Women vs. Men in Othello Essay

Othello written by William Shakespeare is a very interesting and double-minded play. I chose the passage of Emilia’s speech to Desdemona not because it was odd but because Emilia stood out to me as a very opinionated woman. I wanted to work with it more closely because Emilia captured my attention with her slightly exaggerated opinions on men. I got a strong sense of inequality with this whole scene (4. 3). Emilia thinks that it is the husbands’ fault for their wives to be cheating: “But I do think it is their husbands‘ faults if wives do fall” (4. 3. 87-88).

I feel like she is being way too cruel in the next couple of lines. She may even sound crazy because she’s rambling on. It clearly shows how much Emilia displeases the fact that Desdemona is married to Othello. The whole conversation started when Desdemona told Emilia of Othello’s orders for them of that night. Something must have ticked Emilia off when Desdemona said: “We must not now displease him” (4. 3. 17); and Emilia following with: “I would you had never seen him” (4. 3. 18). I definitely see a clear picture of Emilia’s feelings on men because she really doesn’t hold back.

The one thing about this scene that I found odd was the song; I really didn’t quite understand what that was all about and why it was really relevant. The passage that I chose was to the point and clear as daylight. When Emilia tells Desdemona that she would cheat on her husband, Desdemona’s reaction is somewhat innocent but seemed a bit staged: “Beshrew me, if I would do such a wrong for the whole world” (4. 3. 79-80). That was when Emilia needed to state her opinions on men and their cheating ways, so she gives a cruel but whole hearted explanation to prove that she is right.

Emilia clearly has a grudge towards the man kind race. She says that whatever the husbands do to their wives, the women make a comeback with a plan of revenge. She seems to question her own self with why their men do this to them. I definitely like this passage because even though Emilia gives this speech in a kind of maniacal way, there is truth behind every word of it; although, I personally believe that the mans’ intention of cheating on their woman is not necessarily out of spite or a purpose of somewhat other than fulfilling their “needs, but Emilia is smart in breaking all this down to Desdemona like she did.

It looks as if she’s trying to convince her that all men are so called scumbags and that Othello may be one of them. Desdemona tends to listen to what Emilia is telling her but she denies her opinions. She has her own opinion and is truly in love with Othello to believe such a preposterous thing. This passage reflects upon the play in a big way. There is a sense of inequality between men and women. There are cuckolds, untrusted desires, and betrayals. I enjoyed reading it and picked this passage because it had a whole lot of meaning behind it that reflected on the whole play.