Women and Men in 'Othello' Essay

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Neither men nor women are portrayed favourably in the world of 'Othello.' Discuss. William Shakespeare's classic tragedy 'Othello' presents various traits of the men and women involved in the story, which can be desirable or loathsome. The opinion that neither men nor women are portrayed in a favourable light in this text is inaccurate, as there are various components of each character that characterise them positively. That being said, Shakespeare has given each character their fair share of attributes that are certainly repugnant, and therefore only making the above statement partially true. The men of the story are all characterised as the leaders of their society who dominate the women in their lives. They are bigoted and manipulative in their own ways; however they still manage to maintain calm and measured exteriors. A prime example of this type of male in 'Othello' is Iago. Iago, to everyone else, seems like an honest and good man who will do everything in his power to help those around him succeed, but is really just power-hungry, two-faced and manipulative. He is, however, clever, cunning and philosophical, which can be accepted as positive traits. It is these traits that enable him to gain an insight into human nature, and ultimately exploit it, destroying the lives of those around him. Cassio is a character whom the audience don't know much about, but from the story they can understand that he loves his job as a lieutenant, and cares a lot about his reputation. This becomes clear after he is fired from his position, as he says to Iago; "Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation, Iago, my reputation!" (Act 2, Scene 3) He obsesses over the fact that he has been humiliated, and constantly scolds himself for foolishly drinking when he

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