Feminist Criticism Of Shakespeare 's Othello Essay

1959 Words Dec 10th, 2015 null Page
Woman, a critical actor on the stage of life, is pressed to portray many roles—mother, wife, and caregiver. On the stage of Shakespeare, expectations are no different, save the added roles of trophy and sexual object, and when examined through a critical, modern lens, these stage roles become gender roles. In William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Othello, women are portrayed as the weaker sex through their characteristics and by the murderous ending of the tragedy. Alexander Pope said, “Most women have no character at all,” (Pechter 372). Shakespeare, however, emphasized lack of character as a grace for his female characters (Pechter 372). Through feminist criticism, the patriarchal structure of Shakespeare’s Othello is revealed along with the objectification of the women present in the tragedy. In a world of equal and opposite forces when it comes to gender, women have generally gotten the shorter end of the stick when it comes to dominancy in a mostly patriarchal society. One rib from Adam equates to years of marching for suffrage, battling for the right to own property, and dueling for the freedom to speak and live freely. Feminism arises from this eon old injustice. Feminist criticism pertains to, “Any variety of approaches to literary criticism that attempt to examine the ways in which literature has been shaped according to issues of gender,” (“feminist criticism”). Having taken root post-World War II, feminist criticism not only strives to recover the work of female…

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