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Othello Othello is a Moorish nobleman and soldier of fortune, inclined into the vale of years. Now in the service of the Venetian State as a general against the Turks. Othello is said to be ” great of heart,” “honorable and valiant,” “of a free open nature, that thinks men honest that but seem to be so,” and ” thus easy victim to the “green eyed monster”..JEALOUSY.” At the beginning of the play, Othello appears as a noble, generous, composed man. He is also glamorously happy, both as a general and as a husband to Desdemona. But as we follow the play along we see there is a crack in his personality.

Albert Gerard puts it, “[Othello] is the happiness of a spoilt child, not of a mature mind; it is the brittle wholeness of innocence; it is pre-conscious, pre-rational, pre-moral.” In this quote Albert Gerard tries to get across that Othello has not had any major obstacles to overcome in his lifetime.” Although he was in the army of the Venetian State Othello was still misled by many. One mentioned in the play was Iago, the man whose wife was the mistress of Othellos wife, the fair Desdemona. The real question I think in the play is why Othello would trust Iago over Desdemona? Some critics say it because Iago is a man and back when this play take place it is likely that a man would trust a man before he would trust a woman. But others say it is because Iago just kept nagging at Othello about the matter and he had never cared for a woman so much as he cared for her, and thats what drove Othello over the deep end. What if Iago had mentioned only once that Desdemona had cheated, do you think that Othello might have went and asked his wife or do you think that he would have done the same thing? Thats a hard question to anwser because Othello had never had any obstacles like I mentioned before, until know.

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This obstacle faced by Othello took him by surprise and he didnt have any clue what to do. So as many people would do in a crisis like that, he asked a friend. The friend just happened to be the man that told him, “honest” Iago. Iago, the psychopath that he is, hints to him that he should kill his wife, which is the wrong thing to do, of course. Othello seeking advice takes Iago.

By this time Othello has had a lot of time to contemplate and he kills her. The he kills himself and tries to kill Iago, but fails. Are there similar traits between Othello and Iago? Sure there are. Some of which are they both like to be in constant conflict and the are both noble men in the royal court. The two of them had many different traits as well.

For one Othello was and honest and caring man. But Iago on the other had been a lying and deceitful man, who only wanted what was best for himself and no one else. By the end of the play Othello had become the complete opposite that he was at the beginning of the play. He was just like Iago. He had murdered his wife and killed himself.

Othello as a whole is a well rounded person but as you talk to him and get him riled up you realize that he was many different sides to his personality. The one seen most in this play was his anger/jealousy attitude. This was brought out by Iago, his “friend.” Evern though he was so may sides Othello is still a naturally kind person therefore he was brought up by good parents and family. So in conclusion Othello should have just asked Desdemona and all would have ended good.


Othello Q-Why is a bride’s dress always white? A-To match the appliances! Even though society has made great strides in trying to equalize women and men, there was a time when women were viewed as nothing more than a man’s property. Shakespeare in his play Othello writes his male characters to view women in much the same demeaning way. In this play one can see two examples of women and the view their husbands place upon them. Both Desdamona and Emila are victims of the chauvenism of their husbands. Marriage is the vow between two people, to be there for one another, to share in pain and suffering, to share in the good times and the bad times, and to share equally in life’s experiences.

If this is so then why does Desdamona come across as property? Better question is why does she except this role! In this time era women were consider servants bonded by love to their husbands. Desdamona explains this clearly when she says: But here’s my husband, And so much duty as my mother showed To you, preferring you before her father, So much I challenge that I may profess Due to the Moor my Lord (Scene 1, Act 3, Lines 182-187) She talks about duty to her husband. This duty is to obey him and respect him. Then she again describes herself and her position: ‘Tis as I should entreat you wear your gloves, Or feed on nourishing dishes, or keep you warm, Or sue to you to do a peculiar profit To your own person (Act 3, Scene 3, Lines 77-80) This is the typical view of men in this era, a position of seen, but not heard. Shakespeare takes women places them in his plays in order to give motive.

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In both Macbeth and Othello women are the cause of the man’s fall. In Othello if it were not for Desdamona, there would not be any jealous murders. She is the center point at which the book revolves. Even though her actual part is small her presence makes the play be possible. Desdamona’s place in this play is to stand there with minimal verbal interaction and to represent the high-class romantic women.

From this Shakespeare will take a man’s jealous nature and twist it into a motive. Equality? No, but it common of this era and it suites Shakespeare’s purpose in this play. The man is the head of the family? In Shakespeare’s time, yes. Not only is Othello the head of the family, but he also has his own views of women. He makes this pretty clear with his conversation with Iago, where Iago is speaking of his wife’s little escapades with Cassio.

To this Othello response And yet, how nature erring from itself-(Act 3, Scene 3, Line 227). Meaning that because she is a woman, she can not resist herself from temptation. Then later when his jealousy is a rage he slaps his wife then gives a speech, which explains how his wife obeys his every whim. Ay! You did wish that I would make her turn. Sir, she can turn, and turn, and yet go on And turn again; and she can weep, sir, weep; And she’s obedient; as you say, obedient.

Very obedient. Proceed you in your tears. Concerning this, sir-O well-painted passion! I am commanded home. – Get you away; I’ll send for you anon.-Sir, I obey the mandate And will return to Venice.-Hence, avaunt! (Act 4, Scene 1, lines 252-260) This must be one of most Chauvinistic comment of the entire play. This sums up the entire Othello opinion that starts off hidden at the beginning of the play, but emerges under anger.

Thank God society has evolved above such opinions as that of Othello’s. The stereotypes of women’s positions in this society were not stopped by the boundaries of economic class. Emilia is a perfect example of this. She is a hard working middle class woman, who still bears the burden of her husband’s sexiest attitude. She believes that the purpose of a women is to strengthen her husband, through any means necessary.

She gives an example of this when she says: Why, who would not make her husband a cuckold to make him a monarch? I should venture purgatory for’t(Act 4, Scene 3, Line 77-79) What she is saying, is that she is willing to sacrifice her body’s purity in order to make her husband be more powerful. Something like this isn’t just a response out of the blue, it must be driven into someone. Society is the hammer and chauvinism is the nail. Another example of Emilia’s desperate attempt to obtain her husband’s approval is when she steals Desdamona’s napkin. Gives it to Iago, without even thinking of the consequences. If she did not feel so unequal, she wouldn’t have done this act in order to obtain a sense of approval.

However without this kind of society, Shakespeare’s plot would not work. Yet another example of how Shakespeare uses women to assist the play. However Emilia will start to break free from inequality when she stands up to her husband near the end of the book (act five). Even in this book one can see how society is beginning to grow from it’s primitive views. Where would chauvinism be in society if it were not for men, men like Iago. If ever there was a leader for a male dominant society this man would be it. Every word Iago speaks in referance to women he devours their worth.

In fact he even makes a speech about the purpose of women: Come on, come on! You are pictures out of door, Bells in your parlors, wildcats in your kitchens, Saints in your injuries, devils being offended Players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds. (Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 108-112) If this does not perfectly describe his view of women, then maybe the way he refers to even his own wife as wench does. Iago spends the whole play trying to achieve power, but any extra time he has, he goes out of his way to put down women. Society will always be filled with simpletons who will never treat women with equality. The fact is that if women would have been treated with more respect and they were actually viewed as equals free to voice their opinions, then none of this play could have taken place.

Othello would have talked to his wife, found out that Iago was lying and that would be the end of the play right there. Shakespeare needed this environment; he needed an Iago to make this play possible. It’s a man’s world, so where does that leave women in Shakespeare’s play? Right where Shakespeare wants them, without this old view of inequality his play wouldn’t work. Not to say that he was inordinately sexiest, but that he wrote women as were seen in his time. He uses this to make women have major parts in his plays without having their lines bear serious significance.

Their presence is what makes the play work, not their lines. If this play were written today, he would have women’s liberation groups at his neck, which just goes to show how far society has advanced. We still have a long way to go, but with open-mindedness and room for change one day we will reach a point of perfect equality and harmonization. -Equality can only be achieved when we set aside our differences and look for our similarities! MD Book Reports.


Sexuality in Wiseblood
That Heinous Beast: Sexuality
In the novel Wiseblood, by Flannery O’Connor, one finds an unpleasant, almost antagonistic view of sexuality. The author seems to regard sex as an evil, and harps on this theme throughout the novel. Each sexual incident which occurs in the novel is tainted with grotesquem. Different levels of the darker side of sexuality are exposed, from perversion to flagrant displays of nudity. It serves to give the novel a bit of a moralistic overtone.

The “Carnival Episode” illustrated Hazel’s first experience with sexuality. The author depicts an incident surrounded by an aura of sinfulness. Indeed, the show’s promoter claims that it is “SINsational.” In his anxiousness to view the sideshow, Haze resorted to lying about his age. He was that eager to see it. When he enters the tent, Haze observes the body of an obese naked woman squirming in a casket lined with black cloth. He leaves the scene quickly.

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This first bout with sexuality was certainly a grotesque one, and one which, perhaps, helped fortify his resolve not to experiment with sex for years to come. Haze reacted to the incident on different levels. Before watching the “show,” he was filled with curiosity. So badly he wanted to view this “EXclusive” show. After glancing at the body, he first thought that it was a skinned animal. When he realized what it was, he at once left the tent, ashamed, and perhaps frightened of the object before his eyes.
Hazel’s reaction was not unnatural. The sight with which he was confronted would invoke both fear and embarassment within most ten-year-olds. Not only was the body nude, but it was inside a casket as well. The author parallels this vulgar display of sexuality with death itself. But Hazel reacted to more than just the sight of the object. He at once realizes that he was not supposed to watch the naked lady, that it was sinful to do so. He feels ashamed for having gone inside the tent, and punishes himself. Here, it is evident that the author means to show that Sexuality is a sinful creature.
This moral tone is reinforced by the behavior of his parents during the episode. Whilst inside the tent, Hazel hears his father remark appreciatively about the nude body: “Had one of themther built into ever’ casket, be a heap ready to go sooner.” After returning home, Hazel’s mother realizes that her son has experienced something that he should not have, and confronts him about it. Though he does not admit what he has done, he proceeds to punish himself. It is inferred that Hazel respects his mother’s attitude toward the matter. O’Connor seems to propose that Hazel must do penance for what he has done, or, on a larger scale, for witnessing vulgar displays of sexuality.
Perversion reaches its height when O’Connor introduces the reader to Enoch Emery. During Enoch’s various dealings with women, one witnesses vulgarity in all its forms. The events surrounding the first of these incidents is tinged with a bit of mystery. O’Connor paints the portrait of a Peeping Tom, an adolescent Enoch Emery watching a topless woman sunbathe while hidden in between abelia bushes. Strangely enough, the woman has a “long and cadaverous” face, with a “bandage-like bathing cap.” Ironically, the woman also has pointed teeth, with “greenish-yellow hair.” The woman is portrayed as a corpse-like figure who is surprisingly similar to Hazel’s one-time mistress, Leora Watts. Sexuality comes in the form of a corpse, an allusion not to be missed. The narrator depicts Sexuality as being analogous to spiritual death.

In this episode, however, one sees more than just the grotesque. Enoch Emery introduces us to the grimmer side of sexuality, a side in which a predator spies on an unknowing woman, and gains pleasure from it. The meaning behind the scene is somewhat masked by the lascivious behavior of a typical eighteen year old, but its aim is clear. Here is sexuality at its darker side: one in which women are violated unbeknownst to them. Enoch’s other dealings with women are also on the perverse side. He enjoys making “suggestive remarks” towards them. The fact that they do not respond to him results from two things. Firstly, the women do not find him appealing in the least bit. At the “Frosty Bottle,” the waitress refers to Enoch as a “pus-marked bastard,” and a “son of a bitch.” Secondly, the author points out that sexuality and perversion in all its forms is evil.

Perhaps one of the most grotesque representations of sexuality in the novel is found in Mrs. Leora Watts. The circumstances surrounding Haze and Leora’s first encounter are rather distasteful. Hazel discovers her address while inside a public bathroom, an incidence not to be taken lightly. The author blatantly states her attitude toward prostitution: that it originates within the most disgusting and disgraceful locales of society.

The creature, Mrs. Leora Watts, is quite hideous, and grotesque in most every manner. She is a large woman, with “yellow hair and white skin that glistened with a greasy preparation.” Her teeth were “small and pointed and speckled with green and there was a wide space between each one.” When Hazel first meets her, she is cutting her toe nails, a task not the most pleasing to witness. The room in which Leora Watts lives is quite dirty. The atmosphere is not unlike that of a public bathroom.

Haze’s first sexual experience is an unpleasant one. It is almost as if he has been captured and used by this monstrosity, when it was he who initiated it. It is all the more ironic that it is a female prostitute who is manhandling the male. The ceremony begins as Haze reaches for Leora’s big leg. It is a rather strange action in that he does not making any overt sexual advances towards her. He does not find her appealing, he merely wants to have sex. Through the course of the episode, Hazel behaves as if he were pained by his own actions. When Leora grips his hand, he almost reacts violently. In fact, “he might have leaped out the window, if she had not had him so firmly by the arm.” As she makes advances towards him, he moves rigidly toward her. Hazel’s behavior is similar to that of a person doing penance for sins committed. This is reminiscent of Hazel’s actions as a child. O’Connor manages to convert an often joyous and pleasurable experience into a painstaking one. Here, once again, we witness her moralistic attitude toward sexuality: sex for pleasure ought to be painful, for it is wrong.
Through the depiction of Mrs. Leora Watts and Hazel’s first sexual encounter, it is more than evident that the novel treats the subject of sexuality in a distasteful manner. Leora Watts is the physical manifestation of the author’s disdain for sexuality and prostitution. She is both repulsive and grotesque. Sexuality is treated as an ugly thing, and sex for pleasure is seen as immoral. In the novel Wiseblood, the reader is confronted with an antagonistic and adverse view of sexuality. The novel represents sex as an evil, one which encourages the basest forms of human behavior. Through individuals like Leora Watts and Enoch Emery, the author depicts people whom have reached the depths of perversion and the grotesque.


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