Portrayal Of Women In Othello

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Merriam-Webster simply defines the term 'Renaissance Man ' as "a man who is interested in and knows a lot about many things;" (Merriam-Webster) emphasis on the word 'man. ' This is because the Renaissance was not the liberating era for women that it was for men. Though many pieces of literature and art of that era depicted feminine themes and held women at the center of the narrative, "women continued to be used in society only for the benefits of men—as daughters who could potentially help the family through an advantageous marriage, or as wives who took care of the home and produced children to help work on the farm or to carry on a family name" (Saylor Academy 1). Relatively no male artists of that time contradicted this message, and William …show more content…
Desdemona, the wife of Othello is seen for the majority of the play as a submissive wife until a misunderstanding turns her, in her husband 's eyes, into a demon. Emilia, the wife of Iago and the most sensible woman of the trio, still dons the recipe for a submissive wife that would go to great lengths to satisfy her husband. Finally, Bianca, a prostitute that routinely visited Michael Cassio, is verbally spat upon and mentally abused throughout the play. None of the men of Othello treat their female counterparts with respect, and this lack of reverence disallows the women from explaining their tragic situation, which eventually led to the demise of all …show more content…
She breaks from her chains of wifehood, if only at the end. She is aware of her role as a wife and makes this clear when she says, "Tis proper I obey him, but not now" (V.2.195). Emilia follows societal standards for the majority of the play. She retrieves Desdemona 's lost handkerchief and bequeaths it to her husband, Iago, who has malevolent plans. Emilia is unaware of her husband 's plans, but it is her role to do as he says; therefore, she follows orders. Emilia feels that she has no other choice but to be submissive to her husband, because society says that submission is what wives must follow. Emilia finds the time at the end of the play to break her chains and rebel against her husband. She is the one that inevitably tells of her husband 's wrongdoing and puts all the pieces together. Emilia did an act that Desdemona was not able to do, she saw through the illusion of her husband and turned against him as he did wrong. Emilia does not buy into the idea that women are inferior to men, this is evident when she says, "Let husbands know, / Their wives have sense like them; they see and smell, / And have their palates both for sweet and sour / As husbands have" (IV.3.92-5). Emilia even suggest that men are incapable comprehending logical thought because their minds are so fogged with sexual desire. Emilia represents feminine strength during an era when women were seen as weak, fragile, and

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