Male Fear Of Female Sexuality In Shakespeare's Othello

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Male Fear of Female Sexuality in Othello

In Shakespeare’s play Othello, the author develops the idea that males are often fearful of female sexuality. In this case specifically, Othello fears Desdemona’s sexuality. These fears lead to many other complications and disputes which ultimately stimulates Othello’s tragic ending. Men and women are often seen differently when it comes to sexuality. One gender is believed to be superior to the other. Reputation plays a big role in sexuality. A female is expected to be less sexual than a man otherwise she is labelled as a whore or a prostitute just as Desdemona was by Othello due to allegations claiming she was cheating on him; “Impudent strumpet!” (4.2.92). Not only does a female get labelled as
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This situation aggravates Othello and transforms him into an insecure man. He feels inferior to Michael Cassio; the man that his wife has supposedly cheated on him with. Cassio is a white Venetian man, whereas Othello is referred to as “an old black ram” (1.1.97) by Iago. Othello is an old man of color whereas Cassio is young, fair and charming. Cassio is able to charm women by being a gentleman (kissing Emilia on the check and taking Desdemona’s hand). His smooth moves allow him to be a lady’s man. Othello on the other hand is not so charming but rather old and not so attractive. He admits; “Rude am I in my speech, / And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace;” (1.3.96-97). He admits that he is not a smoother talker. He knows his flaws and feels inferior to Cassio because he feels that Desdemona may have easily fallen for Cassio due to the good traits that he possess. Brabantio, Desdemona’s father, comments on Othello and Desdemona’s love for each other by questioning how in the world could Desdemona have fallen in love with Othello by saying “To fall in love with what she feared to look on?” (1.3.116). By saying this, Brabantio claims that Desdemona fears looking at Othello due to his color and unappealing looks. He is trying to suggest the idea that Desdemona is above him and should have fallen for someone who is white and better looking. And Cassio just so …show more content…
Although Desdemona could not provide an answer for Othello when she was questioned on the whereabouts of the missing handkerchief, it was still not a good enough piece of evidence for Desdemona’s infidelity. She had tried to tie the handkerchief on Othello’s head some time prior to Othello interrogating Desdemona on the missing handkerchief. Othello had seen the handkerchief with her at that time and he was being irrational about the situation and fussing over the missing handkerchief even though he had recently seen it. Othello’s transition into becoming an insecure and jealous man takes his ability to think rationally away from him and strengthens his doubts which leads to him shattering his relationship with his wife, Desdemona. “I’ll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove;” (3.3.220-21); Although Othello initially asks Iago for some real proof before believing the allegations on his wife to be true, in the end he still fails to realize that the handkerchief was not evident enough in proving Desdemona to be an unfaithful

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