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Analyse how far Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca challenge the expectations of the male characters in the play and those of the audience

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Analyse how far Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca challenge the expectations of the male characters in the play and those of the audience In the play "Othello" the female characters are viewed by three different sets of people: the male characters, the Elizabethan audience and the modern day audience. The two male characters in the play-Cassio and Iago-have drastically different views on the female characters in the play. Cassio in act two scene one is shown describing Desdemona to Montano as an outstandingly beautiful woman and when Desdemona arrives he extravagantly says that all must kneel before her. "The divine Desdemona" "You men of Cyprus, let her have your knees." He then proceeds to Emilia, Iago's wife, where he shows extended courtesy by kissing Emilia. The play does not say where he had kissed her but simply that he did. Cassio has his own mistress Bianca, but he is quite crude to her. He demands things from her and does not see their relationship in the way Bianca sees it. Even though he does know how to "woo" a woman Bianca full is ended up in full of suspicion, which then shows a side of Cassio that hasn't been exposed in the play yet until Act three scene four, where he retorts by saying "Go to, woman throw your vile guesses in the devil's teeth from whence you have them." ...read more.


But truly, does a modern audience think this is wise? Rather than trying to talk it out Desdemona only agrees with Othello until he tells her that he is here to smother her unless she confesses, she only confess that she did no wrong and begged for her life. "Kill me tomorrow: let me live tonight!" "But half an hour." "But while I say one prayer." It brings into questioning, is being loyal wife, to always be by his side, worth Desdemona's death by his hands? Emilia is more of a modern female character in Shakespeare's Othello, than an Elizabethan female character. She knows when not to talk, but where her loyalty lies, she is surely to speak of the truth and nothing will silence her when she does. As an Elizabethan audience would observe her behaviour in the play "Othello" the majority of the audience would slightly be appalled by the way she acts out by the end of they play; she goes against her lord's wishes and talks back to him, and explains her husband's (Iago) plot to decimate Othello. Emilia is cynical and she knows the world's displeasuring view; unlike Desdemona, Emilia can sense things around men that does not seen right. ...read more.


"What, keep a week away? Seven days and nights? Eight score eight hours? And lover's absent hours more tedious then the dial eight score times?" Yet as Cassio hands her Desdemona's handkerchief and simply asks her to copy it for him, Bianca suddenly become insecure and umps to conclusions about another woman. As result of this Cassio gets weary of this and suddenly retorted to her to "Throw your file guesses in the devil's teeth, from whence you have them." He asks again for Bianca to copy the embroidery but more sternly and then asks her to leave, where agrees to do for she feels as if she feels she "Must be circumstanced." Bianca then appears in act five scene one and encounters Iago, who already has a crude and vulgar way at perceiving women, which where Bianca gets accused of looking guilty by Iago. Iago did not treat Bianca with any or very little respect at all and calls her a "notable strumpet." As Emilia enters the stage Iago accuses Bianca of shuddering with fear whilst Emilia listens and retorts in calling her a strumpet, but Bianca replies back as if angrily "I am no strumpet, but of life as honest as you that thus abuse me." Bianca was telling Emilia her living is as honest as hers, therefore she cannot abuse her. ...read more.

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