Essay on William Shakespeare 's Othello And Gender Roles

1557 Words May 24th, 2016 null Page
There are many instances in the play Othello where gender roles become significant. During Shakespeare’s time, men hold the power and women are perceived as weak and powerless. Also, women are expected to be submissive to their man by doing whatever he asks of her and this is very apparent in the play Othello. The role of women in the play, determines the plot and the fate of some of the character’s involved. The way Shakespeare creates these roles in the play, shows his culture’s beliefs of gender and equality during this time period. During this time, men are respected and powerful. Shakespeare shows this idea of powerful men in the play when he makes the men characters hold the political positions. Othello is the lieutenant and respected among his peers. Iago is also a respected figure who felt he deserved the position Othello holds. People respect Desdemona because of her social class but she’s looked at to be lower than Othello because of her gender. Whenever Desdemona speaks to Othello, she rarely uses his name. Most of the time she calls him “lord” furthering the idea that Othello is looked at to be of higher power than her because he doesn’t refer to her as lady. He even shortens her name sometimes by calling her Desdemon rather than Desdemona. For example, “Not now, sweet Desdemon. Some other time” (1547). This could be interpreted that he thinks of himself as higher than her, so he feels it isn’t necessary to say her entire name.
Although, women do hold power in…

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