Analyze the representation of women characters in Othello.Desdemona is given a different kind of dominance in the play. She allows her love for othello to surmount.   She tries to convince...

Analyze the representation of women characters in Othello.

Desdemona is given a different kind of dominance in the play. She allows her love for othello to surmount.   She tries to convince othello and argues till  the end.

Emilia earlier supports her husband unaware of the truth.  But after the truth is uncovered and the death of her misteress, she speaks out everything and goes against her husband, Iago.

Bianca also speaks out for Cassio.

 

 

Asked on by geet205

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shakespeareguru | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Yes, each of the women speak out, but aside from Othello listening to Emilia's proclamation of Iago's guilt at the end of the play (when all the damage has been done), none of them are heeded.

Desdemona does spend the majority of the play pleading with Othello for Cassio's reinstatement.  However, she does this using her feminine wiles, not through directed confrontation and reason, and Othello playfully dismisses her at first, and then adds her pleas to his list of reasons for being unfaithful.  She also stands up to Othello when he accuses her of being the "whore of Venice," but her even her straightforward and dignified refusal gets her nowhere.

When Iago manages to get Desdemona's handkerchief from Emilia, she does wonder what he'll do with it, but quickly puts it from her mind.  This dismissal is a key moment in the play, as much of the "evidence" of Desdemona's unfaithfulness hinges on this prop.  So, Emilia may speak the truth at the end of the play when it is too late to save Desdemona, but she does not speak out when it is more crucial to do so.

Bianca does not really have any possibility of speaking out and being taken seriously.  She is a whore, and as such, not at all taken seriously by anyone.  When Cassio is attacked in her earshot, she does run out and fall all over him with "O, Cassio," etc., but she is in no position to have any effect on the events of the play.  She completely lacks the knowledge that could assist Cassio, and, because of her position in society, no one would listen to her if she did speak out.

So, each of the women speak out, but it doesn't seem that they really have a voice, since none of them are able to turn the tide of the tragic events that transpire.

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