The Oppression Of Women In William Shakespeare's Othello

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William Shakespeare’s Othello is a tragedy. The story tends to focus more on the male characters, Othello and Iago. However, the two main female characters, Desdemona and Emilia, played an active role but are often overlooked as just supporting characters. This is probably due to the time period that the writing occurred. This was the Elizabethan era. Elizabethan Women were subservient to men. They were dependent on their male family members. They were even used to merge alliances with other powerful families through arranged marriages. In Othello, these women were not treated as equals but rather they were subservient to men. Each of the men of Desdemona’s life viewed her as a possession. It’s known that Desdemona went against her father’s wishes when she married Othello. While her father was very upset, he eventually grants her the permission to go with Othello to Cyprus. Desdemona is now Othello’s wife, also known as his possession. Othello is told by the Senator to “use Desdemona well (Act 1, Scene 3, Line 287)”. This act appears to be an act of purchase, as women of…show more content…
It appears that Othello may have been obsessed with Desdemona. This is how he was so quickly angered with murderous thoughts when he first heard of his wife possibly giving herself to another man. Even when he was in route to murder Desdemona he says, “Thy bed, lust-stained, shall with lust’s blood be spotted (Act 5, Scene 1, Line 36)”. Even in his fury, the matters of flesh still were very present in his mind. When speaking with Iago, Othello is not as taken with Desdemona’s sexual prowess. He says he will “not expostulate with her, lest her body and beauty unprovide my mind again (Act 4, Scene1, Lines 203-205)”. He was fearful that if he went into conversation with Desdemona, she would use her sex appeal to lure him away from his predetermined course of

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