Role of gender in Othello

Impact and function of gender in Othello


This intent of this research paper is to find the function of gender in the Shakespeare ‘s drama ‘Othello ‘ . The drama is surmounted across male and female characters and determines how the females in the drama became victims in the manus of the work forces finding societal organisation. This paper discusses the characters of the three female characters in the drama and those of the work forces ‘s whom they trust and how they subsequently get betrayed by them, without being at mistake. Besides, the work forces in the drama are fortified by their chaps to derive celebrity and position in the society, which displays another trait of societal environment. Therefore, we determined here how gender shapes the character ‘s action and how the male and females are treated by the agencies of the drama ‘Othello ‘ .


Shakespeare ‘s ‘Othello ‘ nowadayss us a male dominant universe where adult females have to confront a tough clip. The three female characters in the drama Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca all shown true love and fondness to their couples but still were rejected and became the symbol of intuition in the society ( ) . The drama contains many complex issues but one of the most of import issues is how the female become victims in the work forces dominant society, and this construct is supported throughout the drama.

There is a phrase in the drama as said by Emilia of work forces and adult females: “They are all but tummies, and we all but nutrient, They eat us hungerly, and when they are full / They belch us” ( Act 3, Sc 4, .106-108 ) . This phrase shows that for the work forces, adult females are the beginning of gender and non more than that. They merely use them for their sexual satisfaction and do non give any other authorization or determination doing autonomy to them. In this scene of the drama, Othello did non listened to any of the words of Desdemona on her artlessness about the malposition of the hankie and merely made strong beliefs of her dishonesty towards him. We will see farther illustrations from the drama of how the adult females became the victim of the inhuman treatment and misgiving in the male dominant society in this research paper.

Plight of adult females in the drama

The drama displays two subdivisions: one is Venice which is a land of order and other is Cyprus the land of upset and lawlessness. Both set an illustration of take downing the adult females place in the work forces ‘s society. Venice was a land of trade where along with other things the trade of adult females was celebrated at that clip. Besides adult females are treated as a ‘commodity ‘ or value to her hubby as we can see from the following lines in the drama where Lago said about Othello “’Faith, he to-night hath boarded a land carrack: If it prove lawful award, he ‘s made for of all time “ ( Act 1, Sc 2, 60 ) . This statement demonstrates that Lago thinks that Othello has acquired a hoarded wealth in the signifier of his married woman Desdemona and love is a secondary thing ( Brett ) .

Another incident happened in the tribunal of Duke of Venice where Desdemona was treated as an object in the instance, of her ownership by her hubby or male parent which shows the ‘marginalization of adult females ‘ in the society. Both Brabantio and Othello were making trading of Desdemona when Othello said “For such proceeding I am charged withal, I won his daughter” ( Act 1, Sc 3, 93-94 ) , which shows Othello treated Desdemona as a trade good he won. Besides her male parent Brabantio said “She is abused, stol’n from me, and corrupted” ( Act 1, Sc 3, 60 ) , which shows the ‘victimization of female ‘ as an object ( Brett ) .

The island of Cyprus demonstrates its misogynist behaviour in the really first scene where lago says to Desdemona and his married woman Emilia “You rise to play, and travel to bed to work.” ( Act 2, Sc 1, 114 ) which shows that lago believes adult females as cocottes or objects and besides describes the ‘sexual promiscuousness ‘ job happening through out the drama and adding angst to it. The drama consisted of three females Desdemona, Emilia, and Bianca, of which two were killed by the terminal of the drama because of the dishonesty ( Emilia ) or for implied unfaithfulness ( Desdemona ) by their hubbies, which shows the favoritism between work forces and adult females in instance of sexual promiscuousness and laterality of work forces to kill their married womans as a fit penalty for dishonesty ( Brett ) .

Role of the adult females in the drama

Othello ‘s calamity stems from ‘men ‘s misinterpretations of adult females and adult females ‘s inability to protect themselves from society ‘s construct of them ‘ , harmonizing to Gayle Greene ( Lewis ) . From this word picture we can portray the characters of the three ladies in the drama as follows:

Desdemona: She surely had all the feminized qualities like passiveness, composure and obeisance and belongs to the higher societal degree in the drama. Her features have no lucifer with the Othello ‘s masculine qualities of authorization, lateralization and aggression. She was in force per unit area of conventional form of behaviour as married womans and girls which a adult females should follow in the society and therefore withdraw herself as a kid even when Othello shown rough behaviour on her ( Lewis ) .

Emilia: Emilia was married woman of Lago and helped his hubby unwittingly throughout the drama in the desperation of Desdemona, and therefore she displays the female features of trust on people ( ) . She respected Desdemona and tried supporting her before Othello by stating “I durst, my Godhead, to bet she is honest” ( Shelly ) . However she has to waive decease by her hubby and at that clip besides she sings a willow vocal, which shows the laterality of work forces on adult females ( Brett ) .

Bianca: She is the kept woman to Cassio. She demonstrated the character of a covetous spouse in the relationship which is proved by her attitude towards the hankie produced by Cassio to her. Lago refers her as a cocotte, and had no regard for her. She is the lone female subsister in the drama ; nevertheless her presence became a key to Desdemona decease ( ) .

Therefore, these adult females characters show that adult females were rational in their ideas and swearing people but got misplaced by work forces like lago. Besides they have rational ability but they are suppressed by the work forces ruling society.

Role of work forces in the Play

Work force in the drama who have acquired feminine features besides became the victims. A just illustration of this is Roderigo who loved Desdemona and deficiencies masculine properties and is over refined. He became the marionette in the manus of lago to function his intent as the undermentioned lines by lago in the drama depict: ”I have rubb ‘d this immature quat about to the sense. kat intending furuncle or topographic point. And besides as a beginning of income.Of gold and gems that I bobb ‘d from him, As gifts to Desdemona” ( Act 5, Sc 1, 11-17 ) ( Brett ) .

Besides Othello was a warrior in the starting but became effeminate after get marrieding Desdemona. In the land of Cyprus he became an insecure adult male and was over run by many unknown emotions which runs until he kills his married woman. Lago took advantage of both these work forces to function his intent.

Therefore Othello featured the victimization of adult females and to a lesser extent work forces as the societal conditions at that clip ( Brett ) .


Our research concludes that Shakespeare ‘s calamity drama Othello gave an interesting connexion between the victimization of the male and female in the society. The work forces who are effeminate in some manner become the victims of the society in the same manner as adult females already are. Therefore, Othello clearly states the societal clime and values in the system and loosely exhibited the victimization of adult females in the manus of work forces dominated society.


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5. Shelley, Ami. “Literary analysis: Comparison of the characters Othello and Desdemona” ., 10 Jan 2010 & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ; .