What are the differences between Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca in their ideas about men and their relationships with their lovers?

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Desdemona's attitude toward men is arguably the most nuanced of the three. On the one hand, she defies her father and established convention in marrying Othello . On the other hand, she shows herself to be an intensely loyal, faithful wife to Othello, no matter how suspicious he gets, and...

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Desdemona's attitude toward men is arguably the most nuanced of the three. On the one hand, she defies her father and established convention in marrying Othello. On the other hand, she shows herself to be an intensely loyal, faithful wife to Othello, no matter how suspicious he gets, and no matter what he puts her through.

Initially, Emilia has an almost puppy-like devotion to Iago. She's being cynically used by her husband; she's an unwitting pawn in his wicked plot. Emilia carries out Iago's instructions to the letter, such as when she steals the handkerchief from Desdemona. She doesn't have the faintest idea why Iago wants her to do this, but she's so devoted to her husband that she doesn't even dream of questioning his motives.

Yet once Emilia finally becomes aware of Iago's plot and of the depths of his sheer wickedness, she shows immense courage in calling him out for his actions, and this costs her her life.

Bianca, being a courtesan, is considered to be outside the bounds of respectable society. To some extent, this gives her a greater degree of control over her life. As the only bond that connects her to men is financial, she can afford to keep them at a distance. Yet she allows her emotions to get the better of her when she becomes fiercely jealous of Cassio. Despite her profession and the world-weary cynicism that comes with it, Bianca still seems to feel that she needs a man in her life, even if there's no real future in such a relationship.

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Emilia is a very strong willed woman, and while she was willing to get involved with her husband's machinations to a point in order to please him, when she saw the completely terrible things he had done, she was willing to call him out on it publicly, even when he was threatening to kill her.  Emilia is cynical and worldly and is distrustful at best of her husband.

On the other hand, Desdemona is so in love with her husband, she's willing to take whatever he dishes out to her, no matter how much it hurts or humiliates her.  She loves him to the point of complete blindness that it is often inferred that she doesn't struggle too much when he kills her.  If you want to see a truly heart breaking rendition of this, rent the 1995 movie version of Othello.

Bianca is a courtesan, which is sort of similiar to a prostitute so she sees most men accordingly, though she has a soft spot for Cassio.  She allows Cassio to repeatedly tease her with the promise of marriage, though she should know better.

 

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