Othello: Gender Roles

In Act 1, Scene 1 of Othello, Roderigo states, “Your daughter, if you have not given her leave, I say again, hath made a gross revolt” (1.1.133-34). That statement is saying that since this young woman, who has a mind of her own, didn’t ask for her father’s permission to marry a man she loved, she was rebelling against him. That shows that women in that society weren’t expected to think for themselves, or rather, were looked down upon for thinking for themselves. They were considered disobedient for doing something on their own will instead of doing what they’re told. On the other hand, Desdemona going off without telling her father and marrying Othello, shows that she can make her own decisions without caring too much about the consequences. Desdemona clearly loved Othello, and that was more important to her than defying and upsetting her father. That could make Desdemona appear like a passionate woman.
In Act 1, Scene 3, Brabantio claims, “Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see. She has deceived her father, and may thee” (1.3.291-92). That line shows an unfair stereotyping of young women. Brabantio was taking Desdemona marrying Othello without his knowledge, as a deception. He suggests that since she “deceived” him by running off and marrying Othello, that eventually she would deceive Othello as well. That insinuates that Desdemona could be unfaithful in the future. That also shows that women are expected to not be capable of making a decision in that society by saying that she deceived her father by doing what she thought was in her best interest. Desdemona doing something of her own judgment, was looked at as a betrayal rather than a grown woman making her own decision. This quote is also foreshadowing the plot that Iago comes up with to ruin their marriage, and could have possibly helped Iago in achieving that by putting that idea in Othello’s head.
In Act 3, Scene 3 Emilia says, “What he will do with it heaven knows, not I. I nothing but to please his...