Feminist perspective on Othello.

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Feminist perspective on Othello:

The play “Othello” contains an undercurrent of issues to deal with relationships, jealousy, power and most of all loyalty. Although from a feminist perspective a whole different reading can be interpreted from the play. This is expressed though the context of the time, the very much “stereotyped” female characters, and the morals and ethics of the male characters on the “woman” and her place or position in general.

The Shakespearian era of the 16th century was a time where Elizabethans were enchanted by expeditions of the Africans lands, and travelling around the world, although from a female perspective, the Elizabethan England was very much idealised about their beliefs on woman. Society considered woman to be inferior to the man, and their loyalties should only lie in the family and in their husbands. Daughters were to keep the loyalties with their fathers and the patriarchal society- where men were the head of their house. Marriages were arranged to continue loyalties towards the family, and towards the family name. There became a preoccupation with men’s sexual desires, and became “socially acceptable” to use prostitution as an excuse, for men’s supposedly could not control their sexual desires.

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Othello challenges the ideals of the day, by bringing to his characters a stereotype or label to identify with the differing areas of the woman. For example Desdemona is the idealised “perfection” of woman, the fact that she is ironically seen as the “cunning whore” by her love Othello, and even in her death her loyalties still lie in her husband, by blaming her murder in herself. Emilia is the intuitive character who seems to have the insights into the issues between man and woman. She is practical in her understanding of the world and issues around her, and ...

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