Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade July 2001

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One of the major keys in the progression of plot in Shakespeare's plays is character development. In the play "Othello"�, there are a wide variety of different personalities that have all blended together, each of them possessing their own set of individual traits that set them apart from the others. This theme is consistent through the female characters as well. In addition, each of them has important parts in the development and resolution of the plot, even though some are not as important as others. Each of the women seemed to be a major contributor to the instigation of conflict, whether the dispute was over them or caused by them. Thus, it is shown in this play that the three major female characters; Emilia, Bianca, and Desdemona, aid in the advancement of the plot through their contrasting characteristics.

In this play, Emilia played a very important role as the wife of the ruthless Iago. She played the role of Iago's opposing character, despite the fact that she was his wife. We see her as a strong personality, one that has much experience in the world. She shares much of this experience with Desdemona when she speaks with her. With Desdemona's youth a lack of familiarity with the real world, Emilia provides some insight into her development. Desdemona, at that point in her life, had not yet developed her own moral and belief system, so Emilia was there to act effectively as an older role model, or mentor, so that they could mutually share their thoughts and feelings with each other. Despite this, her advice did not end up saving her life in the end. Emilia's strength in character was shown near the end of the play when she was able to stand up to...