Desdemona and Othello have just eloped at the beginning of the play.
Obedience and silence were very much part of the patriarchal conception of femininity. A conception to which Cleopatra refuses to adhere. When Charmian traditionally suggests that the way to gain and retain Antony's love is to 'In each thing give him way; Cross him in nothing'. Cleopatra replies, 'Thou teachest like a fool, the way to lose him'. Far from being the silent woman, Cleopatra makes her voice heard whenever she wishes, challenging and meeting challenges. She mocks Antony and quarrels with him. Challenging him with a masculine aggression when they argue - 'I would I had thine inches. Thou shouldst know/ There were a heart in Egypt'. Spirited and passionate, such displays of assertion as her physical attack on the messenger informing her of Antony's marriage to Octavia, are a far cry from the passive silent role of the feminine in patriarchal society. In passionate disbelief and anger, she draws a knife on the messenger and strikes him with her bare hands. Charmian tries to pacify her by telling her 'Good madam keep yourself within yourself', but Cleopatra escapes the bounds of self-composure and the repression of self-hood. Her reaction when she feels herself wronged is in very stark contrast to the reactions of Ophelia and Desdemona.
The theme of love is present in Shakespeare's play, Othello.
Iago's character is complex, but in Act I, Scene I, where he describes his disgust at being overlooked for Othello's lieutenant, we can see that a primary motivation for Iago's skillful manipulations was revenge and anger; revenge for Cassio replacing him, anger that Othello overlooked him. Thus it can be seen that Iago's manipulations are driven by a basic desire to avenge those who hurt him but also to gain what he believes is his, indeed Iago's suggestion that Cassio and Desdemona are having an affair earns Iago Othello's trust and the position as his lieutenant in Act III, Scene III.
Her father loved me, oft invited me,
Still questioned me the story of my life
From year to year—the battles, sieges, fortunes,
That I have passed.
I ran it through, even from my boyish days
To th' very moment that he bade me tell it,
Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances:
Of moving accidents by flood and field
Of hair-breadth 'scapes i' th' imminent deadly
Of being taken by the insolent foe
And sold to slavery, of my redemption thence,
And portance in my traveler's history,
Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle,
Rough quarries, rocks and hills whose heads
It was my hint to speak—such was the process—
And of the Cannibals that each other eat,
The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders. These things to
Would Desdemona seriously incline. (1.3.149-170)
(Othello.An essay on Othello, question No 4.
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Desdemona is a character in William Shakespeare's play Othello (c.
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Auden once said, "There is more than meets.
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Race is a factor in the tragedy both in those who seek to destroy Othello, and the victims of the schemes - Othello and Desdemona.
The Theme of Love in "Othello". - A-Level English - …
Deception in Othello Deception Othello and Desdemona, Deception is an interesting and complex topic to explore for any Shakespeare tragedy and this essay.
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Did Othello truly love Desdemona? - WriteWork
Cleopatra combines feminine and masculine qualities through her death. With her resolution to take on the masculine quality of rationality and firmness and courage she wills, 'I have nothing of woman in me. Now from head to foot/ I am marble constant'. She rejects her feminine qualities of water and the changeability of the moon and transforms herself into 'air and fire'. So too she embraces Antony's masculinity and the world of Rome by dying in 'the true Roman Fashion'. Yet through her death, Shakespeare depicts her as enacting the strength of womanhood by converting death into an image of both sensuality and motherhood. The pain of death is bitter-sweet and sensual 'as a lover's pinch,/which hurts and is desired' and the asp, the vehicle of death is a 'baby at [her] breast,/That sucks the nurse asleep'. Through death she is reborn and even the stern patriarchal Caesar is forced to admit to her bravery, and to the undeniable nobility and royalty of the woman who 'Took her own way'. Through his representation of womanhood, especially in the character of Cleopatra, Shakespeare indeed does transcend the stereotypes of his own time.