A Feminist Analysis of Othello In William Shakespeare’s tragic play Othello there are numerous instances of obvious sexism aimed at the three women in the drama -- Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca – and aimed at Othello, Emilia: She loved thee, cruel Moor [graphic] / Louis Rhead. That's strange. English Literature- OTHELLO- Black Verse vs Prose, ‘thieves, thieves, thieves! In this way, Iago taps into social anxieties to further cast doubt into Othello, Othello as an outsider to Venice presumably unaware of Venetian women. Her stupidity in this matter is gross, but it is stupidity and nothing worse She is mistreated by In this way, he is like Othello… Set in the later part of the sixteenth century Shakespeare explores symbolism, allegory, and imagery throughout this [A4S3], ‘But i do think it is their husbands faultsIf wives do fall. Start studying Othello A-Level English Literature Quotes From Critics. Iago-presents Desdemona as an object owned by her father, almost irrelevant in list of stolen objects. Farewell” – Final words are lying for Othello’s sake to Emilia that she wasn’t killed by him. Feminist criticism also provides a larger understanding of the time period the work was written in by highlighting these aspects of characters. Emilia-revolutionary, contradicts patriarchal, jacobean norm of wifes unconditional loyalty, that upheld by Desdemona. And doth affection breed it? Is't frailty that thus errs/. I durst, my lord, to wager she is honest, Lay down my soul at stake: if you think other, Remove your thought; it doth abuse your bosom. Desdemona is much more naïve to her ideas of life and marriage … [A4S1], Othello-Defies Patriarchal norm in juxtaposing Desdemona’s beauty with the rank of a warrior, shows her as his true equal and possessing of strength. It is so too. The characterization of a In a speech that is often described as ‘proto-feminist’, Emilia argues that a wife’s infidelity is a response to the husband’s behaviour: Say they slack their duties, And pour our treasures into foreign laps, Or else break out in peevish jealousies, Emilia dies a true feminist. [A1S1], ‘the old black ram is tupping your white ewe!’, Iago-Desdemona is seen as property ‘your’ but also sexualised, her choice to be with Othello is seen as a violation. Right … I think it is. Analysis, related quotes, timeline. [A3S3], ‘let nobody blame him, his scorn i approve’, Desdemona- Foreshadowing, shows Desdemona’s loyalty and love of Othello, foreshadows later actions and shows her undying love and affection. Describe the Character of Emilia? [A1S1], ‘And so much duty as my mother showedTo you, preferring you before her father’, Desdemona- irony that Desdemona, who disobeys her father and subverts patriarchal norms is in fact an upholder of tradition and is what a wife should be, faithful to her husband[A1S3], ‘Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see:She has deceived her father, and may thee.’, Brabantio- Line is in form of couplet, gives a poetic and almost foreshadowing quality, Desdemona’s subversion of patriarchy tarnishes her name and forever will shed doubt. EMILIA is the feminist voice of the play and wife to the most abominable man ever. Emilia says this line after she picks up the handkerchief Desdemona has dropped, planning to turn it over to Iago. She starts off as doggedly loyal and faithful to her evil husband, Iago. ‘I know thou didst not,’ she says to Iago in the last scene in the wake of finding Othello had killed her special lady, ‘…thou’rt not such a miscreant‘ (Act 5, Scene 2). In the final scene of the play, Emilia stands up for Desdemona against the powerful Othello, knowing that this confrontation could end her life: ‘Thou has not half the power to do me harm As I … The best quotes from Othello by William Shakespeare - organized by theme, including book location and character - with an explanation to help you understand! Love transcends social expectation. and frailty? Emilia. Claudia–“Emilia: Feminist Wisdom”: Out of the many themes and motifs in Othello , Emilia represents those strong feminist values and ideals of equality. [A3S3], ‘I know our country disposition well;In Venice they do let God see the pranks’, Iago- Contextual, ties into Elizabethan/Jacobean belief in the looseness of Venetian women, known for lax social attitudes and infamous for its courtesans. [A2S1], ‘The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue;The profit’s yet to come ‘tween me and you’, Othello- Sex, this is interrupted by Cassio’s drunken actions, arguably Desdemona and Othello never consummate- testament to the forces of society that doom their love to failure. She follows Iago in wifely duty, but during the play develops a strong loyalty to Desdemona and, at the end, denounces Iago's lies to defend Desdemona's reputation. ‘thieves, thieves, thieves! [A1S3], ‘She did deceive her father, marrying you,’, Iago- Iago casts back to shed doubt in Othello’s mind and manipulate social anxieties of womens faith, that in disobeying her father and marrying Othello, Desdemona has the capacity to betray Othello. This quote shows that Emilia at this point feels little moral responsibility, and in fact might prefer not to know the details of what her husband is plotting. Cuckold me?’, Othello-Reflects on Jacobean beliefs that should a woman cheat or defy husband, masculinity is destroyed, Othello enraged at this slight. Then let them use us well, else let them know, The ills we do, their ills instruct us so" (Act IV, Scene III, Lines 83-. Desdemona in Act 4 Scene 3 Desdemona as beautiful daughter is seen as prized possession. Powered by WordPress. Othello bids goodnight and asks for Desdemona to wait in bed for him, and Desdemona talks with her maid, Emilia about her love for Othello, as well as different attitudes to marriage and fidelity. Designed by GonThemes. Emilia also shows courage and self-assurance in chastising Othello for doubting his wife’s virtue, scolding him “If you think other / Remove your thought” (4.2.). What is it that they do. When she realizes Othello has killed Desdemona, Emilia immediately lashes out at him, stating “Thou dost belie her and thou art a devil” (5.2. Unlike many of Shakespeare’s characters, she needs little translation to come alive to the 21st-century reader. Emilia dies a true feminist. A patriarchal perspective on women Women as possessions A strong voice crushed Submission and strength Emilia – finding her voice A declaration of autonomy Female solidarity Bianca – a woman abused Reflecting the culture in which Othello was written, none of the three female characters is ultimately treated as an equal by the men. Say that they slack their duties’. Detailed quotes explanations with page Feminist Role of Emilia Othello is often argued to be one of William Shakespeare’s most heart wrenching tragedies. Also, Iago's unproven belief that Emilia cheated on him with Othello, leading to his hate towards the soldier, leaves Emilia suffering as the victim. Create your own unique website with customizable templates. You are pictures out of door, bells in your parlours; wildcats in your kitchens, saints in your injuries; devils being offended, players in your housewifery, and hussies in your beds.” (II.2.113-115) (3.3.) Othello. Emilia even bravely challenges Othello when she discovers he has murdered Desdemona: “O the more angel she, and you the blacker devil!” (Act 5 Scene 2, Line 140). [A1S1] ‘the old black ram is tupping your white ewe!’. Two contrasting images of womanhood dominate Othello: the virtuous and loyal woman, or Madonna, embodied by Desdemona; and the whore, embodied, to a certain extent by Bianca.. PDF downloads of all 1386 LitCharts literature guides, and of every new one we publish. Bianca, Emilia and Roderigo [Bianca] ‘shatters the pleasant illusion that sexual relations will conform to the norm of female subordination and faithfulness’ – Wiltenberg 1992 ‘Emilia is prey to the dominant ideology of wifely virtue.’ – Carole Thomas Neely LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Othello, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Shakespeare's Venice looks like some accounts of his plays, since it is not a Folger ART Box R469 no.95 (size L) Emilia and Desdemona’s bodies haunt those that remain onstage: a testament to friendship between women and witness to the dangerous threat of false, faithless friendship among men. Act Four: Emilia, The Feminist of Othello. Emilia is often dubbed as “the feminist of Othello” by a scholars and critics because of her, seemingly, fiery independence among a sea of submissive women (Caitlyn, Act Four: The Feminist of Othello). Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca are the only three women in the play. Shakespeare may offer an indictment of this socially entrenched notion of masculinity, that Othello would fly into such a rage when there is no real proof. Look to your house, your daughter and your bags!’. Emilia's super-bitter take on her married life with Iago contrasts with Desdemona's (temporarily) idealistic marriage to Othello. Emilia is worried about Othello’s strange behaviour and thinks he is behaving jealously towards Desdemona. Emilia's one dishonest act towards Desdemona—stealing her special handkerchief—turns out to have devastating consequences. What he will do with it, Heaven knows, not I. William Shakespeare (April 23, 1564 (allegedly)-April 23,1616), Beauty and the Beast Critical Lens Paper-Weebly Portfolio, The Poisonwood Bible Literary Analysis-Weebly Portfolio, Response to Invisible Man-Riding the Wave-Weebly Portfolio, And have their palates both for sweet and sour, As husbands have. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Shakespeare, you are too awesome. Shakespeare, you are too awesome. Focusing closely on the When Cassio shows courtesy to Emilia, Iago quickly adds his own criticisms to her character and shortly after begins his tirade: “Come on, come on. Desdemona has never even thought of engaging sexually with anyone other than Othello, but at some point in the play Emilia admits that she would be unfaithful to Iago in the right circumstances. Othello- Gender Quotes. Emilia’s role in Othello is key, her part in taking the handkerchief leads to Othello falling for Iago’s lies more fully. [A4S3], ‘Who would not make her husband a cuckold to make him a monarch’, Emilia- Contrasts Desdemona’s naive idealism with pragmatic assertion. Get everything you need to know about Emilia in Othello. Desires for sports? When they change us for others? Emilia dies for standing up for what she believed in and for justice and she paid the ultimate sacrifice. as men have? [A2S3]. This essay will focus on the feminist interpretation of Othello and how Othello provided an enabling outlet for feminist anger. Although she had betrayed Desdemona for the attention of her husband, she later unmasks Iago with her honesty. The character of Emilia develops in almost the exact opposite way. The Willow Scene Act 4 Scene 3 – Key Scene In this scene, Emilia helps Desdemona get ready for bed. ‘I will chop her into messes! Look to your house, your daughter and your bags!’, Iago-presents Desdemona as an object owned by her father, almost irrelevant in list of stolen objects. ). I think it doth. Speeches (Lines) for Emilia in "Othello" Total: 103 print/save view OPTIONS: Show cue speeches • Show full speeches # Act, Scene, Line (Click to see in context) Speech text 1 II,1,895 You have little cause to say so. Is is sport? And have not we affections? Emilia is Iago's wife, and Desdemona's maid, a woman of practical intelligence and emotional resilience. Eileen Atkins speaks Emilia’s lines from Othello, act IV scene 3. “Till close to the end [of the play] she frequently sets ones teeth on edge,” he writes of Emilia, “and at the end, one is ready to worship her.” Part of Emilia’s appeal is her sheer familiarity. Each woman has her role to play in Iago's plot to bring down the mighty Othello. A Feminist Analysis of Othello In William Shakespeare’s tragic play Othello there are numerous instances of obvious sexism aimed at the three women in the drama -- Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca – and aimed at womankind Until the last scene, Emilia does not associate her better half with plotting against Othello. So would not I: my love doth so approve him For example, in Othello, Iago bends Othello to his will by feeding him lies that Desdemona is lecherous because, “She did deceive her father…” (Othello, Act III, scene iii, line 206). 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