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Othello vs. Brabantio: Views on Women

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The view of women is present in many literary works. In Shakespeare's play, Othello, there are contrasting views of women between Othello and Brabantio. While Othello expresses his kindness toward women as he shows his love for Desdemona, Brabantio contrasts this by stating that women are nothing but property. The two opposing viewpoints have a large influence in how Brabantio and Othello interact when Brabantio learns of his daughter's love for Othello.

Othello's true love for Desdemona allows him to openly express his positive view toward women. Othello considers Desdemona his significant other and believes in her voice and opinion. This is shown when he tells Brabantio and his party to confront Desdemona about their love. This helps to show that Othello believes women are reliable and their voice deserves to be heard. He is truly in love with Desdemona and believes she does not deserve to be put down because she is merely a woman.

Brabantio, in direct contrast to Othello, believes women are subordinate to men and are nothing more than property. Brabantio portrays his views toward women when he refers to his own daughter as property. When Othello tells Brabantio to ask Desdemona about their love, Brabantio states that her opinion is meaningless. Brabantio clearly believes that women do not deserve a voice that is equal to men.

The opposing ideas about women between Othello and Brabantio play a key role in their first interactions with each other. Othello speaks to Brabantio about his love for Brabantio's daughter, and how he feels that as his wife, Desdemona is also his equal. On the other hand, Brabantio refers to his own daughter as a little more than property who doesn't have a reliable voice. Their contrasting opinions of the status of women strain Othello and Brabantio's relationship and reveal obvious tension between them.





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BekaBree said...
Apr. 15, 2013 at 4:40 am
Yes, othello displays this love and trust... at the beginning. When it truely mattered, when Desdemona was swearing to him over her faithfullness, Othello did not display that trust he claimed he had of her. He was too easily twisted from the truth by the word of a fellow man. Kind of shows the insignificance of a women's voice during this time period, even between two who loved one another deeply. The words of a woman, no matter how true, could be easily ignored or rebuked.
 
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