Contemporary audiences are interested in the balance of power in between the sexes in Shakespeare’s play Othello. Discuss this statement with close reference to a minimum of 2 essential scenes. The spread of power within society is not one of equality with some having the ability to put in more on others.
The function, value and particularly the power of guys in Shakespeare’s play Othello has actually originated from the values and beliefs of society at the time of Shakespeare, however Shakespeare in the play has levelled the balance of power experienced by men and women in the play recommending that woman are of importance and do possess power which men force lady to constrain through the use of male dominance and strength the men have.
The society of Othello is highly controlled by males who are the political and military leaders of their homeland whereas women are thought of as weak second class citizens, without any morals and who remain in place for absolutely nothing more than to serve their guys. This theme is clearly obvious in the relationship of Emilia and Iago and later on in the play in between Othello and Desdemona where the woman remains in some sense abused by the male due to the lack of power they experience in Venetian society.
The power the men possess are various, where Othello and Cassio are given hierarchical power, Iago has the power of language, but the power they have over lady are the same, strength and what society has actually determined for the sexes. The relationship between Iago and Emilia shows how guys misuse their power over women which their relationship is therefore characterised by sarcasm and mistrust.
Emilia has two important speeches on the subject of the power males have in Act 3 scene 4, she states that males consume lady hungrily and after that when they are complete, they belch them out and the other being let spouses understand their wives have sense like them. These speeches show how Emilia understands and upsets the power guys are provided and that in a male dominated culture where women serve guys’s desires and are dealt with as something less than human. Act 3 Scene 3 shows how little power Emilia is given in the play because of Iago’s strength. Emilia discovers the scarf that Iago so desperately desires.
The scarf in this scene becomes a symbol of power instead of fidelity. Emilia attempts to use the scarf to her advantage by informing him about it so he will pay some attention to her. When she informs Iago that she has a “thing” for him he laughs. This demonstrates how little respect Iago has for his better half Emilia. When she produces the scarf Iago instantly demands the scarf and snatches it from her. Emilia demands he give it back however he dismisses her and due to the power society has positioned on woman, she obediently listens and leaves.
Emilia is not able in this scene to break the chains society has actually put on her, she possess no power over him in the kind of strength or rights. The balance of power at the end of the play is tipped. Where Iago when had power over Emilia, Emilia is now able to put in power over her partner due to Iago’s power of strength and the unidentified being eliminated from him due to the presence of other guys in the room and Emilia exposing his strategy. After Desdemona’s death Emilia convinces Othello that the “honest” Iago is not so honest but rather deceptive.
When Iago comes in and mentions “I charge you, get you house” Emilia strikes back with “I am bound to speak”. She stands her ground versus her hubby; Shakespeare has put the reality into a woman’s mouth which is the supreme method of providing a character power. Throughout the play Emilia’s pleas to Othello about Desdemona’s innocence was neglected but the power of speech she applied in this end scene convinces Othello of Desdemona’s innocence. This is uncharacteristic of the time as females were viewed to have no morals or know the distinction between ideal and incorrect.
The relationship between Othello is different to that of Emilia and Iago. They are presented at first as preferably loving and based upon shared trust but Iago’s manipulation and deceptive powers altered the relationship into one of Othello’s dominance and mistrust of Desdemona. Desdemona development through the play is opposite to that of Emilia. Desdemona is presented as strong, independent character however as the play advances she becomes the quiet loyal better half whereas Emilia gains self-confidence throughout the play.
Act 1 scene 3 shows how Desdemona was a confident character and was sure of what she wanted in life. When her future husband is accused of bewitching her, she instantly safeguards her love for him. “And so much Duty as my mom revealed to you, preferring you prior to her father, a lot that I may proclaim due to the Moor my lord”. Desdemona, nevertheless, despite propositions from numerous suitors and public frustration, continues her pursuit of Othello, and weds him. The modification of Desdemona’s character and the powerlessness experienced by Desdemona is shown in the scene of Desdemona’s death.
Othello demands Desdemona house and she abides like the obedient partner. When Othello concerns the space to murder her she attempts to safeguard herself announcing her innocence og whatever crime she might have committed. Othello does not even tell Desdemona the criminal activity she devoted which portrays the disrespect Othello now has for his spouse and how her opinion on the criminal activity doesn’t matter as she is a female. The scene clearly indicates that Desdemona has no power according to Othello.
The values and beliefs of a society determine the power you hold is communicated through the relationships between men and women in the play of Othello. Shakespeare levelled the balance of power in the play somewhat however in the end the guys’s power was excessive for the ladies. At the end of the play, the males of Othello are not the ones who represent strength; rather, this title goes to the ladies due to the courage revealed by Emilia at the end of the play by defending Desdemona. Othello is weak as he killed himself to prevent any penalties for his crime.