While Iago manipulates Desdemona’s reputation to cause the downfall of almost every primary character in Shakespeare’s Othello, Desdemona still exhibits power that defies her role as a female in a patriarchal society. Her reputation is subject both to Iago’s shrewd attacks and to her society’s structure; which unknowingly puts the men at risk while they think they are securing their own safety by confining these women. Desdemona is treated as a product exchanged by men and is smothered by Othello in his efforts to protect other men and keep her sexuality contained. Iago objectifies Desdemona as he manipulates Othello’s perspective of her until Othello literally deconstructs his wife, despite her innocence. Though she seems the stereotypical female, Desdemona breaks free of gender constraints as she defies her father and exhibits complete control over Othello at the beginning of the play.
The quote where Lady Anne states “If ever he have wife, let her be made. More miserable by the life of him. Than I am made by my young lord and thee!” is rather ironic because in the end it is she who becomes Richard’s wife. Richard then enters, or rather bursts into this scene with a verbal onslaught and starts his intention on seducing Lady Anne. In the BBC version of this scene, the priests surrounding Lady Anne cowers at the presence of Richard.
There are many more instances of betrayal that go all the way back in history which leads back to the Shakespeare era. In King Lear by William Shakespeare, there is a very profound act of betrayal between the King and his daughters and how it relates back to the relationship between them. Within the betrayal, there are motifs and themes that Shakespeare intends for the reader to absorb and see how wealth and power can come between the supposed love of a family. In the first act of the play, King Lear decides to abnegate his throne and divide it amongst his three daughters that he loved. The King has his daughters compete for their inheritance by judging which one of his daughters can prove to him how much they love him.
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.
In this extract taken from William Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew”, the main character Petruchio outlines his plans to tame his shrewish wife. Throughout the monologue Shakespeare uses animalistic imagery and metaphor to convey Petruchio’s scheme to bend Kate to his will. Marital domination is the underlying theme in this passage, as it was the norm in Shakespearean times for the wife to obey the husband’s every demand. The boastful, selfish and animated Petruchio is introduced to the audience as a suitor who see the monetary benefit of marriage, and begins his pursuit of Katherine for this reason. Widely reputed throughout Padua to be a shrew, Katherine is foul-tempered and sharp-tongued at the start of the play, she constantly insults and degrades the men around her, and she is prone to wild displays of anger.
“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 Decision a director makes in the portrayal of a character reflects their own context as much as Shakespeare’s.” Evaluate (compare and contrast) Orson Wells’ portrayal of Desdemona with regards to the above statement. You should refer to other versions of Othello that you have studied in your response. A director or playwright often produces a creative text reflective of his or her own context. Shakespeare however, also challenged his own context through his ideas in the play ‘Othello’. Shakespeare’s portrayal of Desdemona reflects and challenges the role of women in the renaissance period by including the ideas of independence, sex and infidelity.
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). This quotation shows what Hamlet saw in his father and how bitterly disappointed he is in his mother’s choice of lord. Hamlet’s frustration is made bigger due to Claudius’ unsympathetic remarks. Earlier in the play, King Claudius comments on the irrationality of Hamlet’s grief by saying, “That thus hath put him/ So much from th’ understanding of himself, I cannot dream of.” (2.2.8-10) The intensity of Hamlet’s grief may encourage others besides Claudius to be prejudiced towards treating him as insane. In the wake of his father’s death, Hamlet takes actions that other characters perceive as insane.
Shakespeare appears to portray women realistically according to the Elizabethan era of his time because at the time when this play was written, the ideal woman was subservient and dependent on men. In Hamlet, Ophelia is shown to be a tool for the men around her, senselessly taking orders. Her manipulators range from her lover, Hamlet, to his father, Polonius. Gertrude, the queen, is portrayed as a voluptuous and docile female. It is the job of a feminist critic to study the way women are portrayed in text and identify the stereotypes associated with women, gender roles of women and how women differ from men.
POWER Can be defined as: A possession of control, authority or influence over others. Act 1: • We see how Iago shows power over Roderigo when he convinces him to go and tell Brabantio of Desdemonas dealings with Othello. “Call up her father, Rouse him; make after him, poison his delight” Which Is exactly what Roderigo ends up doing. It is because of this influence and power that Iago is able to manipulate everyone throughout the play. For example when he convinces Cassio to drink even though Cassio doesn’t want to, when he convinces Emilia to steal the handkerchief from Desdemona even though she doesn’t want to.