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Strong Women of Shakespeare’s Othello

Strong Women of Othello

William Shakespeare often described the women in his plays as being strong, confident individuals, much different from the stereotypical roles of the time period in which he lived. In Much Ado about Nothing, the main character____(look up) —{describe role}. Similarly, in Macbeth, {discuss role of Lady Macbeth} The women of Othello also displayed characteristics of strong, modern women. ….

From the beginning of the play, we see that Desdemona is a courageous and decisive woman who pursues Othello, falling in love with his intrigued stories of adventure, seeing “Othello’s visage in his mind, and to his honors and valiant parts…” refusing the attempts of other suitors such as Roderigo. We become aware of Desdemona’s determination when she marries Othello, despite accusations from Iago that she is under a spell and is deceiving her father. When her fiancé is accused of bewitching her, she immediately defends her love for him. “And so much Duty as my mother showed to you, preferring you before her father, so much that I may profess due to the Moor my lord”. Like many of Shakespeare’s other female characters, Desdemona does not embody the stereotypical role of sixteenth century women. When Shakespeare wrote Othello, women had few rights and little power in society. They had virtually no say in arranging their own marriages, and were expected to marry a suitor chosen by their father. Desdemona, however, despite proposals from various suitors and public discouragement, continues her pursuit of Othello, and marries him. Although she is “…bound [to her father] for life and education…” , she affirms her belief that she belongs with Othello, and has such great love for him, so much that “a heave interim shall support his absence” .

Soon after their elopement, envious Iago convinces Othello that Desdemona has been unfaithful to him. Othello becomes enraged cursing Desdemona as a whore. When Othello questions her, we again see her strong sense of devotion, pleading for his trust rather than vehemently defending herself. “I hope my noble lord esteems me honest… Alas, what ignorant sin have I committed?” However, her faith in Othello is so strong that it undermines her “modern”, prideful characteristics. Consequently, Desdemona is really not as strong and educated as originally perceived, for she continues to attempt to maintain Othello’s trust, despite his incredibly harsh accusations. Although her arguments remain strong, the weakness in her character emerges, for she cannot see the monster that her husband is becoming, and failing to realize that he trusts Iago, a man who is extremely competitive with him, over his very wife’s word.

Pros and Cons of Long Distance Relationships

When I entered into my long distance relationship I was nervous, I had heard about how long distance relationships are unlikely to work in the long term. The first thing I did, living in the era of the internet, was to perform a Google search to see what exactly I could find to quell my nerves. It is evident from all the resources available—from the search “long distance relationship information” over 7.3 million results were found—that many others face similar fears. If we search for those people looking for help by typing in “long distance support group” then 5.6 million results are found. Clearly people lack security with their long distance relationships (hereon referred to as LDRs), and seek comfort from others on the internet.

I was shocked to find that statistics suggest that the differences in success rates between LDRs and close proximity relationships (hereon referred to as CPRs) are not enough to be significant. Indeed, “Individuals in LDRs demonstrate levels of relationship satisfaction, intimacy, trust, and commitment almost identical to the levels demonstrated by individuals involved in geographically close relationships, regardless of the amount of time spent together,” (Mietzner). So why is it that LDRs get such a bad reputation? According to CJ Arabia of this is due to the fact that, “Being in a long distance relationship isn’t for everyone. That’s why long distance relationships have such a bad reputation. They’re hard, painful, difficult, challenging and lonely.” I was unable to find any sources which did not agree with the statement that going long distance provides challenges which are not present in an CPR, but if that is true, one must question why it should not lead to increased difficulti…

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Mietzner, Sara, and Li Wen Lin. “Would You Do It Again?” College Student Journal39.1 (2005): 192-200. Print.

Pistole, M. C., Amber Roberts, and Johnathan E. Mosko. “Commitment Predictors: Long-Distance Versus Geographically Close Relationships.” Journal of Counseling and Development 88.2 (2010): 146-53. Academic Search Premier. Web. 27 Oct. 2011.

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