

The first women that I will discuss is Bianca. Bianca would be known as a modern day prositute. By analizing her relationship with Cassio, it seems as though Bianca really wanted to have some sort of relationship with him. An example of this is in scence 3,act 4. It begins as Desdomona and Emilia exit as Bianca enters. Bianca begins to question Cassio about his whereabouts.

“Bianca: ‘Save you, friend Cassio! Cassio: What make you from home? How is’t with you, my most fair Bianca? (I’faith,) sweet love was coming to your house. Bianca: And I was going to your lodging, Cassio. What,keep a week away? Seven days and nights, Eightscorce eight hours, and lovers’absent hours More tedious than the dial eightscorce times? O weary wreacking! Cassio: Pardon me, Bianca. I have this while withthis leaden thoughts been pressed, But I shall in a more continuate time Strike off this sorce of absence. Sweet Bianca, Take me this work out.”(page 165 lines 190- 204)

It is then that Cassio gives Bianca a “token” of his love. Upon reciving this “token”, Bianca becomes highly offended. She then acusses Cassio of having anohter lover.I find this very hard to believe. How could Bianca of all people have the nerve to question someone’s loyalty,whenit is her lack of loyalty that earns her money.The relationship between Bianca and Cassio is purely physical. Their relationship would fit the general sterotype, that women are only good for one thing.An example of this,lack of care, is when Iago and Cassio are talking about the relationship between Cassio and Bianca.

Shakespeare’s Othello – The Motivations of Iago in Othello

The Motivations of Iago in Othello

Have you ever met a devil who does evil for his own sake? Iago in William Shakespeare’s Othello could seem like he has good motives, but I feel that he uses them as his excuses. The first thing that I did was uncovered Iago’s motives. Iago is the most controversial character in Othello. He is able to keep his true thoughts and motives from everyone. Are his motives only excuses for his actions? Iago pretends to have so many motives that they seem more like excuses. Iago then uses these excuses to justify his actions, which are pure evil. I also feel that Iago has motives and actions that cause his actions. Does Iago have many different excuses, or does he only have one? This paper will prove that Iago has one clear motive and reason for his madness. Iago is not looking for justification that causes him to act the way he does. There is much more though to Iago. He is not a man of only excuses, he has goals with his motives, which causes him to act the way he does.

As early as the first scene of the play Iago shows us strong motives for his actions. In this first scene we see Othello, a general of Venice, has made Cassio his new lieutant. Iago feels he truly deserves his promotion as he says “I know my price, I am worth more no worse a place.”(l.i.12) Iago over here is confused why Othello has made such a stupid decision. Iago is a man with a tremendous ego who knows, sometimes overestimates, his worth. Roderigo, a Venetian gentleman, understands Iago when Iago said that he is “affined to love the Moor.”(l.i.41-42) What Iago really means is “I follow him to serve my term upon him.”(l.i.45) Iago wants to use Othello for his personal goals. We also must put ourselves into Iago’s shoes. He is a man whose self-esteem and professional carrier have just been torn apart. Iago makes his actions of revenge toward Othello almost immediately by informing Brabantio, a Venetian senator and father of Desdemona, that “an old black ram (Othello) is tupping (his) white ewe (Desdemona).”(l.i.97)

Iago’s next motive becomes clear when he convinces Othello “that he (Cassio) is too familiar with his (Othello’s) wife.” (1,iii.4399) Iago’s motive here is to break the bond between Othello and Desdemona.

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