Shakespeare Gender Roles In Othello

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Julie Stockton Professor Franz Potter Capstone Project - Draft June 6, 2015 The Gender Roles in Shakespeare Known as a fine interpreter of human thought and action, William Shakespeare often relied on gender roles and stereotypes to aid the audience in forming an opinion of a character or event. Since Elizabethan society made such great distinctions between the actions and feelings of men and women, it is only natural that the works from that era would also conform to those same great differences between the sexes as well. While I agree that Shakespeare's gender imagery most certainly succeeded in capturing the audience's attention and understanding, I also maintain that he continually portrays the more feminine attributes in a negative light…show more content…
These phrases show that Iago sees himself as the human hunter. He verbally changes people who are thought of as humans into animals over whom he has control and dominance. Iago will control how they perceive the world and eventually trap them by means of these fabricated perceptions. As Iago kills his wife, Emilia, he follows through with the above explored male-hunts-female relationship. He kills her at the point that she is no longer running from him, at the point that she is no longer obeying the turns he says he makes unquestioningly. Although she thinks that she is defying him by stopping her running, in reality he has cornered her and hunted her down. Emilia says "tis proper I obey him [Iago], but not now" (V, ii, 233). She believes that she is going against him; standing up to him, but in truth Iago wants her to tell Othello that Desdemona was not actually committing adultery because he wants Othello to commit suicide. Iago then kills her, which is the completion of a hunt, and this action is understood because she was perceived to be disobeying her "lord". Unlike Othello, Iago maintains his human status in murdering because he remains entirely in control of the events occurring at the point that he murders. This human control is shown physically in that Iago uses his manmade sword to kill Emilia, he does not revert to the weak animalistic smothering Othello uses to kill

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