Feminism in Othello Othello is a tragic play about an angry man, Iago, who does everything in his power to destroy the life of the hero, Othello, for promoting somebody else. In the play, there are only 2 major female characters and each of these characters embodies a completely different bias about women and feminism in the Elizabethan times. Desdemona, Othello’s wife and the more traditional character, believes in putting her husband first, and that love is all the matters. Emilia, on the other hand, is Iago’s wife and one of Desdemona’s dearest friends. She is the strong feminist in the play, and believes in women’s rights and the fact that women are physically no different to men.
For broken hearts to be mended, mercy must be thrust upon the sinner. King Lear admits his fault as a father: “I am a very foolish fond old man” (IV vii 61) to his beloved daughter, Cordelia. She seals their reconciliation: “No cause, no, cause.” (IV vii 77) They can now continue a
When Macbeth is doubting the decision to kill King Duncan, and his wife, Lady Macbeth, responds by challenging his manhood saying, “When you durst do it, you were a man; and to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man.” (Act 1. Scene 7. 55, 56, 57, 58) In this scene, Lady Macbeth is being very cruel and unforgiving in this act, acting more like the man society would expect Macbeth to be. In act 2, Macbeth is seen being very remorseful about his actions and decisions that led to him killing the king, generally playing the more feminine role, acting the way society would expect the female role to act. Lady Macbeth, on the other hand, is seen being very uncaring, nonchalant, and generally just very unconcerned with the situation and killing the king, the way society would expect the male role to play.
A scholar may read it that even though the man has given power to a woman it was given by a man who was feministic. King Lear soon chooses to banish his only loyal and loving daughter gives the power to his two eldest daughters. The eldest daughters are now powerful as well as being emotionless. This display of masculine characteristics by the two women also works to create multiply ways to read King Lear. Cordelia the best representation of “female”
To a great extent, modern audiences would find the portrayal objectification of women very much ominous, especially in the case of Hero. Shakespeare’s depiction of the interactions between Claudio, her future husband and Leonato, her father prior to Hero’s public shaming conveys this. In act two scene one Leonato says to Claudio ‘take of me my daughter, and with her my fortunes’ (2/1/280). Here the two men are discussing the giving of Hero as if she were an object to be traded and that his adult daughter is in no position to decide who she marries. Shakespeare presents the stranglehold that men have over women and furthers the notion that men view women as items to be controlled in Messina culture.
Macbeth is a play about a soldier who comes under his wives influence to commit regicide so as to become king and his wife to join him as queen. Their relationship is presented as being strong. Macbeth treats his wife differently to how other men treated their wives back then. In society then, women listened to whatever their husbands said, but in Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s case, Macbeth treated his wife with affection and told her everything. “This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness”.
It also says that he should look to Claudius as a father figure. This upsets Hamlet further. Secondly, he feels that he and his father have been betrayed by his mother. This is because she has married Claudius and he therefore feels that his mother did not love his father and got over him too quickly. We know this because in Act 1 Scene 2, Hamlet says “Heaven and earth!
Macbeth hatches the plan, as he is in conversation with Lady Macbeth, he states, “When we have marked with blood those sleepy two”. Sleepy contains connotations of vulnerability and no use of self-defence, therefore meaning that the guards are helpless moreover Macbeth planning to frame them whilst at this vulnerable stage, infers the tyranny within. Aristotle’s theory on a Tragic Hero states that persuasion soon follows the self-indulgent of greatness. In this instance, his own wife, Lady Macbeth, convinces Macbeth to kill his best friend, Duncan. She insults his masculinity greatly, by calling him a coward.
“Which of you shall we say doth love us most” Act 1, Scene 1, Line 52. Through this, both King Lear’s and Gloucester’s rage and rashness can be seen, resulting in them both loosing sight of what is important. Despite this, their weak characteristics have a small influence on their tragedy and suffering. After King Lear bestows all his possessions to his daughters, rather than being grateful, Goneril and Regan’s lust for power causes them to turn on their father. In Act 2, Scene 4, Goneril and Regan diminish his retinue, disregard his authority and Goneril instructs her servants to treat King Lear with the utmost disrespect.
The death of one’s father and a ghostly visitation thereafter are events that would challenge the sanity of anyone. The circumstances of King Hamlet’s death render it especially traumatic. The late King seemed to be an idol to his son; Hamlet looked up to him and aspired to have the same qualities. Hamlet doesn't like King Claudius and sees him as a swindling usurper who has stolen not only the dead King’s throne, but Hamlet’s as well(2.4). Hamlet shows Gertrude that she has lowered her standards by marrying Claudius, When he refers to old Hamlet as, “A combination and a form indeed / Where every god did seem to set his seal” (3.4.55-61).