Ideals of Females in Othello
Suitables of Women in Othello What is the perfect female? The action to this by today’s society might differ to that of renaissance society. In the Renaissance, ladies were seen as belongings. Their duty was to wed a guy and show obedience and chastity. These expectations of women are shown in the play Othello, by William Shakespeare. In the play, the two popular ladies, Desdemona and Emilia, both recognize the expectations of females at the time. However, the two women disagree in their views on the subject. Desdemona tries to be the perfect better half whereas Emilia takes a more feminist method.
In Othello, Desdemona and Emilia’s views on the role of women explains the traits of each character and are associated with major themes of the story. Both Desdemona and Emilia have various views on the concept of chastity. In Act 4, there is a scene where the 2 are having a private conversation. This conversation starts with Desdemona asking Emilia if she would cheat on her husband for the entire world. Emilia responses by saying “The world’s a big thing. It is a fantastic cost for a little vice.” (4. 3. 54). In contrast, Desdemona answers her own concern by stating “I ‘d never do such a bad thing, not for the whole world! (4. 3. 58). Emilia’s answer is stating that she would think about cheating on her spouse if the benefit was large enough. Desdemona’s answer contrasts this by stating that she would never cheat under any scenarios. This part of the play shows the argument in between the two characters on the topic of chastity. Emilia selects a more feminist response which acknowledges that she has the choice of cheating on her husband. Desdemona’s answer is more conventional of the time, revealing that there is no option. Desdemona and Emilia likewise disagree on the idea that ladies amount to males.
In the exact same conversation, Emilia tells Desdemona: Let other halves understand Their better halves have sense like them. They see and smell And have their palates both for sweet and sour, As partners have. What is it that they do When they change us for others? Is it sport? I think it is. And doth affection breed it? I believe it doth. Is’t frailty that hence errs? It is so too. And have not we love, Desires for sport, and frailty, as males have? Then let them use us well, else let them know, The ills we do, their ills advise us so. (4. 3. 70-79)
Emilia is stating that ladies are the very same as their husbands because they are both human being and both. She then continues to present answers as to why men like to cheat on their wives and says that females want the exact same things. After she says this, Desdemona says goodnight to her and the scene ends. Desdemona’s failure to give any sort of support or contract to Emilia’s declaration shows that she does not share the same perspective. This part of the play shows the dispute between the 2 on equality amongst men and women. Emilia once again takes a feminist approach whereas Desdemona stops working to concur due to her standard views.
Both characters viewpoints on how to serve as a partners connects to characteristics they provide in the story. Desdemona’s has the traditional perspective of an ideal spouse at the time of the story. This view causes her to look like a downtrodden woman. At the beginning of Act 4, Othello concerns Desdemona about her unfaithful on him. Desdemona’s response does not please Othello and he proceeds to strike her. After this takes place, we see Desdemona’s weakness: Othello: Oh, you devil, you devil! You can weep all day and all night, and I still will not think you’re sad. Get out of my sight!
Desdemona: I wouldn’t want to stay here and make you angry. (4. 1. 195-196) Othello does not see remorse in Desdemona’s tears, and tells her to get out of his sight. Desdemona responds to this with obedience by leaving and pleasing Othello. This part of the play shows how Desdemona is easily mistreated and how she stops working to stand up for herself. Rather than mentioning her case to Othello, she picks to accept penalty for something she didn’t do. If Desdemona was a more independent and stronger woman like Emilia, she might have safeguarded herself. Desdemona’s obedience in the story eventually leads to the abuse she gets.
Emilia’s more feminist viewpoint in the story triggers her to be more independent. Unlike Desdemona, she does not take abuse quickly. At the start of Act 2, Desdemona, Emilia, Cassio and Iago are speaking while awaiting Othello’s ship to get here. At this point, Iago honestly insults Emilia and she reacts: Iago: Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk. You increase to play and go to bed to work Emilia: You shall not compose my praise. Iago is honestly insulting Emilia, saying that she slouches and only appreciates sex. Emilia’s action is saying that Iago has absolutely nothing great to say about her.
This part of the play reveals Emilia self-reliance. If Desdemona remained in the same situation, she would have accepted and concurred with the insult. Rather, Emilia puts forth her discontent to Iago. Emilia standing up to her other half associates with her feminist perspective. Shakespeare utilizes these two various types of women to display irony at the end of the story. Both Emilia and Desdemona are murdered, however in different methods. Emilia is stabbed by Iago and Desdemona is smothered by Othello. Desdemona’s death is more harsh and disgraceful, which show the paradox in the story.
This is ironic because Desdemona was the more ideal and practically ideal wife and she got the shameful death rather than Emilia, the more feminist outspoken wife. Desdemona and Emilia’s opposing views on the function of ladies are clear in the story. The views assist discuss the traits of each character and they assist Shakespeare tie irony into the story. Although this dispute is not the major theme of the story, it is still extremely relevant. The fact that William Shakespeare, a man, wrote a play with feminist views within it was really cutting-edge thinking about the time.