Saturday, October 12, 2019

Othello’s Female Roles Essay -- Othello essays

Othello’s Female Roles  Ã‚        Ã‚  Ã‚   Let’s look at the roles of the three lady-characters in the Shakespearean drama Othello. Their roles are not marginal, but are rather vital to the tragedy.    In the Introduction to Shakespeare’s Othello: The Harbrace Theatre Edition, John Russell Brown summarizes the role of the heroine of the play:    When considered functionally, Desdemona’s role may be seen to be every bit as demanding as those of the principals. The fact that she has far fewer words to speak and is on-stage for a much shorter time detracts nothing from the scope of the role, but rather shows that the actress herself can move the audience with the quiet authority of her stage presence and her realization of this girl’s courage and openness of mind and heart. (xviii)    For the women in Othello, life as they would have it was an uphill battle. Susan Snyder in â€Å"Othello: A Modern Perspective† reveals some of the hurdles which women had to face in finding a suitable role in society:    The pervasive notion of woman as property, prized indeed but more as object than as person, indicates one aspect of a deep-seated sexual pathology in Venice. [. . .] Iago fans to flames the coals of socially induced unease in Othello, fantasizes on his own about being cuckolded by Othello and Cassio. In an ideology that can value only cloistered, desireless women, any woman who departs from this passivity will cause intense anxiety. (295)      One key role for the heroine of the drama, Desdemona, is to support the general. David Bevington in William Shakespeare: Four Tragedies states that the hero equates the young woman he so deeply depends on for happiness, with his mother (226). A different role for the her... ...h, Inc., 1973.    Kernan, Alvin. â€Å"Othello: and Introduction.† Shakespeare: The Tragedies. Ed. Alfred Harbage. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1964.    Shakespeare, William. Othello. In The Electric Shakespeare. Princeton University. 1996. http://www.eiu.edu/~multilit/studyabroad/othello/othello_all.html No line nos.    Snyder, Susan. â€Å"Othello: A Modern Perspective.† Shakespeare: Othello. Eds. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. New York: Washington Square Press, 1993.    Wayne, Valerie. â€Å"Historical Differences: Misogyny and Othello.† The Matter of Difference: Materialist Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare. Ed Valerie Wayne. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1991.    Snyder, Susan. â€Å"Othello: A Modern Perspective.† Shakespeare: Othello. Eds. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. New York: Washington Square Press, 1993.   

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