Women in Othello are very profound. They are very dependent on their men. During the 16 th Century, women were traditional and accustomed to being submissive to their men / husband . Desdemona secretly married Othello a “Moor” (a black man). She is devoted to her husband, and respects and obeys his wishes. Even though Othello can be cruel to Desdemona, his wife Desdemona responds to her husband in a way that she gets her point across, and still respects Othello.
Women during the 16 th century were not highly honored by men. During that time women in Othello were very dependent on men. Desdemona father has learned that she has married Othello. Her father Senator Brabinto is very furious.
Desdemona has come to confront her father:” How to respect you. You are the Lord of duty; I am hitherto your daughter. But he’s my husband, and you, preferring you before her father, So much I challenge that I may profess. Due to the Moor my Lord” (lit. act 1 scene III v 186-91) Desdemona is saying she loves and respects her father the same as her mother did, but she also respects her husband, and will stand by Othello. Emilia’s is the wife of Iago.
Emilia is cynical, and a worldly woman. She speaks as though she understands and knows men very well. To Emilia men are callous and betraying. They want whatever they can not have, and what they have they do not want. Her relationship with her husband is unworthy. Iago lies and will do anything to get what he wants.
Emilia is asked by her husband to steal a handkerchief of her mistress (a maid), Desdemona. Emilia refuses to do such a thing. She love Desdemona and would never hurt her. Coincidently Emilia found the handkerchief lying on the floor. She surprised Iago with the handkerchief, and he is well pleased. Emilia’s regard for Othello is unpleasant.
She realizes that Othello is very jealous towards Desdemona, his wife, and she does not like how he speaks to Desdemona. “Is he not jealous” (lit act III scene 1 v 22) “‘Tis not a year or two show us a man. They are but stomach, and we all but food; they eat us hunger ly; and when they are full they belch us” (act III scene 4 v 99-102) Emilia is stating that when men bellies are full and they had enough to eat they move on to the next meal. Bianca, a very fair looking woman, and is only mentioned in small detail. She is considered to be a prostitute. Cassio, Bianca’s lover has left a handkerchief behind from their previous night together and now she is very jealous.” Bianca’s active, open-eyed enduring affection is similar to that of the other woman.
She neither romanticize love nor degrade sex’ (act III scene 4 199) Bianca is no fool, and has discovered that Cassio has lied. She mocks him just as he laughs behind her back. Though she is believed to be a prostitute, she is no whore. She has morals just as Emilia.
All Bianca mats is to be loved and respected without the feeling of unworthiness. Women were empowered by their men. They had been betrayed by them. Cassio betrayed Bianca, Desdemona’s husband Othello showed jealousy, and rage, Emilia’s husband Iago was very violent and dishonest. These women along with others have been and became very dependent upon the men.
All of the women, in spite of their affection, good sense, and energy fail to transform or to be reconciled with the men. Each woman consumed to their own feelings about each other, because the men have misconceived the women. Men were not loyal to their women, but yet and still the women loved their men.” The handkerchief them present martial chasity- sexuality transformed by loving fidelity. Its function to chasten and control men’s love and desire.” (Othello Pg 98) Women in the Renaissance Period appeared to look very royal. Their clothing were as a queen, long sleeves, lace, high collar dresses, and hair curled up. It was as if you were looking at a portrait.
In Othello, Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca wore the same clothing. “If the man is unfaithful to his wife not caring much to be with his wife at home, then thus may the wife make her own happiness, for then she may give herself up to prayer. (AND pg 136) Women were regarded by men as sex symbols. They empowered the women by giving them what they enjoyed. Men manipulated the women and then romanced them. Women in the Renaissance Period were women of society.
They had a certain attire which was very customized. Religion has always been a great factor of life, and especially during the time of the Renaissance. During this time a new birth being born. Shakespeare brought a new life through his plays that gave people something that would change time.
In conclusion, the women have shown great honesty and respect for each man. The men have been very controlling, not respecting the women for who they are. Sometimes I find myself as Desdemona, the way she loved Othello and how his jealousy and rage caused life to become to a bitter end. Through it all never once did he think about how much she truly loved him. If only he would have talked to her about the handkerchief this would have never cause them all to die.