A feminist interpretation of Othello focuses on the attitudes towards women; the way in which their sexuality is transferred into whoredom and their role in regards to men, is specified from birth – evident in Iago’s assertion “You rise to play, and go to bed to work”. William Shakespeare focuses on societal expectations of women in Elizabethan society through the three women present in the play, Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca. Grade: A. Othello as a tragic play. Shakespeare’s Women William Shakespeare authored 37 plays, many of which feature rich characterizations of women. The men of this society view women as possessions. 1183 Words 5 Pages. Othello serves as an example to demonstrate the expectations of the Elizabethan patriarchal society, the practice of privileges in patriarchal marriages, and the suppression and restriction of femininity. When viewing Othello in a feminist’s perspective, the audience can also observe the treatments of the three main female characters in the play; Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca. And I was going to your lodging, Cassio. ... Emilia, and Bianca. In Othello we see a marriage that started off good, but with the help of Iago, soon turns rocky and results in the strangling of Desdemona and the stabbing of … Othello, however, doesn't recognize the difference between these women—he's persuaded that Desdemona is cheating even though there's no real proof. Essay Details: Subject: English. Desdemona's is the angel with her obedient and submissive nature, Bianca is the whore with her promiscuous disregard for social structure, and Emilia is the balance of both, being the nonconforming feminist… Othello Feminist Analysis Essay; ... Emilia (middle class), and Bianca (lower class). Feminist Lens In Othello. OPTIONS: Show cue speeches • Show full speeches # Act, Scene, Line (Click to see in context) Speech text: 1. III,4,2370. Because Bianca is a courtesan in a city renowned for prostitution and promiscuity, she's a foil to the chaste and ever-faithful Desdemona. Author: Marya A. Length: 3 / 681. A feminist analysis of the play Othello allows us to judge the different social values and status of women in the Elizabethan society. Essay text: She is dismissed and disrespected. This culture was borne of the perspective that women were of a lower worth in society than men, a view reflected in the treatment of the majority of women by the men in . 2. during “Othello’s growing ascendancy, criticism has been transformed by feminist, African American, and post-colonialist studies, to whose central concerns the play seems directly to appeal” (2). It is still so common to see many of the points presented in the book till this day, men believing that they are … A feminist reading would give voice to the play's three female characters: Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca (the play's only female survivor), provoking sympathy within the audience for them and portraying them as the true victims of the avoidable tragedy. For example, Iago seems to believe that “it is thought abroad that ‘twixt my sheets/He’s done my office” (I.3.381-2). III,4,2366. Introduction. The Role of Women in Othello: A Feminist Reading William Shakespeare’s “Othello” can be read from a feminist perspective. She too has grown used to being transported around behind her husband. Othello serves as an example to show the expectations of the Elizabethan patriarchal society, the practice of privileges in patriarchal marital relationships, and the suppression and restriction of womanhood. . There is an apparent hierarchy when it came to men and women in Elizabethan times. . which can be explained by showing that Desdemona is an . That changed in the late 20th century, however, when feminist critics underscored Desdemona’s initial independence and Emilia’s eventual strength, and outlined the ways both women – as well as the courtesan Bianca – were constrained by the male characters’ patriarchal suppositions. Sexism has become ubiquitous and rampant in modern society, especially appearing in the form of crude humor, abuse, and sexual objectification in media. Because she is the daughter of a man with high power, a senator, Desdemona enjoys speaking freely and openly like she does in Act I. In the meantime, Bianca comes along with Desdemona’s handkerchief, which Cassio gave her to copy. in Othello Ruth Vanita University of Montana - Missoula, ... Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Commons. Considered one of Shakespeare’s masterworks, Othello takes on a variety of themes, but like many of Shakespeare’s plays, the portrayal of strong and complex female characters lend a feminist undertone to the story. Emilia falls in the middle of this spectrum. A feminist analysis of the play Othello allows us to judge the different social values and status of women in the Elizabethan society. Critical Interpretations of Othello - Racism and Feminism. A HANDKERCHIEF): A FEMINIST READING OF SHAKESPEARE’S OTHELLO2 The exploration of female characters in Othello (Desdemona, Emilia, Bianca) represents a valid basis for feminist Shakespeare criticism. Othello in its original context especially regarding the positions of Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca. Level: University. This was not the fashion of Elizabethan […] Lisa Jardine (1996) focuses on the significance of … Speeches (Lines) for Bianca in "Othello" Total: 15. print/save view. In this play there are only three women in the entire play. There are only three women in ‘Othello’: Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca. Let us know ... destitution like Barbary, or to become a whore like Bianca. ... How have such values been explored in Feminist and Marxist readings of Othello? Meanwhile, Othello only presents us with three female characters — Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca. Date: May 21, 2016. - Othello is split between being a black man, and being a black man trying to fit into a white society - At the beginning of the play, Othello is an honorary white man but becomes a "total outsider" to society because his relationship with Desdemona ruins his "precarious entry into the white world" Whether intentional or not, William Shakespeare’s Othello can be viewed (help) from a feminist perspective. Othello loves Desdemona but more or less treats her as his possession and a trophy since their marriage. Othello is a great play to analyze with many different types of literature criticisms, but Feminist Criticism analyzes the plot and the main characters situation most. Bianca is a courtesan, or prostitute, and while we sympathize with her, we recognize that she has little social value in the Elizabethan context. The three women are Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca. ... Othello Ongoing: Feminist and Postcolonial Adaptations. Shakespeare has used Bianca to voice these concerns. A feminist analysis of the play Othello allows us to evaluate the various social values and status of females in the Elizabethan society. The main ideas of Othello are jealousy and revenge. Photo by Carol Pratt. Save you, friend Cassio! The exploration of female characters in Othello (Desdemona, Emilia, Bianca) represents a valid basis for feminist Shakespeare criticism. Bianca is treated on several layers as a mere object and means to an ends by the men in the play. An analysis of women being victims in Othello: Othello is a play written by William Shakespeare in the 1600s, this essay is from a feminist perspective. The third female character, Bianca, is considered a minor presence in the play, but she too represents the opposite extreme to Desdemona’s perfection. In the Shakespeare play ‘ Othello’, Desdemona, Emelia and Bianca have […] Read more. Othello is a tragic play, which was written in 1604 by William Shakespeare. FEMINIST READING. Cassio is an ambitious lieutenant under Othello's command. Lisa Jardine (1996) focuses on the significance of the historical and cultural background for the interpretation of the position and role of women in the Renaissance by emphasizing that obedience, passivity and silence represent their mainfeatures. The Evolving Face of Feminism: Shakespearean Attitude Regarding Women For eons, females have been subjugated under the vice-like grip of men. Women’s Roles in Othello Shakespearean England was a thoroughly patriarchal society, with very few rights for women. Desdemona (Janie Brookshire) and Emilia (Karen Peakes) in Othello at Folger Theatre, 2011. It was about a black army general, Othello who married the white daughter of a leading politician, Desdemona; their relationship was difficult to sustain in an era of racism and sexism. While Othello looks, Iago asks Cassio about Bianca, a subject that provokes the laughter of Cassio. ... Bianca, quiet and innocent, plays the traditional role of a woman well, while Katherine rebels and refuses to be ordered around by any man. August 26, 2020 by Essay Writer. Women during Elizabethan age are assumed to have spent their lives in the service of men - prearranged marriages, child rearing, and their role as sexual objects. The Role of Women in Othello: A Feminist Reading There are only three women in ‘Othello’: Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca. In Act I, Desdemona puts up a front with her dad. Cassio does not truly respect Bianca and treats her only as a secret that he intends to keep hidden. This serves as the “ocular proof” that Othello wanted — he’s now fully convinced that his wife was unfaithful, and he’s going mad with grief and a desire for revenge. Read more Cassio is affectionate towards Bianca, but she is secondary to his career. Despite her elevated status owing to her husband’s rank, she is a woman and cannot escape her fate. Bianca is Cassio's love interest in Othello. Shakespeare on the other hand has portrayed women as … A Feminist Analysis of Othello In William Shakespeare’s tragic play Othello there are numerous instances of obvious sexism aimed at the three women in the drama -- Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca – and aimed at womankind generally. A Play About a Handkerchief is set in the ‘back room of the palace on Cyprus’, where we see the play of Othello through the eyes of its female characters – Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca. In Othello the female characters of Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca are each assigned these roles. Through the lens of these emerging disciplines, one discovers that Bianca, not the title character, has been most maligned by critics. Bianca. V ogel, as a feminist, expresses her views toward . Each of these women are seen as whores in one way or another; Bianca is directly known as a whore or a prostitute, Iago convinces himself and Othello that Desdemona is a whore, and although it is portrayed less, Iago is convinced that Othello took his wife, Emilia, to bed as well. Feminist Critique of the Character Desdemona in Othello. Title: Feminism in Othello. 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