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The Women of Othello

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��ࡱ�>�� 57����4�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������5@ ��0S)bjbj�2�2 (6�X�X��������������������8� �$��v""""""""^``````$UR����"""""���""�,,,"�"�"^,"^,,>��>" � �)7���">^�0�>Y " Y >������Y �> "","""""��,The Women of Othello Shakespeare's Othello presents us with a male world in which women have an especially rough time. Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca are all rejected by their respective partners, and all three love their men unselfishly and unreservedly, even when confronted by behaviour that we would deem grounds for divorce at the very least. All the women are engaged in unbalanced partnerships: they feel more for their self-centred men than the men are capable of reciprocating. However, the women also display genuine emotions toward each other that is not reflected in any of the male-male relationships. Emilia and Desdemona are both wives to men that have made the military their lives. Desdemona is the new wife, innocent and inexperienced in the ways of the world despite being raised in one of the most sophisticated and cosmopolitan of the Italian city-states, Venice. By contrast, Emilia has been married for some time. She is wise to the habits of soldiers, yet she will believe only so much of what her husband tells her. Although Emilia has been with Desdemona since the first Act, we do not get an intimate view of her psychology or her relationship with Desdemona until the Willow Scene in Act Four. ...read more.


Therefore, in a sense, there would be no discernable visual difference between Desdemona and Bianca, who very name implies purity. Although Hollywood is often credited with the creation of the 'good-hearted bad girl', Shakespeare created Bianca centuries before. Like Emilia, Bianca is worldly and will love Cassio without reservation. Yet she has a clear definition of who she is and what place she holds in this male-oriented society. After Iago kills Roderigo, Iago attempts to implicate Bianca to the attack, probably brought about by a fit of jealousy when he went to have dinner with her. Because Cassio is wounded, Bianca is understandably upset, but she replies angrily to Emilia's calling her a 'strumpet': I am no strumpet But of life as honest as you that thus Abuse me. (5.1.122-124) In a sense, Bianca is in fact more honest than Emilia whose lie to Desdemona about the handkerchief provides the catalyst for her murder. In any event, Bianca is definitely more truthful than the 'honest Iago' who accuses her. Bianca is also more sexually honest. Her relationship with Cassio is based on their mutual knowledge that they are uncommitted to each other and nothing more will come of their liaison. ...read more.


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