Explain the way relationships effect the outcokme of the play Othello by William Shakespear

Essay by ash_earth June 2004

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In the play Othello by Shakespeare there are numerous various male and female roles, that between husband and wife, mater and servant relationships as well as the relationship between men and women in the set society which is patriarchally based. The male/female relationships have a large part to play in influencing the final outcome of this tragedy. Notably the relationships between Brabantio and Desdemona, the relationship between Roderigo and Desdemona, the relationship between Cassio and Desdemona, the relationship between Iago and Emila and finally as well as ultimately the relationship between Desdemona and Othello. These four associations impact in both a small and large way to the ending of this play, the death of Desdemona, Emila and Othello.

One of the first relationships seen during the play Othello is that which runs between Desdemona and Brabantio of a father to his daughter. As was the attitude of the time Brabantio considered Desdemona as a procession and a prize rather then a person.

This stemmed from the patriarchal society of the time. The way women are treated as possessions can clearly be seen in the way Roderigo and Iago refer to Desdemona in Act one - 'Thieves, thieves! Look to your house, your daughter and your bags! Thieves, thieves!' Act 1, Scene 1, 80-3. Brabantio loves his daughter but considerers her as a piece of property to shelter and own. From this attitude of possessing women Brabantio becomes utterly infuriated when he discovers that Desdemona has eloped with Othello and thus deceived him which was unheard of at the time. Brabantio's possessive nature of Desdemona reveals itself clearly when he stands before the Duke, 'She is abused, stolen from me and corrupted.' Act 1, Scene 3, 60. Upon leaving the Dukes chambers Brabantio says to Othello - 'If she...