Comparing Women In Shakespeare's Othello And Julius Caesar

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Does being treated poorly by men reflect the way women act? Shakespeare shows the way women are treated and how they act in the Elizabethan era in three of his brilliant plays. The power of women, which is demonstrated throughout Romeo and Juliet, Othello, and Julius Caesar, is developed through characters and dialogue, which also communicates multiple themes. The power of women, which is a common motif shown in all three plays, develops throughout the women’s dialogue. Juliet asks Romeo to “purpose marriage” to her even though they just met, and Romeo agrees to do so, showing how Juliet has so much power over her speech to Romeo because he agrees to do this crazy action with only knowing each other for a few short hours (1.2.144). Juliet…show more content…
In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is portrayed as lower than Juliet, the woman, when he is below Juliet in the balcony scene, Romeo even explains that Juliet is “as glorious to this night, being o’er [his] head” (2.2.26-28). This shows the power of woman and how a woman is able to take on the man’s role, because Juliet is physically above Romeo and Romeo explains that she is so beautiful that it’s over his head on what he thinks about her. Secondly, Juliet asks Romeo for them to get married “tomorrow,” and this shows Juliet taking the role of man because she asks Romeo for marriage when thats typically the man’s job (2.2.143-144). Juliet never wants her “love to end,” so she decides to make it official and ask for Romeo to marry her (Atchity). In Othello, Iago explains that their “general’s wife is now [their] general;” therefore, this shows Desdemona taking on the role of man since even the common people think of her as higher than her own husband, the general (2.3). Additionally, Desdemona flirts with Othello and “cho[o]se[s] [him]” to be her husband, and this shows Desdemona’s power and how she is taking on the role of man since she chooses Othello, the moor, to be her husband, when it’s usually the man choosing the woman for marriage (3.2). Desdemona has a love of “knowledge” when choosing Othello over her father (Foster). In Julius Caesar, Portia knows exactly what is going on in the capital and has a “man’s mind but a woman’s might,” and this shows Portia taking on the role of man since she has a “man’s mind” and knows exactly what’s going on in the capital when the men don’t even know what’s going on (2.4.9). Lastly, Julius listens to his wife when she tells him that he should not “go fourth today;” furthermore, this shows how Calphurnia has complete control over Julius and is taking his role as a man by showing her power

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