Othello by Shakespeare: Stereotypical Barriers Essay

Submitted By harpreetbrarr
Words: 569
Pages: 3

Harpreet Brar
September 23rd 2012

Stereotypical Barriers

In the play, “Othello” by Shakespeare, though the expectations of women are to remain silent and obedient towards men, Desdemona tends to voice out her opinion whereas Emilia conforms to the stereotypical barriers by following the image of what women are expected to be like. To begin, Desdemona shows confidence in her love and fights for her opinion in marrying Othello, the love of her life. After hearing her father’s response to her decision, she argues saying, “But here’s my husband/And so much duty as my mother showed/To you, preferring you before her father” (1.3.183-185). Although marrying Othello means to go against Desdemona’s own fathers input, she still continues to confidently voice out her opinion and allows her father to know how much she loves Othello. As a result of her actions, she ultimately breaks the stereotypical barriers and goes against the expected role of women which is to remain obedient and silent. Moreover, rather than silently accepting Iago’s insults, Desdemona is bound to speak up when she believes is right. As Iago expresses his negative input towards women, Desdemona replies saying, “O, most lame and impotent conclusion! Do not learn of /him, Emilia, though he be thy husband” (2.1.158-159). Desdemona takes offence when Iago shares his negative input about women in an ignorant matter and tells Emilia to ignore his opinion. By giving such a defensive response to it, she demonstrates herself as an opinionated woman by defending women, which ultimately results in her breaking stereotypical barriers as she does not follow the expectations. On the contrary, Emilia is well aware of the expected stereotypical barriers as she does not have the potential to argue out her opinions during certain situations. Furthermore, Emilia does not question Iagos orders. Without giving it a thought, Emilia immediately leaves the scene once Iago says, “Be not acknown on’t:/ I have use for it. Go leave me” (3.3.320-321). Although Iago does not express his appreciation towards Emilia’s scheme, Emilia does not argue and leaves immediately when she is told to. Emilia’s departure from the scene portrays her awareness of the stereotype which women are expected to