The Role Of Men And Women In Shakespeare's Othello

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For as far back as written history goes, people have been divided by certain roles. Men were considered stronger, therefore they were the hunters and protectors. Women were considered more gentler, making them the home keepers and child rearers. These roles soon morphed into men becoming the dominate role and thought of as superior while women continued to sink down the societal ladder and became nothing more than an object, mere property to their male counterparts. These roles slowly adhered themselves in people and was supported by society as a whole. Society twisted and enhanced these roles to structure how men and women were supposed to act. Going against these norms, for both genders, was all but blasphemous and most often ended in tragedy. …show more content…
Othello is one of Shakespeare’s great tragedies. It takes place in Venice and focuses on the romantic relationships of its characters. The play opens with its main villain plotting against the protagonist. The villain, Iago, has promised, and been compensated, Rodrigo that he will get Desdemona to fall in love with him. However, things take a drastic turn when Desdemona eloped with Othello The Moor. This is the first controversy in the play due to the gender roles put on by society. As a women, Desdemona is considered her father’s property and society dictated that the father alone must chose his daughter 's husband. Instead of marrying one of the rich Venetian men that her father expects her to marry for his own gain, she marries Othello for love. Her father is outraged at their union and tries to enact his male dominance over her by pleading his case of his ‘stolen’ daughter to the Duke. In response, both Desdemona and Othello describe a beautiful story of love and loyalty to one another and the court dismisses her father’s claims. Their peace is short lived, however. Even with her defiance to her father, Desdemona is a perfect, stereotypical wife. She is both loyal and dedicated to her new husband but it is revealed that Othello is not. His faith in his new bride is easily shaken by the men around them. Othello is led to believe, based on lago’s jealousy filled plot, that his wife has been disloyal and is persuaded to kill her. lago plants a handkerchief--the first gift Othello ever gave Desdemona--in Cassio’s room to “prove” her affair. In societies views, she has dishonored him and mocked his dominance and the only way he can restore it is by punishing her and killing

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