Help for idea on thesis for an essay contrasting Emilia and Desdemona?i can't think of a third prong! help me! this is my thesis so far: Shakespeare places these two contrasting women to...

Help for idea on thesis for an essay contrasting Emilia and Desdemona?

i can't think of a third prong! help me!
this is my thesis so far:
Shakespeare places these two contrasting women to demonstrate how Desdemona is submissive and naïve which shows that she accepts her gender role, while Emilia is rebellious and independent which shows how she resists her expected gender role, and _____________________________.

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wildcattmg | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Shakespeare uses Emilia and Desdemona to show two different levels of femininity. You could go one of two ways with this.

You could look at the difference between the voice of the experienced wife-Emilia- and the voice of the inexperienced wife- Desdemona. Look at the conversation the two women have in Act IV, Scene III about when or if they would cheat on their husbands. Their attitudes toward their husbands also reflect the length of their marriages. Emilia is far more aware of the complexity of her husband's character. Desdemona fails to see "who" Othello is.

You could also choose to take another route here. You could look at them as depicting two of Shakespeare's three levels of femininity. Desdemona is the highest, a woman of class, privilege and education. The flaws in her character and the problems she experiences are directly related to her place in society. Emilia is the second level, a woman with a "real life" education, a job, respectability but no "class" or "station". She behaves as one would expect a woman of her station to behave. She is realistic and independent, etc. (Bianca represents the third by the way).

 

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