Stereotypes Of Women In Desdemona In Shakespeare's Othello

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Shakespeare artfully either reinforces stereotypes, or breaks them down with the ways in which his women characters act. Desdemona is portrayed as being a young person in a modern society that requires her to fulfill certain characteristics; in other words she is a “stereotypical women” in Shakespeare’s society. On the other hand, Bianca is portrayed as the opposite to Desdemona, she is shown to be very outspoken and - to a certain extent - vulgar. Bianca is portrayed as jealous, as well as possessive. Emilia is also shown to be very outspoken, clever, and flirtatious at certain times, and - as such - is not what a “proper” women should be. Given the day in age in which this play was written, Shakespeare’s liberating text is perhaps surprising, …show more content…
This may be due to the influence of religious ideology on the common populace at the time. She is portrayed as a very dedicated wife to Othello, fulfilling the stereotype that women are very reliant on men in order to achieve some semblance of happiness. While dying, due to Othello smothering her, Desdemona answers Emilia’s question of who killed her with: “Nobody; I myself. Farewell: Commend me to my kind lord: O, farewell!” (Shakespeare 161). Even in death, Desdemona keeps Othello’s best interests in mind by not admitting that she was killed by Othello: showing true dedication and love to him by claiming that her death was self inflicted. To further reinforce this, she asks to send her love the Othello. Even in death, Desdemona seeks some kind of constant in her life. Desdemona is depicted as someone who can make her own decisions, and chooses whomever she may to love, as opposed to simply cooperating with a forced marriage. After all, there is nothing noble in wedding one whom she does not love. When she is questioned by her father and the duke, she tells the truth and, in honesty, makes her own decision about who she wants to be with. “My noble father,” she says, “ I do perceive here a divided duty: To you I am bound for life and education; … I am hitherto your daughter: but here 's my husband; And so much duty as my mother show 'd …show more content…
Emilia throughout Othello, is shown to want nothing more than to please her husband. In William Shakespeare’s Othello, Emilia is shown to be extremely loyal to her husband, and wants nothing more than to please him, “I am glad I have found this napkin… My wayward husband hath a hundred times Woo 'd me to steal it; … I 'll have the work ta 'en out, And give 't Iago … I nothing but to please his fantasy” (Shakespeare 85). Her love is very deep for Iago, even though it ultimately brings her to her own demise “Emilia’s love for her husband, Iago, … Emilia, out of love for her husband, Iago, betrays Desdemona and steals her precious handkerchief. Emilia does this ‘to please Iago’s fancy’”(Al-Amin). Emilia is willing to steal from someone that considers her to be a very close friend, in order to fulfill her husband’s fantasies, no matter what they are, or the cost to her. She is portrayed as someone that thinks that if she pleases her husband, her life will be made better and acts as such, even though she may be portrayed as weak, she is however in this situation someone that breaks stereotypes by choosing to steal the handkerchief despite the repercussions if it would only help her advance her own interests. Emilia is portrayed as somewhat loyal to her friends, even in her last

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