What are some quotes about the status of women in Shakespeare's Othello?

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In act 4, scene 3, Emilia delivers an impassioned monologue about the expectations and perceptions of women prevalent in Jacobean England. She lambasts men for being hypocritical, and she tacitly criticizes women like Desdemona for being naive. In this monologue, Emilia exposes the double standards as regards Jacobean expectations of men and women. She questions why husbands cheat on their wives, or, as she puts it, "change us for others," and she concludes it is because men have desires and frailties that they cannot control.

Emilia then points out that women also have "affections, / Desires for sport, and frailty," just as men have. The implicit conclusion is that men should not expect women to be faithful when they, the men, are not. Husbands, Emilia implies, should not expect their wives to be any less susceptible to "affections, / Desires ... and frailty" than they are themselves. The underlying implication of Emilia's monologue is that the status of women in Jacobean England is so...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 960 words.)

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