• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far do you agree that Othello is a tragedy caused by male egotism and female passivity?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Essay How far do you agree that Othello is a tragedy caused by male egotism and female passivity? 'Othello' is a personal tragedy, which is explored by Shakespeare's character Othello. Tragedy is an event in life or literature that evokes feelings or sorrow or grief, in a play often involving a heroic struggle and the downfall of a main character. The traditional view of men is, the breadwinner and head of the family, responsible for discipline, and who has strength and courage. The traditional view of women is of them being, passive, emotional, sensitive and inferior to men. Egotistic describes someone who is self centred, self-centred, insensitive and inconsiderate. I believe that the arrogance of men contributed to the tragedy but passiveness of women I agree only to a certain extent. I would agree with the title that the male characters egotistic attitudes do play a large part in the tragic result of the play, I will explain this further by looking at the actions of the male characters throughout the play. Othello, is the tragic hero of the play. He has two contradictory roles, he is a military man and a lover/husband. ...read more.

Middle

His exchanges with Roderigo show this, and reveal the villain in him. Because he is able to play a number of roles convincingly and sees a person's weakness he becomes a type of puppet master, able to control all the people around him, selfishly getting the results to benefit him. Both Cassio and Othello become victims of his cynical and misogynist views. Iago is powered by intense jealously of the people around him; this combined with his egocentric character play a large part in the end result of the play. Michael Cassio does show the egotistical side of himself, but not entirely like Iago. He comes across as innocent to begin with he has, 'smooth charm' and 'courtly manner' which are shown when he speaks with Desdemona and he seems to be the perfect gentleman, he describes her as "exquisite" and "perfection". Cassio is described as a "proper man", and comes across as a good character when compared with Iago. In Act 2 Scene 3 Cassio says he is not a drinker and cannot hold his drink "I have a poor and unhappy brains for drinking", this he is open, honest and again perhaps innocent. ...read more.

Conclusion

"And to his honour and his valiant parts did my soul and fortunes consecrate", and her intelligence and wit is shown through her conversation with Iago (Act 2 scene 1) she does not back down to his comments, instead of reacting to them in an aggressive way she uses clever comments, attempting to defend women "These are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh I'thalehouse". She does not get angry or aggressive allowing her to continue the conversation and she is able to get her point across. Her complete love and devotion shown throughout the play to Othello "my noble lord" and the way she maintains her innocence throughout the play "No but my life and soul!", show she is not passive but does maintain her ideas and won't be completely submissive to men she is in fact a credible character. In conclusion, I have shown the contribution each character brought to the play, the male character's egotistic attitudes of their time. These attitudes towards women contributed to the tragedy. The women in the play however were not totally confined by the attitudes of their time. The expected role of passivity was fought against by each of them in a different way with different outcomes. Therefore, I believe, the arrogance of the male characters did contribute to the tragedy but passiveness of women I agree only to a certain extent. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Othello section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Othello essays

  1. Is Othello a 'noble hero' brought down by 'a devil of motiveless malignity' or ...

    He describes Emilia as a talkative person that she can't keep there trap shut. He implies that all women have to open their mouth for everything. Iago states that I n Act 1 Scene 1. "Sir, would she give you so much of her lips As of her tongue she oft bestows on me You'd have enough.

  2. Are Desdemona and Emilia passive acceptors of fate or can they be seen as ...

    up for herself because she is furious that he has hit her and she does not understand why either, but she quickly reverts to being 'passive' and accepts Othello's authority over her by saying that she "shall not stay to offend [him]."

  1. "Othello is a tragedy of outsiders." By careful reference to the various "outsiders" in ...

    He is insultingly called "thick lips" and constantly called "Moor", which show Othello's social and cultural background. Since this is our first impression of Othello, the image of him being black is embedded in our minds throughout the entire play.

  2. Analyse how far Desdemona, Emilia and Bianca challenge the expectations of the male characters ...

    He does not treat his wife Emilia with much respect in the play either, and when in act two scene 1 Cassio kisses Emilia, he announces to Cassio that "She give you so much of her lips as of her tongue she oft bestows on me, you would have enough."

  1. Othello: 'Shakespeare has presented the three female characters as merely stereotypes.' How far do ...

    "It is a creature /That dotes on Cassio..." ( Act 4, scene 1, 95-96) Bianca does not appear in the play as much as Desdemona but when she does, we judge her by what people think of her. Because of this, she is regarded to follow her stereotype of a prostitute suitably.

  2. Is it essential to the development of the play's tragic situation that Othello and ...

    Therefore though he loves Desdemona pasionately, he will hate passionately, too and it seems that there is no middle ground . Othello sees the world in extremes, therefore when faced with the prospect of Desdemona being an adulteress, violence

  1. The women in 'othello' are far more noble then the men' Discuss the contribution ...

    When Shakespeare wrote Othello, women had few rights and little power in society. They had virtually no say in arranging their own marriages, and were expected to marry a suitor chosen by their father. Desdemona, however, despite proposals from various suitors and public discouragement, continues her pursuit of Othello, and marries him.

  2. Shakespeares Othello - By the end of act II, the play has the potential ...

    From the very beginning of the play we can see what Iago intends to do, and how he feels of Othello, as he says to Roderigo ' I follow him to serve my turn upon him (Othello)'. This clearly shows us that Iago is planning to take advantage of Othello

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work