Othello-Women In An Elizabethan Society Essay

839 WordsNov 30, 20094 Pages
William Shakespeare, inevitably one of the greatest writers of all time, lived in a time known as the Elizabethan era. In his play Othello, the way the three women, Desdemona, Bianca, and Emilia are treated, and behave themselves, is an ideal and educational reflection of how women in theElizabethan society would have been treated. In Othello, the women are considered inferior to men, at the same time they are very much the backbone of the whole story. The women in the play cause the men to experience intense feelings of love and jealousy which is the basis of every incident and plan schemed in the play, and each of the women in the novel are represented based on the way they are viewed by the dominant male figure in their life. One noticeable tendency of the men in Othellowas their negligence to constantly refer to the women as “whores”. Throughout the play Othello is led to believe on several occasions that Desdemona is being unfaithful to him, and out of fear of her unfaithful deeds refers to her as a “whore” (Act 3 scene 3) a “subtle whore” (Act 4 scene 2) as well as a “cunning whore” (Act 4 scene 2). Furthermore, at the end of the play when Emilia reveals Iago’s role in the events that had just occurred, he lashesback out of anger referring to her as a “villainous whore”. Although there is no distinct evidence that these women are guilty of any inappropriate form of sexual conduct, they are nonetheless harshly accused. It is quite evident that as the male society was quickly falling apart, they have no other option other than to vent their anger by categorizing all females as whores. This is a strong indication that in the Elizabethan society, when things would go wrong for the men, it would be acceptable for them to turn around and blame the women. Although the men rekindle through blaming

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