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Gender, Power, Authority & Violence in Shakespearean Drama - Essay Example

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Gender, Power, Authority & Violence in Shakespearean Drama

It is evidently clear from the discussion that in Shakespeare’s plays, clashes and conflicts arise between the members of the hierarchy when those below contradict their superiors or aspire to their positions. But the important conflicts are those which are between reality and appearance; love and friendship, male and female values and love and war. Shakespeare’s Othello, along with Hamlet, King Lear and Macbeth is one of the four great tragedies, and thus a pillar of what most critics consider to be the apex of Shakespeare’s dramatic art. More than anything else that distinguishes Othello from the other tragedies is that it’s a tale of love and betrayal, secrets passion and intrigue. Iago, the villain uses Desdemona’s weakness and naiveté and succeeds in convincing Othello about the infidelity of his young and beautiful wife with his favorite lieutenant, Michael Cassio. Desdemona is almost overly virtuous, which causes her to feel that she must defend Cassio and speak in a public sphere where necessary. She is stronger than Othello believes her to be and is not the private, withdrawn and a meek woman he would ideally like her to be. Desdemona, a young Venetian woman of high birth and good breeding marries Othello out of love. She is an ideal wife appreciated by everyone except the villain. Desdemona’s wifely loyalty and the physical abuse she withstands at the hands of her jealous and distrusting husband are issues that would have made headlines in today’s society. Her concern for Casio shows her generosity, for she will intercede for him with Othello. We believe her when she says that she does not know what it means to be unfaithful and defends herself by saying that the word ‘whore’ is not in her vocabulary. Though Othello loves his beautiful bride but does not know her that well. He is a strong leader, a great warrior, self-assured in his abilities to handle military matters but he is insecure about his personal qualities. He is unsure why Desdemona chose him for a husband and could only fathom one explanation, “She loves me for the dangers I have passed.” ...Show more
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This essay explores the gender, power, authority & violence in Shakespearean drama. It can be witnessed both in comedy and romance and the concept of the ordered universe appears widely since the disorder is extensively used in their plots.  …
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