Table of Contents Plot Overview Othello begins on a street in Venice, in the midst of an argument between Roderigo, a rich man, and Iago. Roderigo has been paying Iago to help him in his suit to Desdemona.
English Literature Books Shakespeare, it is claimed by many modern critics, was a feminist. Shapiro for example goes so far as to claim that Shakespeare was 'the noblest feminist of them all'. Although I am inclined to agree with McLuskie that as Shakespeare 'wrote for a male entertainment', it is historically incorrect to regard him as a feminist.
I believe that Shakespeare because of his extraordinary genius for portraying human behaviour, necessarily depicted the condition of women within a patriarchal system and created women Othello questions which in their richness, transcend the limitations of his time.
In this essay I will explore chiefly Shakespeare's treatment of the three heroine's Ophelia, Desdemona and Cleopatra, of the tragedies Hamlet, Othello and Antony and Cleopatra, beginning with an exploration of Shakespeare's representation of the effects of a patriarchal system upon the characters.
Ophelia, it would seem, wholly at the mercy of the male figures within her life, is certainly a victim figure. Although it has been claimed by critics that Hamlet is unique amongst Shakespeare's tragic heroes for not being to blame for the tragedy of the play, if we are to consider the death of the heroine as part of this tragedy then surely we must question Hamlet's innocence.
In his treatment of Ophelia, Hamlet Othello questions between protests of undying love and cruelty such as his cold and accusing speech in the 'nunnery scene'. In short, Hamlet throughout the play uses Ophelia as a tool in his revenge plan. To examine this culpability more deeply however, it could be suggested that it is Queen Gertrude's behaviour that has instigated Hamlet's unforgivable treatment of Ophelia: She transgresses the patriarchal bounds of femininity by marrying so soon after her husband's death and not remaining in passive grief and obedient devotion to his memory.
This provides Hamlet with a model of women's inconstancy. His bitterness leads him to believe that all women are untrustworthy - 'Frailty thy name is woman' and as R.
White puts it, Hamlet projects upon Ophelia the 'guilt and pollution' he believes exist in Gertrude's behaviour. However we view his culpability, Ophelia suffers as a result of Hamlet's patriarchal values of womanhood. With regard to her father and brother, the two direct ruling male forces in her life, Ophelia is also very much a victim.
Unquestioningly obeying their remonstrances against pursuing a relationship with Hamlet, she rejects his advances - which of course she believes to be genuine - and thus when he pretends to be mad she believes it to be her fault. Her speech reflects her deep and genuine sorrow: And I of ladies, most deject and wretched That sucked honey of his music vows O woe is me.
Ophelia's feeling of guilt is reinforced by Polonius's insistence to King Claudius: But Yet I do believe The origin and commencement of this grief Sprung from neglected love Polonius's conviction, in which one can't help believing, stems from a mercenary desire to marry his daughter off to such an eligible husband as the prince of Denmark, rather than a genuine belief in his daughter's role in causing Hamlet's madness.
Thus when Hamlet murders her father, Ophelia enters a double realm of guilt, believing herself to be to blame for both Hamlet's madness and her father's death.
As a result she becomes mad. Although at one level this decline into madness sets Ophelia up indisputably as a victim figure, on a deeper level perhaps her madness itself can be seen as Ophelia's active rejection of patriarchal restraint. Charney Maurice suggests that since within Renaissance drama madwomen were 'more strongly defined than madmen', and women's madness was 'interpreted as something specifically feminine', through depictions of madness dramatists were able to give women a chance to express their selfhood - 'make a forceful assertion of their being' - in a way which patriarchal conventions would otherwise have prevented.
In the later tragedy, Othello, it can also be argued that the tragedy occurs from adherence to patriarchal rules and stereotypes. Gayle Greene summarises this position in her claim that the tragedy of Othello stems from 'men's misunderstandings of women and women's inability to protect themselves from society's conception of them'.camisetas de futboltodas las camisetas de futbol de los grandes equpos y de las selecciones camisetas-de-futbol-baratafutbol de los clubs hot Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, de mejor calidad y a mejor precio.
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Aesthetic Examination Questions on Othello 1. Discuss Shakespeare's Iago as compared with the original of the character.
2. Character and motives of Iago - is the character a logical and self-consistent one in its developments? Shakespeare's women. Shakespeare's treatment of female characters in the tragedies Hamlet, Othello and Antony and Cleopatra, a study.
This list of important quotations from Othello by Shakespeare will help you work with the essay topics and thesis statements above by allowing you to support your claims. Detailed Summary of Othello, Act 3, Scene 4 Page Index: Enter Desdemona, Emilia, and Clown.
Desdemona sends the clown for Cassio, because she hopes that Othello .